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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondThere is kind of a lot of this new media arts. And so, people are doing just really interesting things, like in the space that we're in now and being able to use a dynamic video studio to combine performance art with video and sound and all types of different things that people are doing. However, technology is needing to be utilized in, if you will, the most traditional of arts. So if we just take orchestras and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and being able to utilize technology to be able to create their online streams of their concerts that reach far more people than ever come live.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 secondsSo all of a sudden, technology and its use may not change the way in which you develop or practice your art, but it could transform the way that your art reaches people. The distribution, for sure. Absolutely. And so that type of functionality is incredibly powerful for the arts. And I think a lot of times people sometimes might be reticent to say oh well, this might interfere somehow with the art. And I more often see how it augments what is already taking place. And I also happen to utilize technology in my own performance art where I do spoken word with music, but where we also bring in video imagery.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 secondsAnd, you know, it literally is kind of a picture is a thousand words, so even though I may architect a poem about the concentration camp Dachau in Germany outside of Munich and the experience of visiting that and trying to understand it as a biracial man who was adopted by white Jewish parents and trying to figure all of that out and scoring that with Barber's Adagio. But then, if you take that a intertwine it with photo imagery of the camp itself, you use technology to create a multimedia experience that profoundly changes a work. So I think there's also, if you will, direct artistic performance ways to engage with technology.

Skip to 2 minutes and 5 secondsBut then also just distributive ways and ways in which the technology is really supporting and augmenting and potentially distributing an art that already exists. I would say that when thinking about technology, the importance is not to think oh, what interesting technologies are there out there? But rather, what do I want to do artistically, what do I want to do creatively? And then say, what technology serves that? The technology, I believe, should serve the art form. We should not end up in the thing where I wanna do this technological thing and then art serves the technology. I at least think that the goal should be the artistic intent, the creative intent, and then technology serves that.

Creative or technological intent?

As we’ve seen, technology can create new forms of art as well as impact traditional spaces such as orchestras and galleries. This causes some people to worry that technology is actually interfering with the arts.

Aaron Dworkin, however, feels that it is the intent behind the art that really matters.

After watching Aaron’s video, consider: is it important to begin always from creative intent, or are there instances in which a technological intent is helpful? Share your response to this question in the comments below.

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Arts and Technology Teach-Out

University of Michigan

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