Belive ir or not, art has always been related with technology. From Stonehenge to Tik Tok. Writer and historian Roman Gubern have said Lascaux Caves are the early depictios of virtual reality, and pinpoint the Pointillism technique as the direct reference of pixels (Del bisonte a la realidad virtual. La escena y el laberinto, Anagrama, 1996). Even Werner Herzog have shown in his beautiful documentary the Cave of Forgotten Dreams how the Chauvet Caves are kind of a protocinema. So then, why are we still so obssesed with digital technology?
In recent days, different art publications such as The Art News Paper and Hyperallergic has reported and commented an apparent new rise in digital technologies, mainly related with the artistic production and the art market. Since 2014 both dealers and art galleries noticed the importance of social network to increase their sales. Also, several artists have jumped out from anonimity to gained a place in the art market by selling directly their works through DM’s Instagram. This is the case of artists Dan Lam with 325k followers or Ashley Longshore Art with 300k followers.
However, the Covid-19 Pandemic have has an important impact both in the art production and the art market. “Halfway through 2020 the impact of Covid-19 appears to have accelerated online sales, with online-only auction sales by Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips 436% higher than the same period last year”, according with the Trade Report 2020 by Hiscox Online Art Report published on December 2. In general, online art and collectible sales grew 4% since 2019 aginst a backdrop of a slowing global art economy.
On the other hand, in the context of Covid-19, galleries and museums around the world were forced to leave behind their traditional ways of showing art and started to open-up to digital spaces for working in their art programms.
Think about a “new raise” of mobile and digital art is almost as think in a painting revival. We are always thinking in a painting revaival! even when painting has never dead. However, it is time to reflect how artists and digital art are able to shape new ways to make, show and sell art.