Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arts nerds

Yeah, that's a label that got thrown at us at one time or another.  But while searching "Google Play" on my tablet, looking for an origami app, I learned to embrace that label even more.  I also would like to add "Arts Geek".  Why?  Because we artists have embraced the 21st Century and the technology that comes with it.

At this point more and more cell phone users have switched to some form of smartphone.  Tablets are becoming incredibly affordable and for those of us who need our technology to be mobile, they're a lot easier to schlep around than our laptops.  I would think it safe to assume that a large percentage of artists of any genre have a portable computer also and then there is the big old desktop sitting at home where we really grind out our work.  Personally, I'm on Android OS phone #2 having gone "smart" last year.  This time I spent good money and got the top of the line of my personal favorite.  It is a speedy little devil and is loaded up with all my productivity and travel apps.  Next is my tablet.  I have a crazy hybrid, a Touchdroid as the rest of the geeks have labeled it.  I got in on HP's 'fire sale' of Touchpads then ported Android onto it as WebOS, albeit stable, sucks for app availability, especially free apps.  My TD has things that I prefer using in a bigger environment...Evernote, calendar, Skype and Splashtop which allows me to actually work on my home computer while on the road.  It also has a lot of my news apps.

This morning I put in "arts" to the search field in "Google Play" (formerly The Marketplace) and the returns I got blew my mind a little.  Did you know that MoMA has an app?  How about Arts Institute of Chicago?  Speaking of the Windy City, the 2012 Lollapalooza app is already available.  Art Basel in Miami had an app for this year's gathering.  Of course there are a million city visitors guides where you can find arts events, galleries and performances.  Or just a simple app called "Famous paintings" where anyone can either acquaint or reacquaint themselves with historical masterpieces.

Behind all this are the digital artists.  The graphics designers who 'paint' the backgrounds for websites or the layout designers who put it all together in a way that is pleasing to the eye.  For many of these folks, that's their day job.  Away from the cube farm, these artists get into Illustrator and Photoshop and let their styluses and their imaginations run wild.  One of my favorite digital artists in Android Jones who is not only pushing the limits of what his computer can do to create a 'painting', he's taking the display of his art to new and amazing extremes like projecting it on the Sydney opera house.  There are photographers like Jamais Vu who take their alread amazing snapshots and then manipulate them into exotic settings.  Or musicians...yes musicians like DeadMau5 and Skrillex who are pushing sound creation programs into deep, dark places that result in places that challenge the ears and the mind.

Artists embrace your nerdiness.  Let us claim our share of the technological age for beauty and creativity.

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