Saturday 18 May, 2024

Tech as Art: The Future is Here


Our world is the most dynamic, complex, networked, and abundant communication system that the world has ever seen. Our hyperconnected system  is becoming self-aware, embedded in every device, and even embedded in our own bodies. This has only been exacerbated by COVID and the challenges artist faced during the height of the pandemic. 

While the working worlds are living the day to day of this complexity, the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) movement has been an important catalyst in the development of digital literacy in art. It is not uncommon to see automation, algorithms, and artificial intelligence (AI) used in art and it will become the norm. 

Therefore, artists have been trained and socialized to imbue technology in their art. In fact, their art is technology.

To seasoned practitioners, it may seem obvious but for those who are not active in the art world, the two words might seem like opposites. 

This is why artists, such as Hasan Alsaif, are bridging that gap of understanding, by creating words easily digestible and understood by the less sophisticated consumer and high concept artworks collected by the most veteran players in the art world. Mr. Alsaif’s work ROBOSTATIC – 3D Demo Reel is such a work. This robotic video is a designed concept and story. The film was Modeled, textured, lit, and rendered digital scenes using Maya and Renderman. RenderMan for Maya (RfM) is a Maya plugin distributed with RenderMan. RfM allows us to render in Maya using the renderer RenderMan Pro Server (PRMan). PRMan provides two renderers: Reyes and RIS (Rix Integration Subsystem). RIS is the latest and greatest renderer which provides high quality raytracing. Subsequently he composited and altered 3D layer passes in Nuke, a node-based digital compositing and visual effects application first developed by Digital Domain, and used for television and film post-production.

Technically, this is very difficult to navigate. Not only did Hasan Alsaif manipulate a variety of different tools and programs to make his vision come to life, but he also needed to develop the idea and the content that would merge both the artistry and technology seamlessly. 

Mr. Alsaif is able to successfully accomplish this due to his unique knowledge and skill set, which is evidenced by his acclaimed published research, entitled Analyzing Co-occurrence Networks of Emojis on Twitter. Mr. Alsaif’s worked explored the theory, applications, and perspectives on the state of the art and future developments relevant to systems and networks, decision making, control, complex processes and related areas, as embedded in the fields of interdisciplinary and applied sciences, art,  engineering, computer science, physics, economics, social, and life sciences, as well as the paradigms and methodologies behind them.

Mr. Alsaif is another example of how STEAM theories combined with art, create technological art pieces and that technology may just be a synonym for art.  

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