There is no doubt about the influence and extent to which technology has changed our experience; our world even. But has it been for the better or worse? And what are the implications for artist and their craft? These are the questions Liberatum - the global multidisciplinary cultural and multimedia organisation - poses in its latest video, Artistry / Technology.
Liberatum founder and co-director Pablo Ganguli comments, ‘Great developments have occurred thanks to technological advancement but it is also ruining our sleep at night, [these] devices we can't leave behind and bring to bed with us. Creative people are increasingly using technology to produce their art but can they still excel without it or are they completely attached and dependent on it?’
Some of the greatest creative minds of our time - among them Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Frank Gehry, Francis Ford Coppola, Marc Quinn, Miranda July, Marcel Wanders and Kehinde Wiley – analyse their personal paths and relationships with technology in the film.
‘I got an iPhone and then I found you could draw on it,’ begins David Hockney. ‘I made about two hundred drawings on the phone and then I read about the iPad. So I thought the moment the iPad is out I will get that because drawing on a bigger thing would be better.’
Francis Ford Coppola points out that advents in technology have allowed for art, ‘There could be no cinema without recorded images, moving images, recorded sound and as the technology changed, as different elements were added to it such as colour, talking capability then the cinema evolved.’
However, not all are quite so positive in their outlook: ‘You go out to dinner and people are just on their phones and no one is talking to each other,' says actress Susan Sarandon. 'Everyone is walking down the street and not paying attention to what’s going on or constantly taking pictures of their food and their lives and not in their food or their lives.'
Whether you believe in the power of communication or the ability to share a common experience with many rather than a few, the documentary – presented by Swire Properties – illustrates the stark contrast between the rival camps. As Ganguli told Wallpaper*, 'Technology is not the only answer. It is a tool that can be a gift for us to use for our craftsmanship and creativity but it is not the main ingredient. The human touch and physical artistic connection is far more crucial. Technology can never replace an idea or poetry that has the power to move us to tears.'