From 360-degree virtual tours of art galleries to using blockchain technology for buying and selling artworks, technology is changing the way we create and consume art. Visual artists are now using a host of emerging technologies to create novel digital artworks. From artificial intelligence to robotics, a range of tools are now available at the disposal of artists to create innovative artworks that combine the best of technical expertise and creative visualization. While many visual artists at the edge of new technology are former software engineers, some are not as conversant with the complex algorithms that go into the making of AI art.
Thankfully, companies using blockchain and AI are now helping artists with their creative expression. There are now a host of companies that create specialized software to provide visual artists with the right technological tools to give wings to their creative visions. Their efforts are having a profound industry impact with blockchain being in the forefront of all emerging technologies.
Blockchain Art Collective (Blockchain)
One of the leading players is Blockchain Art Collective. The art world has long grappled with fraud and proving unbroken custody chains of artworks. However, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), powered by blockchain, are poised to change the game altogether. Blockchain technology offers end-to-end traceability to all transactions and NFTs can be used to prove the authenticity of works on blockchain. The Collective is a growing platform of independent artists that aims to connect three components that go into the authentication of a work of art. These include the physical artwork, a smart certificate of authenticity, and a record of transactions. In the past, these components were all isolated, creating holes and weaknesses. However, uniting these components together, allows for long-term oversight and confidence over an artwork’s lifespan.
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One of the newer companies using blockchain and AI is DADA. Think of DADA as Facebook for artists and art enthusiasts. It is a social network-cum-marketplace for anyone interested in art and who wants to connect with others. It transforms artworks into digital assets and enables people to buy, sell, or even rent artworks using cryptocurrency. This New York City-based company also provides online tools to help create what it calls “collaborative art.” An artist can log onto the website and draw something using the exclusive online tools of the company. Other artists then respond to the initial provocation with images that play off the original work. Currently, the site contains over 100,000 drawings ready to be traded as digital assets. The company also plans to roll out smart contracts (a code associated with each that tracks primary and secondary market sales as well as rental arrangements) that would enable collectors to license the artworks on offer.
Playform (Artificial Intelligence)
Playform aims to take AI art to the next level. It offers a wide variety of AI-based tools that artists can use to create art without having to learn to code. It enables artists to train their own AI tool with as few as 30 images. The best part of this platform is that you do not need to think of yourself as an artist to create, as Playform has a range of fun tools that can help you turn photographs into artworks or change the style of an artwork with the click of a button.
Plantoid (Blockchain, Robotics)
Plantoid offers a new way to crowdfund emerging artists. The company describes its project in these words: “Plants need bees to reproduce themselves. Plantoids need humans. Send a Bitcoin to the Plantoid, so that it can hire an artist to replicate itself.” The company displays electro-mechanical sculptures in various public spaces across the world. Art enthusiasts are drawn to the mysterious beauty of the plantoid and donate to the platform’s Bitcoin wallet. Once the donation is made, the plantoid will look for human mates — artists to make more versions of itself.
Perfect for DIY homeowners and street artists, Sprayprinter offers a friendly wall-climbing robot named Albert which can paint any surface of any size. This creepy crawler can turn any digital image into physical wall art within a matter of minutes. Based out of Tartu, Estonia and Silicon Valley, this start-up was the winner of the Techchill Pitching Competition and was 160% crowdfunded. The initial patrons from 42 counties recently received the prototype model of the printer, while the company is already working on a new and improved version. Among the companies using blockchain and AI, this seems to be the most fun enterprise.