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Is Technology Ruining Art?

Since the dawn of technology, the art world has been buzzing with debates about how these new tools and tech will affect the traditional art forms we've cherished for so long. But let's not get all doom and gloom about it. Sure, the rise of something new shakes things up a bit, but that doesn't mean it's all bad news. In the early days, painting and sculpture monopolised the art world, but the emergence of new art forms doesn't mean the old ones are going extinct. It just means artists have to bring something new to the table to stand out, and that's not a bad thing, right? Competition keeps us on our toes and pushes creativity to new heights!

The rise in Photography was one of the largest technological debates to shake the art world. People were worried that with everyone snapping pics left and right, they'd forget to appreciate the beauty of paintings and yeah, there were concerns about paintings losing their value when people could just snap a pic instead of splurging on an original. In an attempt to combat this issue, some galleries decided to crack down on photography to keep that aura of exclusivity around their artworks but really this issue all boils down to the meaning of value, is it rarity? Or popularity? What do you think adds more value?

Photography itself hasn't been spared from the tech debates ether. With cameras in our pockets, everyone's a photographer, right? Well, not exactly. Sure, anyone can click a pic, but mastering the art of photography takes skill and practice. It's not just about pointing and shooting; it's about composition, lighting, and editing too. Photography has become a skill to be practiced rather than mindless pointing and clicking. So let's not downplay the pros' hard work, just because everyone can take a photo doesn’t make them a photographer, in the same way, that not everyone who paints a picture is a painter.

Let's not forget about the reality of photography debate.

Can we always trust what we see in a pic? The short answer is no, an image is almost always taken through the eye of the photographer and using framing and composition, details can always be left out of an image that may be important to the reality of the situation at hand and with editing software like Photoshop, images can be tweaked and twisted to fit any narrative. It's not just a question of news and propaganda; it's about ethics too. Is it fair to set unrealistic beauty standards through edited images? And with social media bombarding us with these ideals, what's it doing to our younger generation?

Now, let's talk AI. With the rise in AI technology in recent years, some people are worried that AI will replace human artists altogether. But come on, there's no replacing human emotion and humour, right? AI might enhance creativity, but there's still a special something that only humans can bring to the table. A new debate in AI and art is who decides who owns the rights to AI-generated art? Should we be crediting the AI when we use this software? And due to the nature of AI potentially using other peoples work, is it all copyrighted? That is a risk we take when using AI currently and definitely something that should be considered when using these tools for our work.

As art moves into the digital age, there's bound to be some debate. But why fear change when we can embrace it? Technology opens up new doors for creativity, and true artists will always find a way to make it work. So let's not see it as the end of the old but as the start of a new chapter. Embrace the tech, people—it's here to stay!

Rachel Howard, Cohort 40, Content Creator at RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch


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