Can you imagine a museum without paintings? Technology has impacted society in countless ways but many overlook its impact on the arts. The very phrase “the arts” might evoke images of oils, watercolors or sculpture but technology is inspiring a whole new generation of artists who are using new mediums to create their masterpieces.
This growing movement is commonly known as “new media” art. New media artworks, “are those created by incorporating technology into the creative process,” according to artist Mark Tribe. “They are projects that make use of emerging media technologies and are concerned with the cultural, political and aesthetic possibilities of these tools.”
There are unlimited forms of new media art. A traditional painting can still be new media as long as some combination of new technologies does the painting. The most popular type of new media, however, is the creation of still and moving images using picture editing software — essentially digital drawing or manipulated photos.
There are new media exhibits and venues popping up around the world including dedicated galleries such as Zhulong Gallery in Dallas and Furtherfield Gallery in London. One question looms - what’s the best way to display these new artworks?
Advanced software and new techniques have allowed today’s digital artists to achieve new visual heights but these works are only as powerful as the display. Until recently, there have not been many advances in display technology, which has somewhat limited the visual experience digital artists can create, but then new technology arrived.
In late 2012, LG Electronics introduced the first Ultra HD TV in the United States. These “4K” TVs offer increased resolution - more than 8 million pixels - which means the finer details of artists’ work come to life with incredible clarity and brilliant detail. Soon after, it introduced OLED (short for organic light emitting diode) TVs, which provide increased color accuracy and an infinite contrast ratio for brighter, more vibrant images on a super-thin curved screen.
This summer, LG launched “The Art of the Pixel,” challenging students at nine of the nation’s top art schools to create still and motion digital artwork for display on the next-generation video screens. Through this program, LG is providing more than $250,000 in student and university awards as well as Ultra HD and OLED TVs for use and display in the schools’ studios and galleries. Students have been submitting their art since June 1, and throughout the month of July, consumers can view and vote for their favorites by visiting www.lgusa.com/LGSupportsTheArts.
“I’m inspired by all kinds of art, and particularly by the advancements in ‘new media’ art made possible by the latest technology,” says award-winning actor and modern art enthusiast Neil Patrick Harris.
What’s to become of the 21st century museum? There will always be a place for oils and watercolors, but perhaps everyone will be viewing them on a whole new canvas.