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TechSpace

Get hands-on with technology-based art at the Jepson Center!

Artists throughout history have employed the technology of the times to push art in new and unpredictable directions. The past 20 years have seen artists adopt new technologies on a larger scale, from simple computer paint programs to, now, artificial neural networks. This first exhibition in the Jepson Center’s new TechSpace provides a window into some of the techniques and technologies explored in the last decade by contemporary artists and examines how lines have blurred between visual art and computer science.

The earliest works in this exhibition are by Daniel Shiffman, who initially studied mathematics rather than visual art. He used a then-new tool called Processing, a visual programming language, to create interactive art using algorithms. Processing and easy-to-use microcontrollers such as Arduino have increasingly been used in art and design education.

These tools have boosted the Maker Movement and have made their way into high design and art. Net art, which first emerged in the 1990s, was an early sign of artists embracing the connected world by creating their own websites and projects. Electronic games and videogames began even earlier, but only in recent years have museums begun to regard this medium, originally conceived as entertainment, as an art form.

A new development in the intersection of art and technology is the rise of artificial intelligence as an underlying force in our daily lives with potential to transform and replace human labor. Recently, many artists and researchers have discovered AI as a new tool for creative exploration, offering a glimpse of a future in which humans and machines “collaborate” to make art.