Where Art Meets Tech

Where Art Meets Tech

February 12, 2020

The convergence of technology and art may seem like a new trend, but of course many of the things we take for granted in the arts today were once seen as huge technological leaps. Up until the 1970s, Broadway performers may have been familiar with a floor mic, but would be shocked to see the elaborate technical process that goes in to getting microphones for an entire cast and pit orchestra. Now audio and sound engineers can make entire careers in the arts and creative sectors, amplifying and mixing sound. 

A rare "accident" in historical photography - Old Photo Archive

In the field of photography, implementation of better technology allowed for much more creative expression than was previously possible. Historians believe that one of the major reasons people tend to look so solemn in old photographs is because of how long it took for cameras to capture images. It’s easier to sit with a blank, solemn expression than it is to hold a grin, much less capture any sort of movement. If photographers hadn’t been willing to adopt the newest technology back then, it would have slowed the development of an entire artistic field.


Meanwhile today, our modern minds jump to much different places when thinking about technology in the arts. For example, 3-D printing has not only created a new method of sculpture in visual art, but has also provided creative solutions across the disciplines, for props masters and prima ballerinas to housing and healthcare. Read more here!

Our friends at the Norman Rockwell Museum already have two events in the works for ArtWeek 2020 that exemplify this progression of arts and technology. First, their Steamroller Art Festival community art project will use a 3-ton steamroller to create a mural out of various linoleum prints made by ArtWeek attendees. Steam power has been around for so long that many of us may not even consider it “tech” anymore, but of course in the 1800s it completely revolutionized the transportation industry. Today, many consider Virtual Reality headsets to exemplify the cutting edge of tech, and that’s exactly where the Rockwell Museum is heading with their Virtual Reality Rockwell event. Participants will get to see Rockwell’s Four Freedoms through a (quite literally) new lens during these 10-minute VR headset sessions throughout ArtWeek.

Steamroller Art at the Norman Rockwell Museum
VR at the Norman Rockwell Museum

Of course, one of our special programs, Light Up the Night, wouldn’t be nearly as exciting without the power of technology. We are so grateful to the dozens of buildings and outside structures like bridges across the state that light up in honor of ArtWeek. Don’t forget to let us know if you’re interested in lighting up for ArtWeek this year—sooner rather than later so we can add you to the website!

Technology also means increased access to the arts for those who may not otherwise be able to enjoy the experience. The last time you were at a play, you may have seen a closed-captioned performance listed on their performance calendar. This adaptation (essentially a scrolling teleprompter of the script) is a simple step that theatres can take using technology to open up the world of theatre for a whole population.

Ready to have a tech-savvy ArtWeek 2020? Don’t miss Anthony Marquette’s Digital Sculpture Workshop (Auburndale) where you’ll learn how to use the Pixologic ZBrush, a 3D sculpting and painting tool, or Allison Tanenhaus’ Glitch Art Demo & Workshop (Somerville) where you’ll learn how to turn digital “glitches” into mind-bending art.

Be sure to check back for even more events when our calendar goes live on April 1st

Glitch Art by Allison Tanenhaus
Revere Pedestrian Bridge - Light Up the Night 2019

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