Digital Thinkers: Experiments of a Futurist

 What is the job of an artist? 

Is it to create? To inspire? To entertain? 

What even is an "artist"? 

I believe that the job of an artist encompasses all of these. Art provides comfort; it also provides a vessel to express innovation. Artists play a large part in shaping the future. 

Art is not limited to just a physical medium. New technologies - like augmented and virtual reality - also provide mediums for expressing art. Art can be expressed in sound - I'd argue that music can certainly be considered art.  

Rama Allen[see footnote] of The Mill defines Augmented Artists as "technologically enabled dreamers". Artists require having "aggressive curiosity" to succeed. To me, that means having the willingness to innovate and try new things, similar to inventors and designers. In a way, they're also artists per this definition. 

Art and artists have always been defined by the tools available to make the work. 

Rama Allen

As technology expands, so do the tools artists have at their disposal. This consequently expands on what an artist can do and what's considered "art". We no longer rely on flint knives for sculpting - 3D printing has made it possible to "print out" almost anything. And, that can then be used to create art. Disruptive technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence can also be used to create art. While we have not reached the point of being "algorithmically creative", that is, being able to turn creating art into an algorithm per say, we can use these technologies to augment our own creativity. Perhaps one day, AI can create its own art. Or can it already do that? 

So, what is the job of an artist? What is an artist? An artist's job is to innovate, to throw out new ideas and concepts to advance humanity. Per this description, an artist loosely speaking is therefore anyone able to do that. Anyone who uses creativity in their job can be considered an artist, and the act of doing so is what the "job" of an artist is to me. 

Closing: Oxford dictionary defines an "artist" as "a person who produces paintings or drawings", but below that gives an alternative definition of "a person who practices any of the various creative arts". 

This blog post is inspired by this YouTube video by awwwards. 


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