Piccinini and Her Use of Technology.
???The inclusion of technology in the visual arts is significant as it enables the visual arts to mirror the information technologies which have become a necessity to contemporary society.???
In this modern world, technology has become ubiquitous. It is quintessential to the smooth running of our society. It has also become very significant in the contemporary visual arts world. It enables the visual arts to mirror the technological world, allowing it to make statements in new ways about this new age.
The inclusion of technology has enabled artists to evoke new kinds of emotions and reactions from their audiences. One artist that has fully embraced the use of technology is Patricia Piccinini. By using technology she tries to evoke a range of emotions by creating creatures reminiscent of animal embryos. One example of her doing this is in her piece ???Restless??? (2000). This piece is a coloured photograph of some form of new born animal, with smooth, furless skin and resemblance of a platypus or rhinoceros body sitting in a car. At first glance one might feel afraid or disgusted by this creature. However, Piccinini??™s placement of the creature in the car, the relaxed pose of the driver and the view point through the open car door all influence the audience to reconsider their first reaction and come to realise that even with its deformed figure, this creature is actually quite cute, sitting there like a family dog would. Through the use of technology Piccinini has created this animal, exploring new ways to evoke new and conflicting emotions.
Piccinini stated that ???she tries in her art to connect to and reflect on something of our times and what is happening in them.??? Such as societies increasing need for perfection, particularly in the advertising world. This perfection is often achieved through computer manipulation of photos. Piccinini reflects this in such works as ???Porcelain Lattice??? (1997). In which a portrait shot of a woman is taken and edited to the nth degree creating a freakishly perfect figure. The flawlessness Piccinini has instilled on this woman reflects her tendencies for precision, creating a slickness to her art. However, there??™s a twist. Sitting idly on the woman??™s shoulder is a beady eyed hairless rat, added to the photo through computer manipulation. On this hairless rat is an ear growing out of its back. The audience is left to wonder ???Is this a pet of the future A possible fashion accessory??? This rat is in fact a real scientific experiment, used to host human organs that will one day possibly be used for plastic surgery on a commercial basis. The reason she placed this rat in this picture is to reflect on the increasing cosmetic way of life, perhaps brought on by this wave of perfection in advertising. To emphasize the idea of the perfection in advertisement, Piccinini blew this portrait up to billboard size and placed it on a city building. With so much of the world surrounding technology, the arts are now about to keep up with, and make statements about this new technological age with the inclusion of technology.
With the use of technology things can be made to look realistic, therefore far more effective. For instance using materials that are technologically designed to feel like animal or human skin can create a very real and off-putting effect. As apposed to using clay or rock which can create a very smooth and a pleasant tactile feel. The use of these skin-like materials also creates a 3D form, just as in any sculpture. This also increases the effect by making it look even more life like. A particular artwork Piccinini uses such materials in is ???The Young Family??? (2002). At first The Young Family just looks like a litter of dogs with their mother. However if you look more closely you can see the dogs also have human features. The use of a real situation makes this piece even more confronting. Stories such as The Hulk or Jekyll and Hyde are considered purely fiction as scientists did not have the technology to achieve such transformations, however with the increasing ability for cloning and mutations etc, pieces like The Young Family become much more relevant and believable, especially with the use of 3D and skin-like materials. With Piccinini??™s inclusion of technology, she has enabled her art to take on a whole new level of realism.
With this new technological age, visual arts has been able to further expand its horizons, enabling new ways of evoking emotions and reactions, making a statement about a modern issue in a modern way and new ways to make a piece more believable and effective. The inclusion of technology enables visual arts to mirror the discoveries, advantages, disadvantages of this new world now dependant on technology.