How Is Technology Changing the Role of an Artist?

30 Oct 2019

In mid-October, Christie’s Education facilitated a panel discussion Is Technology Changing the Role of an Artist? in New York. Artists and art industry professionals were exploring the ways technology is impacting the concept of an artist in the 21st century, the relationship between artist and various technologies, as well as ancestral cultural connections in the digital realm.

One of the speakers, Marnie Benney, an independent Contemporary Art curator, commented: “Part of why I have recently been so much more involved with technology and AI in general is because I think that artists have a really beautiful way of mirroring ourselves, whether that is on a societal level or on a personal level. They are able to create space where we are thinking about the implications of technology, and we are hopefully listening to other people’s perspectives and thinking about what all those implications are, and the choices we want to make as a society going forward.”

A multidisciplinary artist and designer Wiena Lin, remarked: “I think that having an understanding of what is possible at the very least can describe territory for expression and exploration on a philosophical level and, of course, the more you dive into the technology it can only broaden your set of tools. It's really crucial to understand how things work, because if you can’t do it properly first and then break it, you’re probably not going to find a particularly new perspective on that material.”

To remain current in the ever-evolving art world, Christie’s Education has expanded its continuing education programme to include a new series of Art and Tech courses. Beginning this November and throughout 2020, courses on Digital Art, New Media Art, Blockchain, Augmented and Virtual Reality will be offered in London and New York. 

The series will launch on 21 November with two-day course Art and Tech: Digital Art in London. This programme explores the current landscape of prominent and emerging digital artists, and how to collect and own digital artwork. “Digital works are already challenging the way we think of art and of how it should be created, our conception of ownership, and it is seriously pushing the boundaries of our existing legal frameworks and conservation processes,” said Lise Arlot (pictured above), Art Director at Feral Horses and one of the course lecturers. “Collecting digital artworks is a bit more about stewardship than it is about collecting. It requires a lot of time, energy and resources. Therefore, my best advice would be: Be prepared!”

For more information on the Art and Tech courses please click New York and London.