Week 5- Is art beating technology?

How much should museums interact with digital technology and at what point does technology surpass the experience of the art piece? I remember a few years ago there was a particular piece at the Hammer Museum where visitors would walk into a blacked-out room where a large wooden shed stood. Upon entering, they would see one wall completely made of sharp metal spikes that came to a center. Visitors could also walk around outside of the shed and see the perspective from the outside. Somehow I cannot imagine a digital version of this piece. Although pictures would be cool, there were certain moods that helped make up the piece. Indeed, a particular perfume was sprayed on the spikes each morning giving them a scent which added to the art. Just like the Sugar Baby exhibit, digital visitors would lose out on certain experiences that could only be gained by seeing it in first person.

Full body experiences seem to be the new form of artwork surrounding the visitor with a sensation. Digital technology cannot do much to this end and instead we may be left with a second-rate form of art. As the Rhizome article says, museums need to “digitize to survive” but perhaps artists are becoming aware of this by trying to draw the public out of their phones into full body experiences. After all, is it really an art experience if you view it through the same device you use to write papers, go on social media, and watch cat videos? I think that although museums are evolving to incorporate and use digital technology more, artists are responding by making pieces that cannot be into digital form. Besides, art is usually something shocking that forces the viewer to think differently than they had before. Perhaps art is rebelling against this new digital age?

3 thoughts on “Week 5- Is art beating technology?”

  1. I had a similar thought while reading the “Museum Interface” piece in Art in America. I recently visited the Broad and there is one piece there- a larger than life table and chairs that you can walk around and under- that could NEVER be experienced in the same way online. Or think of the Terracotta warriors, the army of sculptures that were unearthed from the 1st emperor of China’s tomb, which are positively breathtaking when one walks among them. I worry that some people may be fooled into thinking they’ve had the experience because of seeing something online, and miss out on the true amazingness of the in person exhibit.

  2. The head to is somewhat helpful in why not a different technique than supposed Not often, yet occasionally I get engaged in attorney of the 07 financial complications and the accident of ’08.

  3. I agree, sometimes there really is no replacement for experiencing an art piece bodily. I got to stand in Agnès Varda’s house made of film at LACMA, and that was pretty special. I wonder if art itself is changing in response to the digital — not necessarily to become digital itself, but to provide an experience that can’t be replaced by the digital. (The Rain Room comes to mind!)

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