3 Ways Digital Technology Can Make You See Original Art Differently

Digital technologies are bringing new dimensions to the art world.

Some of these can be a little confusing, e.g. As non-fungible tokens (NFTs) selling for millions of dollars. However, other techniques have had the opposite effect, making art more accessible than ever. In some cases, museums are using 3D printing to bring replicas of scarce and fragile art and artifacts to the wider public—sometimes in their hands.

These technological advancements also raise interesting questions about what it means to make “original” artwork or interact with digital replicas.

An immersive art exhibit, for example, allows visitors to wander through a space filled with projected images, suggesting it may not be necessary to stand in front of a real Gustav Klimt or Vincent van Gogh canvas Come see the artist’s work.

spark Host Nora Young talks to artists and experts in the digital arts space. Here are three ways the technology and the artists who use it challenge us to define original art.

Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky, who owns a 3D imaging and printing company that reproduces precious artifacts, calls 3D imaging “Photography 3.0.” (Birgit Kleber)

1. 3D technology can produce exact replicas of precious artworks and artifacts

If you can walk around it, see it from all angles, and even pick it up and touch it, does it matter whether the object in question is primitive? Ed Burtynsky, a well-known large-scale Canadian photographer, says that there is still something special about real masterpieces, but in many cases, 3D technology allows us to reach objects that we cannot.

Burtynsky, founder of the Think2Thing 3D imaging and printing facility, employs the technology in every aspect of his work, calling it “Photography 3.0.” Past projects include a 2014 exhibition he collaborated with the Royal Ontario Museum on the ill-fated ships of Franklin’s expedition in the 1840s.

Burtynsky and his colleagues produced a 3D-printed model of a copper bell from the HMS Erebus, which appeared when it was discovered on the seafloor in September 2014. When it was brought to the surface, the bell had to stay in the same salt water to prevent it from collapsing.

This replica of a ship clock from the wreck of the Franklin expedition in the 1840s was 3D printed by Toronto-based Think2Thing for a traveling exhibition in conjunction with the Royal Ontario Museum. Primitive bells recovered from the ocean floor had to be preserved in seawater to prevent the copper from decomposing. (submitted by Think2Thing)

“We can access it for about three hours,” Burtinsky said. “They had to keep spraying it with the same brine to keep it from oxidizing.”

Working fast, the team took some 3,000 images and used them to replicate the bell, which museum visitors can get up close and personal with in a traveling exhibit.

His team also used 3D printing to replicate 30 Musqueam artifacts owned by New York’s Museum of Natural History, such as bowls, knives and pendants carved in the shape of a turtle.

“Because they’re not really relics, the Musquins can handle them,” Burtinsky said.

“It was a really fun project to create these objects that represent them, but they’re not them, but have all that feel and interactivity and the same size, same proportions, same textures, same colors, etc. that .”

Such projects are happening all over the world.For example, at the University of Florence, researchers created Replica of Michelangelo’s famous David sculpture Using 3D technology in the pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. close to home, A Vancouver company is using 3D printing to create detailed replicas of famous paintingsincluding groups of seven, for practical exams in schools and museums.

Amelia Winger-Bearskin, artist and Banks Foundation Chair for AI and Art at the University of Florida’s Digital World Institute, said art “has been driving innovation in AI for some time.” (submitted by Amelia Winger-Bearskin)

2. Some artists work with AI

Amelia Winger-Bearskin likes a little collaboration with “non-human systems.”

The artist is Chair of the Banksy Foundation for AI and Art at the University of Florida’s Digital World Institute.

“I think AI is just another collaborator,” she said.

Winger-Bearskin, a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) of Deer Clan in Seneca-Cayuga, Oklahoma, said art “has been driving innovation in AI for some time.”

The result: human-robot collaboration has led to a new art form.

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Of these, deepfake videos may be most familiar to people, but the same technology can be applied in more benign and useful ways, she said. “You can have any language spoken in the film without dubbing, or having your lips out of sync with your native language.”

Winger-Bearskin is part of the team that Artist and Technologist Ross Goodwin.

It’s important to remember that behind an AI system is a team of developers and other experts who contribute to the code.

“It’s kind of crazy to say, ‘Oh, well, only artists are creators, and those who are just coding are not, I think, because I really think they’re both part of this creative journey,'” winger Xiong Pi said.

Panels of Jan and Hubert van Eyck’s infamous Ghent altarpiece are restored in Ghent, Belgium. Advanced X-ray technology and artificial intelligence are used to identify the paint on each side of the double-sided work. (KIK-IRPA)

3. AI and X-rays can restore paintings—even revealing hidden ones

In the world of art conservation, digital tools are game-changers.

Miguel Rodrigues, professor of information theory and processing at UCL, said that advanced X-ray technology combined with artificial intelligence has unlocked new capabilities to identify an almost infinite number of coloured pigments.

“The benefit is that by understanding these pigments, we’ll be able to design or come up with strategies for how best to preserve the painting, while also preserving the painting,” said Rodriguez, who is also the lead academic on Jan and Hubert’s conservation team.Van Eyck’s fame Ghent Altarpiecea series of panels with paintings on both sides.

Miguel Rodriguez, professor of information theory and processing at UCL, said advanced X-ray technology combined with artificial intelligence unlocked new capabilities to identify an almost limitless number of coloured pigments. (submitted by Miguel Rodriguez)

The technology, he says, can do what the administrator’s eyes can’t — determine which shapes and colors belong to each side of a degraded panel.

Machine learning can even use complex datasets from paintings or works of the same era to determine what the paint might have been before the color faded.

“I’m particularly excited about the possibility of recreating history. So, take Van Gogh. It is estimated that a large part of his paintings involves the reuse of canvas, which means that there are hidden design,” Rodriguez said.

“I think it’s very exciting to develop artificial intelligence techniques to take the complex datasets taken from these paintings and then give us the possibility of virtual reconstructions of these hidden designs.”

Written by Brandy Wickel. Produced by McKenna Hadley-Burke, Nora Young, Adam Killick and Michelle Parise.

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