The strawberry in my morning cereal was smiling and then it was sticking its tongue out at me!
This reminds me that when I last spoke with my grandchildren they were using the new Animoji that recognizes facial structure and super-imposes a moving emoji cartoon where their real face was a moment ago. Then as if that weren’t enough, the CBS show “60 Minutes” has a segment on “Deep Fakes” where the interviewer Bill Whitaker looks like he is thirty years younger – all using facial recognition software. We are definitely moving into a new phase of the digital revolution!
I am concerned about this in regard to this blog on visual art (that I write on occasion) because it begins to look like we are handing off something important to the authors of artificial intelligence. I have to deal with this all the time because at least half of my artwork is constructed on my computer first, and that human touch is buried in the work product.
So, when I reason with myself, I come down to the fact that even though I use a machine ( my MacBook Pro ) to help me compose a painting or a print, I still am putting in my thoughts and feelings in and about the art as it progresses, and it HAS to meet my standard, and it has to show me something about where we are today and what is required of art and in part this may shake things up for some people. Art always has that potential....!
Yes, I realize that we are all in a creative field and our goals are not all the same. I can go into the studio and take up where I left off, and now that I no longer teach my classes at R.I.T. my central question revolves around how well my artwork represents who I am now. Where do I want to be with my art and how will the artwork I make now be seen by any audience ( and in a pandemic what will that audience consist of? ).
Something quite out of the ordinary has happened here in our new neighborhood. The local newspaper, the Pittsford Post published this week’s issue with a headline about a local art gallery and a show of artwork by an artist whose name was not a familiar one for me, so I guess I will have to go and see what this is all about....!
When I am not in my studio I may want to see what other people are creating, and go where they are showing. One of my favorite places to visit is RoCo and a few weeks ago I went over to see a memorial exhibit for Stewart Davis. Stewart was one of those guys I really enjoyed chatting with and I was shocked to learn that he had passed away! I know that he was a great supporter of the arts, and this memorial had artwork that he had made in recent years, and that was a surprise too because I didn’t know he practiced art making as well!
Since I was out and about I stopped in on the last day of a show at the RIT CITY Artspace to view sculpture by Joshua Enck and Prints by Sarah Kinard. I didn’t know Joshua or his sculpture before and it has a kind of constructivist reliance on geometric simplicity and in some of his pieces there is a flow that resonates with the prints of Sarah Kinard, who I do know. Sarah sometimes works with woodcuts – relief printmaking and she has so much energy!
Sarah’s graphic imagery dances before you, it does somersaults and mixes movements that have an emotional power and punch. An interesting facet of showing your work in some gallery spaces is that they frequently now have a code on each label which allows you to use your smartphone to see more details about the artist which means that you can watch a short video and pick up some valuable information about the artist on view. This show had that feature!
I go back to the studio thinking about this and maybe wish that the imagery I am working with had some of that dance energy. Well, I got to get back to my work. Now, and ... Back to You..