Considerations on augmented paintings

January 01, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Our digitally tagging things and situations in reality with overlays of meta-data, Linking in attributes as if meta-graffiti of past interactions and attributes, allows us to understand the world in details and facts as never before. Through this overlay of digital mediation of reality, incredible possibles open up, while this persistent past in many ways limits the likely horizons of our future.

Painting has too reached this fork int eh road, offering us the possibility of deliberating embracing this new and exciting creative horizons afforded by digital overlays of all conceptions..

Today paintings can now allow viewers to record their commentaries and compare their views with those who have seen the artwork in the past.; each artwork may be tagged with addendums of historical notes; artists intentions; art techniques; sizes; prices; potential framing opportunities; costing for shipping; pricing fluctuations compared to similar artists works; viewing within any room context; time specific corporate sponsorship and painting funding; eye tracking highlights which lead the viewers interest, precise best to view from location; possibilities of co-creation with the viewers input applied as visual overlays on the artwork; masterworks which exploit the time based changes- digitally shifting the cues of visual hierarchy via overlays; artworks that display unique overlays according to the viewers interest; works no longer the same for all, but specific for each viewer....the possibilities of explorations are legion and painting has a historical to remain within the mainstream of our societies, or to rest in its historical limitations..

Yet before embracing these exciting avenues, it is prudent to recall that most mediums, seem to inspire within their viewers/users the opposite of what they embody. The flicker movement of analog tvs, inspired the viewer to become couch potatoes. The cinema of moving light upon the curtained wall, required the viewers to sit still in the darkness of the audience hall. Literature, captured stories on the page, freeing the reader to explore the sound of their own imaginations voice. So possibly, and most likely, the interconnectedness of our digitally augmented realities,  will inspire its users to become more and more isolated from actuality. Dealing ultimately only with this digital overlay of meta-graffiti, rather then our sensates of actuality.

And so what of painting? Historically, being a static contained reality has allowed its viewers to appropriate their proper agency in our world -rather then the painting being that agency.    Is it necessarily a hindrance to reveal the same face to all, time and time again? Maybe painting needs that isolated space more then it needs to fit into our digital cacophony of interactions?

Augmented paintings shall happen, this is but a branching (or is it a schism), but we should be aware of the full impact of the medium if we do choose to follow this digitally interactive avenue. Both avenues shall be taken, but when the viewer asks, what does it do? Mighten it be better for paintings reply to be nothing?  So that the doing remains within the viewer, and the meaning occur between them?







© GAMcCullough      2012


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