February 23, 2024

With technology existing in nearly every area in the world, it is no surprise that the art and creative world would follow suit. However, will technological advances be as beneficial to this world as it has been for other industries?

Amanda Santos, professor of ceramic arts, said that ceramics and technology interact in a few ways and that technology has helped open the world of ceramics to those who might not be able to throw pottery on a traditional wheel. 

“I know in the 3D world in general, there is the possibility of 3D printing using clay,” Santos said. “So instead of like a filament or a plastic, the machine can be retrofitted to work with clay, which is really beautiful. So then you can get some very interesting, elegant forms. It’s also sort of like a passive way to create.”

Kristi Lippire, professor of visual art, brought up the availability of technology through Pinterest, which can help students with their creativity and inspiration. 

Lippire said that this technological availability is both a benefit and a drawback for students’ creativity. While the algorithm can help inspire students to create new things, it can also lead students to become stuck in the same algorithm, turning all their creative works into recreations, as there is nothing new or inspiring being added. 

“There are going to be things that are missing [from the algorithm] that I just hope people don’t only rely on this. Right, truly developing your ideas and doing research about many different ways of creating [is important]. The computer is just one tool,” Lippire said. 

Dirk Dallas, program lead and associate professor of graphic design, was a beta tester for Dall-E, Chat-GPT’s art counterpart, and said that he was highly impressed by the technology and its possible applications. 

“When I first used Dall-E, I was blown away, but I also think that I have my concerns, too,” Dallas said. “So there’s this line I’m always walking, where I’m like: There’s cool things about technology, but I also know there’s always trade-offs. What are those tradeoffs going to be? Is that good? Is it making us more human?” 

Even though Dallas teaches graphic design, he often takes his students off technology and lets them get hands-on, allowing them to make markups of projects on paper or use tactile items such as berries and nails in order to create graphic design-like pieces.

Lippire said that while technology is an amazing tool for the creative mind, it is important to keep the human in the art, the thing that makes it compelling. 

“We have to, as a culture, remember to privilege the human,” Lippire said.

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