The elephant, for some in the fancy room of art is that dorky new kid ‘Science’. He comes into a perfectly ordered and regulated room with all these new ideas, mediums, rules and quiet frighteningly… possibilities.
I could (and would normally) go on and on about some “new frontier” that science has bestowed on us in regards to new art forms. This will not be that occasion as it’s Friday, the mystical day of being concise in the office.
I will talk about the science / art clash from another angle, that will keep the purist oil painters happily applying gesso, without rage… Curation. Art is only timeless and far reaching while it stays around. Ancient art crumbles, paintings grow mould like my ten year-old’s lunch box, art is forgotten, faded, lost in the noise, stolen, misplaced and ultimately lost to billions of potential viewers.
Science has come to the party (a way of apologising for everything it has done wrong). Today, obviously not Friday afternoon – that’s a no-no – but today, old art is being cleaned with lasers, fixed with nanotechnology, repaired with nanoparticles and even discovered with modern imaging. Hidden signatures, underpaintings, corrections and even re-dos have been revealed with terahertz waves.
Computing has helped with the archiving of art, making it harder to lose, misplace and misappropriate. As art itself broadens into newer formats and facets, technology is used more and more, to keep it surviving into perpetuity. Imagine the complicated nature of keeping up with modern formats, making sure footage, image, sound etc is in an up-to-date format, re-filming, re-rendering, re-photographing at higher resolutions and keeping it all curated accurately – it would be a continuous and tedious process and that’s not even mentioning physical storage of art. Digital storage is coming along in leaps and bounds and will only be a positive to the future proofing of art. In the future, scanning and duplicating old art will also include texture and tactile feel – won’t that be something for the classroom.
When our planet finally succumbs to our non-art endeavours, we can safely expect other life forms to find our culture, thoughts, great art and musical triumphs beamed out into space for all to find. What a cool time capsule / epitaph.
We live in an amazing time when one Google search can open up a world of art and art information. The long term survival of art has not occurred by removing itself from science, rather it has endured because it embraced science as a tool – not a tool of the devil.