Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, by Marcel Duchamp 1912
The title of this post, Somewhere Between Art and Technology, is where I reside at this point in my life. I used the famous Marcel Duchamp painting, Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, to illustrate this feeling. The amazing thing about this work was how the intellectual components of the painting ushered in the cubist movement. To think that this painting was done in 1912 astounds me when I liken it to fractal design now. How could Duchamp have been that dialed in? What did he see in 1912 that the rest of humanity did not?
As I ponder this idea I overlap it with the premise of an article I read recently stating that all of society is overlooking the mammoth change technology has brought upon humanity. This is difficult for anyone under the age of thirty to really understand because technology has been playing a vital role most of their adult lives. But as a person who was brought up in an analog age and stands squarely between both worlds, I feel a bit like the figure in the Duchamp painting - fractured and processing information on multiple levels. As an artist I once again relate to this painting as I try to meld my hand work with my love of technology.
As our culture struggles to retain it's humanity while balancing it with the technology it loves, what will happen to artists, writers and creators of all genres? I do wonder if we devalue the artistic process now that so much of it can be duplicated by software. How will we know when something is truly innovative and the product of real talent? As plagiarism is on the rise the line is becoming blurred ethically. Only recently I discovered that a piece I ran on this blog was used in a facebook post which was shared over two hundred times - often without my name attached.
That incident caused me to consider the idea of watermarking my work but ultimately I decided not to. Why? Because I posted it in a public forum because I wanted it to be seen and I wanted it to be seen unmarred by a watermark symbol. That piece was there to be evocative. If I wanted to be paid for it I would have not shared it in such a public venue. These are the decisions that we make as artists floating somewhere between art and technology.
I straddle the world of social media to help dissipate some of the aloneness that the artistic life can create but at the same time I need to manage my addiction. Constantly seeking a conversation, contact with the outside world, or an idea to discuss - social media is at times a wonderful fuel and a supremely superficial level of pontification. Balance... that I what I strive for between Art and Technology.