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  • Writer's pictureAndre Rios Art

Art and Technology

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

How do you see the relationship between traditional art forms and technology evolving in the contemporary art world?

There has been a notable shift in technology's role due to the emergence of advanced AI models and I'm beginning to question whether it should still be viewed solely as a tool. As these intelligent tools continue to improve and seamlessly integrate into our daily lives, they appear to be evolving beyond mere tools and are becoming an intrinsic part of our existence rather than something external.

Can you describe how technology has influenced your creative process as a painter?

Ever since I got my hands on my first computer back in 2004, I've been on a fascinating journey of exploration through photo editing and manipulation, primarily using Photoshop. I started with just a mouse, but over time, I invested in a digital tablet, which completely transformed my digital drawing and painting experience. This shift not only allowed me to unlock an overabundance of creative possibilities but also sped up my idea generation process, far surpassing the pace of sketching on paper.

As the Internet's content continued to grow over the years, I found that my research and learning process became increasingly easier. The wealth of resources that technology has provided has been nothing short of a game-changer. It's safe to say that I owe a significant part of who I am as an artist and as an individual today to these invaluable technological tools and resources.

In what ways do you incorporate digital tools or software into your painting practice?

In my art practice, technology is my trusty companion, accompanying me every step of the way. It's hard to imagine a world without tools like the internet, as it has become an integral part of my creative process. I use it not only for research and learning but also as a boundless source of inspiration. It's where I go to purchase my art supplies and where I share and sell my creations.

When it comes to the hands-on creation of my art, software like Photoshop has become an extension of my creative mind, helping me bring my initial ideas to life. Printing my reference photos digitally has simplified my workflow and I've also come to rely on a projector to meticulously transfer my sketches onto paper, streamlining the process.

But perhaps the most significant improvement on my process is the way I document my artistic journey, capturing it through both video and photography. In my studio, technology isn't just a tool; it's a constant presence that enhances and enriches my artistic expression.

How does the use of technology impact the aesthetics and visual language of your artwork?

All of my amazement and concerns regarding the emergency of a hyper intelligence has deeply shaped the essence of my latest collection of artworks. I create my compositions digitally and I use squared Photoshop brushes to add, cut and distort realistic photo references. I find that this process of destruction, construction and reorganization is much akin to a machine processing information as I stylize my compositions. Within this artistic aesthetic I look to contrast the mechanical nature of technology with the organic nature of physical reality.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are being used in creative processes. Have you experimented with or considered using AI as a tool for generating or enhancing your artwork?

Ever since the launch of Midjourney V4, I've been absolutely amazed by the capabilities of this model, and it prompted me to dive headfirst into the world of AI, eager to explore the vast potential it offers. Over time, these AI models have made significant strides in their performance, with some generating results that are nearly indistinguishable from actual photographs or genuine artworks. I've even ventured into generating reference materials using these AI tools, but when it comes to sourcing materials for my compositions, I still prefer real photos.

The reason behind my preference lies in the fact that AI models lack a true connection to the physical world. While their results may appear photographic on the surface, they often miss many vital aspects of reality. These models can mimic anatomy, texture, and even real-world physics to a certain extent, but they tend to fall short in terms of accuracy and authenticity when compared to the real world.

I do acknowledge that within numerous digital art genres, AI tools can be incredibly useful for crafting stunning designs, exploring compositions, and experimenting with color palettes. However, I personally find them somewhat "artificial" to incorporate into my artistic process, as they lack the genuine essence of the physical world that I value in my work.

How do you see the role of the artist evolving in an age where anyone with a computer can create and share art?

Artificial art completely misses the point. Although many individuals who are not artists might view artificial artwork as inspiring or emotionally stirring, a true artist understands that the essence of art primarily resides in the artist's quest for meaning within their own creation. When a genuine work of art resonates with another person, it represents nothing short of a miraculous occurrence—an authentic and profound connection, one that delves as deeply as the very essence of existence itself.

As technology continues to advance rapidly, how do you envision the future of the relationship between art and technology?

From my perspective, we find ourselves in a state of transition where technology is steadily automating and encroaching upon tasks once performed by humans. I hold the belief that it's almost inevitable for a super-intelligence to emerge, gradually assuming control over virtually every facet of human existence. However, as an artist who loves the beauty of great stories and a person who cherishes the intricacies of our world, I am determined to keep my senses keenly attuned to witness the unfolding of this remarkable tale.

Furthermore, on a personal note, I have a profound conviction that "the artist" stands as the ultimate pillar of human expression. In my view, our very essence as humans begins to fade when there are no longer artists crafting genuine Art.


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