Technology is re-engineering our lives and is disrupting all sectors. It also orchestrates the transformation of the art market. New suite of technologies, such as Blockchain, Cloud, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has not only revolutionalized how artists create artworks, but also how we collect them, critique them, and share them.
Accelerate Democratization but Ensure Uniqueness
Blockchain starts to gain foothold in the art market. Capitalizing on the digital registry technology, new types of art ownership and interactivity models emerge. Enabling the ownership transparency, provenance history, and authentication system, blockchain can address the historical obstacles in the online art market, which can be copied and distributed easily, and it is difficult to maintain the value of digital artworks compared to physical artworks. Individual collectors could request for access to the whole art piece via blockchain even if they own just a single fragment of an art piece. Artists and collectors canto-exist on such shared platform and their interactions become seamless. This empowers the democratization of art collection in the market while also ensuring that the uniqueness of artworks is maintained for the artists as its decentralized infrastructure made forgery or duplication difficult. By harnessing the power of blockchain technology, new forms of creativity and community blossom. Offering a unique mode of shared ownership can give the artwork a second life and allow it to be far more accessible to a general audience.
Transcend Boundaries and Empower Co-Creation
Cloud enables people working in different locations to collaborate as a team. Production houses work across different locations globally and collectively, which indicates the importance of data transmission. Some other collaborations enable a community of audience to co-create new musical compositions. This empowers audience to perform together with the musician through a mobile app to improvise the music. Audience can choose the pre-developed music through cloud and send it to the stage by using fingers to control the volume and music tones. Cloud can also help artists realize their ideas by engaging the target audiences who are eager to participate in the shared platform, which fosters artist-audience interaction around the world.
Going forward, the dynamic combination of digital innovation and human touch will be the key to industrialize the transformation of the art market
Indeed, cloud is more than downloading music, which has changed the way that artists create and present their artworks.
Open New Genre of Art Creation and Facilitate Appreciation
Techno-Art, a combination of art and cutting-edge technology, has been introduced to a wide array of live performances. It has created an impeccable engagement journey through virtual space. Live drawing performance has recently opened a new genre by using VR devices to show the process of creating artworks in virtual space through VR performances. For visual art, Cyber Paintings are a series of digital prints on canvas that are made using data as material and the VR app as a creative tool. Artists can paint with digital algorithms, trippy effects, and more traditional paint-like materials in a cyberspace. For music, audience who are in different physical spaces of the artist can still enjoy and even co-create a realistic hologram musical event. Without space constraints, artists can scale the impact and create stunning effects in their art creation.
Technology makes art more accessible and facilitates art appreciation, as well. Leveraging the AR technology, collectors can virtually ‘hang’ an artwork on wall, which optimizes their digital experience and enables them to make purchase decisions for the artwork they might never visit in person. Technology can give immersive experience by taking the audience to a virtual world and can present with virtual elements in the real world (Casa Batlló as example). Google’s Art and Culture also facilitates audiences to learn about and appreciate art by ‘accessing’ artworks in thousands of museums in detail on mobile phone or laptop. Digitalization can take the art ecosystem to the next level by generating huge audiences from all over the world.
Unite Intelligence with Art Practice to Augment Creativity
AI is blurring the definition of artist and revolutionizing the traditional way of art creation. To create AI art, artists can feed thousands of images from the last hundred years into AI algorithm to ‘master’ a specific aesthetic through machine learning. The algorithm has learned that art progresses in a certain trajectory. If it wants to make something novel, then it cannot produce figurative works like those in Renaissance but has to identify more solutions towards abstraction like contemporary art. The algorithm then tries to generate new images according to the aesthetics it has learned and then produce a range of output images for artist’s selection. Given the boundaries between art and technology are blurred, artists who want to achieve breakthrough in their creative process can collaborate with engineers, technology professionals, or data scientists to unite technologies with their practices in order to augment their own creativity.
The Future State
In spite of the above, a machine is no match for a human artist. The algorithm might create appealing images, but it ‘lives’ in an isolated virtual space that lacks social context. Human artists’ creative process is inspired by people, places, society among many other factors. They create art to tell stories in response to the world. Going forward, the dynamic combination of digital innovation and human touch will be the key to industrialize the transformation of the art market.I also envision that robust digital ecosystem will be developed, which links up all the stakeholders including artists, collectors, galleries, museums, auction houses, and more such that art will be available and can be explored in a diversified way, globally.