Tag Archives: technology

The Art Show Curator: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part 2

In our last post we discussed some of the problems curators deal with finding that perfect combination of artwork thus creating the perfect art show for both their clients and their gallery.

Currently, gallerists/curators  rely on the old-fashioned methods of data collection through sales reports, customer feedback, and various marketing campaigns to address the need for understanding what clients want to see. But often, these collection methods are slow, ponderous and often open to interpretation.

However, in the past decade the computer industry has improved the artificial intelligence of computers to the point where they may take over many of the tasks of trying to curate the perfect show. Advances with interactive technology such as Siri or sensor based data programs such as Nest allow for a possible look into the future.

Imagine walking into an art show and stepping in front of a blank panel. The computer sensors scan your face and using expression recognition software deduces what mood you’re in. Other sensors can detect the cologne or perfume you’re wearing, posture, tension in voice and respond by calculating out what piece of artwork would statistically offer you the most comfort.

It sounds rather cold and calculating doesn’t it?  But all the data processing would be done behind the scenes. All you would know is that suddenly a work of art with the greatest chance of improving your mood and providing the best experience would appear for your enjoyment.

So, our collector that loves sepia and sepia type formatted artwork will, with a single spoken sentence, enjoy work after work of art tailored to his particular desire.


What if you don’t like a particular form of art?  Imagine saying a simple sentence that you did not like abstract oil painting, and afterwards the computer makes sure you would never see one. It would be a custom tailored art experience for each person.

Names would not need to be collected and data not stored on individuals thus guaranteeing a person’s privacy. It could become a wonderful system to drive sales for the artist and the collector’s enjoyment.  While the actual system does not exist yet, the technology to create such a system either already exists or is in the development stage now.  Sci-fi technology and art working together to create the perfect show.

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Art Show Curating: A Glimpse Into the Future? Part I

Imagine a collector of art going to a new art show featuring the latest photographic art.  This collector loves to buy art, but his absolute favorite kind of art is old-fashioned sepia filtered photography like in our work Old Farm House.   Envision what would happen if he could see an entire show of sepia photography done by several artists.  You don’t need to know a lot about marketing to realize the chances of his purchasing a work just increased exponentially.

Old Farm House
Old Farm House

The result is a happy collector, a happy artist, and a happy gallery owner.  The perfect combination for a successful art show.

However, one of the more difficult aspects of art gallery work is the curating of the works that you present. The art of curating is fraught with peril. So much of your chance for success as an artist and a gallery owner depends upon this task.

Curation of your artwork means looking critically at your work or the work of others and come to satisfactory decision as to what art pieces you will display to the public. But it’s not only what you show, it’s also where in the gallery you show a particular piece and of course how you will do it.   Further, for success it necessary to have a rudimentary understanding as to why those particular answers will work.

Yet, I’m not just referring to finding one’s own satisfaction. It’s more about the audience, or hopefully the collectors that are perusing your works. This is when the difficulty truly creeps in.

Unless you were born as a psychic empathy, your ability to determine whether a person likes a particular piece or what piece a particular individual may like is completely driven by data. This data is, at the moment, captured using surveys, sales reports, and endless tomes of marketing research.

But what if it wasn’t so. What if through the advances of technology we could do away with that collection of endless data and almost, statistically speaking, guarantee you will love the next art show you walk into.   It sounds incredulous doesn’t it?

In our next post I will give a glimpse into the possible future of the art show and the huge difference computer technology will bring to our collective experiences.

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Why I Take Pictures of Machines

I love taking pictures of inanimate objects.  When I deal with picture of artificial objects, my ideas are very different.  I deal with fellow creators and their designs.  It’s that paradox of structure in a free-flowing universe that fascinates and motivates me. I want to see a brilliant engineering feat.

I investigate the way man has tried to copy nature to manipulate the environment around him. I want to capture not only his success of angles, glass and light, but also the monsters of machinery, the decay of forgotten days and failures we made in the hopes of out doing our surroundings.

Then I want to take that perfection or failure, that mathematical formulation of color, contrast, shape and form and place its picture on a wall.  Let the magic of the design dominate the room or blend in with the trappings of humanity that people find in their houses. When you pick an industrial or historical decor for your room or office, it only makes sense to work with art that highlights that aspect.

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The 1st Element of Art. What’s the Point?

cc by zigazou76
CC by zigazou76


I find it amusing that while I learned about points in 6th grade art class it never had an impact on what I was doing until I started teaching computer skills to 5-8th graders.

When my students would create a project in the computer lab they would always try to copy the images from Google and paste them into their PowerPoint or Word documents. This would usually end up in a blurry mess when the student printed. If you attempt to print an image on a computer at a larger resolution or DPI, dots per inch, than the image physically is, you will have a picture that will become pixilated. The image will fail to show or reproduce correctly because there are not enough “points” in the picture at that size for the computer to make it correctly.  The effect is usually a blurry mess that the students would end up with.

I’d tell the students that we go to art and math to find the answer to the problem.

When I create a picture of a vase, I am taking a 3 dimensional object, the vase, and representing it on a 2 dimensional media, the picture.  This concept is true whether you are using a camera, paint, pencil, or even a crayon.

The brush, pen, pencil, or camera is nothing more than a tool that creates the basic element of the visual art. The basic element consists of a mark, point, spot, dot, grain, or pixel.  Each term represents the most fundamental part of any picture or painting.  If you put enough dots together in the correct pattern, shape and color you get the entire image.   In digital photography, a dot is a pixel because of the computer technology used to put the picture together.  In film photography, the word used is grain because a chemical reaction creates the image and not an electronic one.

Either way, you get the most basic beginnings of image creation. When you are discussing images in digital photography the term of resolution becomes part of the discussion.  Resolution is the total count of the number of pixels in an image.  So a picture could be 800X640 or 1064X768 or even 1920X1080.  I find it interesting that the subject of art, photography, math and computer science all combine to give us the tiniest of detail.  After all, that’s the point.

Is Saturation Important?

What is saturation?  Simply put, saturation is the level of color in a color.  What?  Let’s say you have the color blue.  If the color blue is 100% it is fully saturated.  As you start to decrease the color blue to 90%, 80%, 70% and so on it becomes less saturated.

Another way of thinking of it is visually.  If I have a blue that is 100% color blue it shows as a bright pure blue.  As I add the color orange to it will become less blue.  Why orange?


Orange is the secondary color that is opposite of blue, a primary color, on a color wheel.  So, the more orange I add to the blue the less blue it becomes.  It’s still blue, just not as blue.  The blue becomes duller in intensity.  The color looks softer.

How does this help in photography or interior decorating/design?  Well, In nature fully saturated colors are almost impossible. When you are mixing and matching photographs, paintings, pictures and the colors painted on a wall this is worth remembering depending if a natural look in terms of color, or an unnatural look, if desired.

Some of you are saying,  “ I’ve seen fully saturated colors in photographs.”  Well, yes and no.  Assuming that the photographer did not alter the photo and that it is natural, you can get a very high level of saturation.  But it still is, technically, not 100% saturated.   Our eyes perceive it to be saturated but remember a computer can tell a .1% difference in color but can your eye cannot  Also, this degree of saturation depends on exterior forces such as the amount of light, the source, and even the time of day.

One way that you can control the saturation in a picture is to use colored filters.  These are either a glass filter you can place on your lens or a piece of plastic wrapped around your flash if you are in a studio.  A large following of photographers prefer to use this method, while others still prefer to use post production methods such as Photoshop to make these changes.  Either way, you can get nice vibrant in your face photographs, or the dreamy, soft variety.  The choice is yours.

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