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The Impact of Digital & Internet Technology on Contemporary Art

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Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Digital and internet technology has had a significant impact on the ways in which contemporary art is produced and consumed. Review characteristics of contemporary art, explore the role of digital technology, and examine the impact of the Internet on the art world. Updated: 11/14/2021

Contemporary Art

Contemporary art is art that's produced by artists alive in the present period in time. And think about it: what's been happening in the present time? There's been a lot of digital technology that's been developed, not to mention the Internet, and its uses have exploded over the past decade or so. Maybe even you've created some art and posted it online, or maybe you've built something out of digital technology and thought of it as art. Let's see how both the Internet and digital technology have impacted contemporary art.

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  • 0:01 Contemporary Art
  • 0:34 Digital Technology
  • 1:28 The Internet & Art
  • 2:06 The Impact
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Digital Technology

Let's start off with some examples of digital technology and contemporary art.

Whereas, we used to stare at paintings like the Mona Lisa, the ability to employ lasers has made art more interactive. Artists have employed lasers that literally interact with their environment, namely humans. These lasers then change direction, shape, and so on, based on what we do.

Art that responds to people doesn't just involve lasers. It can also involve snake-like tubes that respond to people as if they are alive. These tubes can bend and move and even change colors based on how you or a group of people interact with them or what they 'hear.'

And, if you thought playing angry birds was fun, what else could be more fun than interacting with digital birds--some that are actually very angry. You stand in front of a screen where your shadow reflects onto the screen and disintegrates into a bunch of birds.

The Internet and Art

Internet art relies on the Internet in one shape or form to either disseminate itself and/or form an interactive experience with the user. For instance, papertoilet.com is a form of Internet art created by Rafael Rozendaal, where you can navigate to this website and endlessly unroll and re-roll a roll of digital toilet paper.

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