All Articles
All Articles
TECH

Digital Revolution

Google Developers partner with the Barbican for an extensive, interactive exhibit that displays code as art

by Hans Aschim
on 07 February 2014
digital-revolution-devart-google-1.jpg

Technology, in the literal sense, has always been a major part of the human experience. From the first development of tools to make meager cave-dwelling existences less miserable to electricity to the ubiquity of broadband internet, life is bound to these methods of organizing the natural world—sometimes so much so we don't even realize it. At the same time, new technology has a long history of informing the creative process and toolkit. Michelangelo is the stalwart example of an artist who embraced and experimented with new scientific and technological developments in his artwork. Continuing in this tradition, Google Creative Lab and the Barbican of London are embarking on one of the most extensive interactive exhibitions exploring the creative use of code as art—or as it has become known DevArt—in "Digital Revolution." Opening this summer with three prominent artists already set to display their work, Google is calling for DevArt submissions to be featured alongside this innovative exhibit.

digital-revolution-devart-google-2.jpg

"Art has always been guided by people’s imagination and the tools available to them," explains Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Direct at Google Creative Lab in London. "Today, the artists’ palette has evolved to include technology, and we are seeing developers find new and compelling ways to create art with code," he says. In many ways, DevArt is breaking down the barriers of art and technology as well as barriers in creativity. Coding is generally perceived as a kind of cold logical way of thinking, purely mathematic or scientific with little room for artistic creativity. Coders, of course, know this to be untrue and the melding of artistic output with coding speaks to a larger movement in interdisciplinary thinking.

"Most people have an impression of code as flat, one-dimensional—something that isn’t pretty to look at in the raw," Vranakis says. "But what we’re seeing now are really creative applications of code that are as beautiful as more traditional works of art." One of the hallmark pieces in "Digital Revolution" that Vranakis is referring to is the "Wishing Wall" by Barcelona-based duo Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet. The interactive installation sees participants speak their hopes and wishes into the wall, which are then transformed into unique butterflies via code and displayed on an interactive screen.

"These creators are challenging the definition of art, and at times using the most cutting edge technology to do so," Vranakis tells CH. "However, it’s important to look at this as just one of many movements in the broader arts and creative community, one we’re excited to celebrate at Google." NYC's own Zach Lieberman was one of the early adopters of creative coding and his playful uses of the technology continue to inspire unlikely uses of technology in the arts. His tentatively titled installation "Play the World" invites visitors to play a keyboard that pulls tones for each key from live streaming radio sourced from stations around the globe.

"'Digital Revolution' is just as much about the platform of DevArt as it is about the installations themselves; the site allows people to express and document the process, and the bigger opportunity here is to galvanize developers globally," Vranakis explains. The exhibit opens this summer at the Barbican in London. Submissions for the exhibit are open to coders around the world until 28 March 2014. For more information and to see the already impressive body of submitted work visit Google's dedicated home for DevArt.

Images courtesy of Google Creative Lab

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on
Loading More...