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FORUM ON ART AND TECHNOLOGY

THIS SECTION deals with the relationship between ART, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. ALSO LOOKING FOR SOME MORE INTERESTING trends, such as Wall Art, Digital Art and Fractal Art.

If you like to discuss, send an email to achille.detommaso@ gmail.com, I will reply via email and publish the answer, or part thereof, on the website.



As you know we tend to group, under the generic term of Contemporary Art , countless artistic movements that sometimes not only have nothing in common, but even arise in antithesis.

Even more interesting, I think, is that certain currents of contemporary art have striking parallels and contiguity with science, technology and society.

In many cases they are actual movements of revolution not only artistic, but social and scientific. And in some cases the first steps of this revolution were made on the thrust of the new technological and scientific knowledge.

First of all these new trends made a revolution in the materials used.

It is in fact possible to recognise, in the contemporary art, features  that sometimes are repeated, such as recovery of primitive elements of expression, as instinctive and symbolic; the importance of sensory color and material element, or even physical or psychological aspect of painting.

Contemporary art  exits from the traditional media and actually breaks free of the canvas considered limiting and too conventional.

Then the subjects, the shots, the colors. It seems important for this new way of seeing the arts free from the constraints of tradition inherited from the teachings inspired by principles of authority and professional deformation.
 
Most of what I write is known, however, in many cases, it does not hurt to freshen up and then hope that things described, serve to better present the artistic trends that have captured the attention , in order to perhaps better understand the new developments of today.

I believe that doing so is also useful to understand such developments as mural painting, digital photography and  Digital Arts. Can these be New Art ? Let's talk.
I remember the year 2000, the photographers present in an exhibition of digital photography I made, proclaimed that this would never have supplanted the analog one...

IMPRESSIONISM AND PHOTOGRAPHY

The aspect of the relationship between technology and art, although present in every historical era, in the past have been influenced by the relative slowness of technical innovations that have taken place during ancient and early modern era.

This issue has begun to clear relief with the industrial revolution. The '800, a century of transition is a time when technological innovation began to enter into many aspects of daily life of the emerging middle class, and thus started influence the way we make art.

Here I would like to discuss a parallelism, contiguity, between photography and impressions...Impressionism; which fascinates me. Both these arts were not regarded as such, in fact, at their start.
The artistic tradition which considers the work Art , in the past, had to be created in a studio and had not to represent  facts of ordinary life.

 
This approach breaks the cultural background in the nineteenth century, when the new scientific and technological breakthroughs, lead to the emergence of photography and cinema, while perfecting the techniques of print reproduction. Western civilization is increasingly becoming a civilization of images but, paradoxically, the painting in this process is to play an increasingly marginal job. To compete with photography in terms of naturalism would be a loser and useless job. Painting needed another specificity, different from natural reproduction.

This is, technically, what created the painters of Impressionism; and is  what, in terms of content, will create the painters of  the "next steps". In the twentieth century, art, including painting, has completely changed function: not to reproduce, but  to communicate.

Impressionism was born in Paris in the first half of 1800.

An interesting starting point for understanding the position impressionist artist in Paris whirling world comes from the analysis of the role of the Salon.

At that time the contacts between artists and viewers had already begun to occur through forms of public exposure. It was in fact the concept that the artists were free to express themselves without constraints, making them independent from certain forms of patronage (Church, magnates, etc.). That in the past had influenced the production of artworks.

Thus the painter was now in the happy position of not having to depend on principal, but was on the other hand in the need of having to place their product within the art market.

In Paris, a very important opportunity for individual artists was provided by the  "Salon." The Salon in fact existed since the end of 1600, but was designed to accommodate the works of members of the Royal Academy of Arts. The term derives from the place where the exposure took place, namely the great hall of the royal palace- Louvre.

Since late 1700 the show started welcoming artists not members of the Academy. Since 1881 the authorities conceded that the Salon could be organized by the artists themselves, who chose a jury for the reception of works.

But once born between artists and those who operated the Salon an attitude of defiance and one can understand why some artists have also decided not to participate in this exhibition, afraid of being rejected.

In 1863 it happened that 4000 of 5000 works proposals were rejected by the jury. Napoleon then decided to allow artists who had undergone the refusal, to expose in other rooms of the palace, their work: so the "Salon des Refusés" was born .

The emerging middle class in the meantime began to look with attention to artistic production in relation also to investment opportunities which are outlined in the art market.
 
And here  technology  started to influence the art. In fact a significant aspect in this context is related to rapid industrialization. Thanks to technological innovations, in fact it begins to breathe an air of progress and confidence. The city is enriched with entertainment venues, and its image is associated with more joy in living.

This atmosphere of vitality particular, characterizes the Paris of the time, that contributed to the birth of one of the most significant artistic events of all time: Impressionism.

It is assumed therefore that a major cause of the radical upheaval that takes place in the second half of 1800, traditional art scene in Europe is attributable to the birth of photography and technology.

The term Impressionism is assigned to an art critic of the time, almost contemptuous, that took inspiration from the title of a painting by Monet, "Impression, Soleil Levant" to label that group of artists (about thirty) who exhibited for the first time publicly in an exhibition organized in 1874 at the studio of photographer Nadar.

Immediacy in the representation and rapid brushstrokes with color, sometimes lying directly on the canvas, were the main features of these revolutionary painters, working outdoors to capture the changing light and shadows at different times of day, they realized their paintings without preliminary drawing, and sometimes without the tweaks and nuances. Having almost abolished the use of black to emphasize that the shadow, which is also determined by light, is not the absence of color, the Impressionist painters depicted scenes of everyday life, landscapes, architecture and even portraits.

 
Some of the works of the Impressionists were as we know, at first refused by the official Salon because it was believed that the society of that time, considered "art" only the images made in the painter's studio.

As with photography, in fact, the Impressionists had as subjects of their paintings included scenes of the petite bourgeoisie of the time, luminous landscapes and sensitive portraits that expressed a positive feeling of appreciation of life, and had made lovely time in their works which are appreciated by the public today. And then, just as it happened (and happens sometimes) for photography, Impressionism started to be considered ART.

But the purpose of artists was not limited to being appreciated or conquer the market. ... They wanted to paint what they saw and felt to represent a given time. They turned to the subject of Parisian life to represent reality as it presented itself to their sight. This reality could thus only be present. It could not be dynamic. 

Thanks to the Impressionists  today we can also reconstruct the way of life, the feel of  the era of Parisian society. Just like   the photographic image could do, but with more heat and interpretation.