Technology is related to art from its etymology. “Art,” in Greek, is “tekné” (τέχνη). The artist’s development is linked to his mastery of a technique. Therefore, it is not strange that the development of new technologies opens new paths for art.
Damien Henry, director of the technical program at Google Arts & Culture, says that “for centuries, creative people have turned tools into art, or create inventions that can transform the way we think about the world around us.”
To explore the intersection between technology and art, a group of artists created in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture two experiments presented at Google I/O 2019.
One of them is the one made by the artists Molmol Kuo & Zach Lieberman. They developed Weird Cuts, which allows creating collages with augmented reality. One can select a cutout displayed on the camera to take a picture with a particular shape.
Another experiment is Infinite Patterns, created by the artists Pinar & Viola, with the collaboration of Google engineer Alexander Mordvintsev. Alexander Mordvintsev had already explored the intersections of art and technology with DeepDream, the algorithm that creates images with Artificial Intelligence. Infinite Patterns uses the DeepDream algorithm to transform a picture with a unique pattern. Pinar & Viola consider this a way to find inspiration for new designs in fashion.
Both experiments were created in the Google Arts & Cultures lab, where programmers and artists are invited to explore how they can inspire their creativity with technology.
To continue with this field, Google announced the Artists + Machine Intelligence grants to explore creative applications of machine learning. The program offers artists in engineering mentoring, access to Google’s research, and funds for their project.