Tag Archives: art

Will Technology Change How We Value Art?

Colorful computer generated fractal art in swirls of browns, greens and golds.I enjoy listening to classical music but am not a big fan of synthesized music. Maybe I have worked around computers too long to appreciate the fact that a computer can produce art. In other words, I question whether the bridge between technology and art can actually be bridged. I wonder also about computers that can produce visual arts. Are they comparable to those works created by a traditional artist? Will computers ever make traditional sound and visual artists obsolete or does their value lie in aiding the human creation process? Lately, I have been reading about some new applications that may be spanning that bridge between art and technology.

Sound Machines

German industrial automation company Festo has developed a robot controlled

music system that consists of five self-playing instruments. The system can “hear” or record a melody, then improvise and play it live with electrically controlled mechanisms that consist of one string and a sliding bar, which simulate fret action or the left hand of a musician. A hammer simulates right hand plucking or hammering or stroking of the string. They have built this mainly as a showcase for their factory automation capabilities, but it holds some real promise for creating and playing computer-controlled music.

Fine Art

Kenichi Yoneda, aka Kynd, is trained as a fine artist but has recently been creating computer-generated art that looks like traditional artwork in different simulated mediums. He is currently an electronics designer who programs computers to create artwork that looks like the real thing. His work can simulate oil, watercolors, or other techniques. To be clear, this is not a robot with a palette but digital artwork generated on a computer and printed or just displayed on digital monitors. Lately, he has been experimenting with artwork combined with sound in an attempt to improve on traditional computer animation. The results are very unique and engaging.


The two thoughts I have are these—first, what is art and second, how do we define it? I believe art is a personal expression. What is considered art by one person is simply noise to another, whether that be audio or visual arts or a combination. Secondly, will we, or have we already created a computer that will be able to create Mozart concertos, the works of the Rolling Stones, or artwork to rival Rembrandt or Andy Warhol? If so, will we still hold it in the same high regard as works created by an individual through training and inspiration? Do we value computer-generated artwork the same as human creations?

As we continue to refine computers and try to endow them with humanistic capabilities and reasoning through advanced algorithms, it is reasonable to think that we will have to face that question. What is art? What will art museums look like in the future? I would love to hear your opinion so that we can explore this topic further.

Author Kelly BrownAbout Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional and assistant professor of practice for the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT and business topics that keep him up at night.

The Marriage of Art, Copy, and Code

In our current Information Design and Communication course we are talking about infographics and how they convey information differently than pure print or pure graphics. They take the best of both worlds and hopefully reach a mixed audience of people that are visually oriented or linear sequential (left to right, top to bottom). I have been thinking lately about how infographics can become animated or even interactive. This is already starting to happen in terms of self-directed information graphics. I have also been thinking about how this will creep into advertising and how we can create more personalized advertising. I recently viewed a video at redsharknews.com that gave me a glimpse into the future: the marriage of art, copy, and code.


It used to be that art was very static and very tangible. Whether it be a fine painting or a sculpture, it is permanent and meant to be viewed by many people many times. Art is becoming more digital and more dynamic. With increasing screen resolution, images are more vibrant than those on a static canvas. Digital can also mean temporary, whether by design or by accident (forgot to back up). This new medium is increasingly being used in print and dynamic advertising and is very effective in communicating the message.


Someone still has to write copy for all of the advertising. In the age of social media, people are looking for concise information and advertising that breaks through the chatter and informs. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and in many cases, more jaded. It does and will take a very talented copywriter to craft the script for future advertising. The same advertisement may be seen on a television, a computer, a handheld device, or other devices. How do you craft a story for all of those potential viewers, or do they each get their own custom version?


Here is where it gets interesting. Because of the dynamic nature of art and copy and a new sophisticated audience, it takes a skilled software person to knit it all together and make it personable, relevant, and timely. As in the example I shared above, the ad needs to be about you, where you live, what interests you have, and what possible connection you might have to the advertised product. It’s about me, here, and now.


In the future, will the same person possess all of these skills or will it continue to be a team effort? Is it possible to have art skills, copy skills, and coding skills in one package? Are we training upcoming professionals in all of these areas or at least to be aware of the other professionals that they will be working with? It will take some skillful teamwork to pull this off but, with the right collaboration, it can be real magic.


About Kelly BrownAuthor Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is an IT professional, adjunct faculty for the University of Oregon, and academic director of the UO Applied Information Management Master’s Degree Program. He writes about IT topics that keep him up at night.