Technology and the Arts


  • 2 Short Ideas: Art, Distance and The Daily Show | PBS Idea Channel

    Here are a couple of short thoughts to keep your brain warm in this summer weather: art and the daily show. No. 1: Does an object need to have no utilitarian use to be art? No. 2: Is The Daily Show a better news program than traditional evening news? 

    Grades: 9-12
  • Are Hologram Tupac and Hologram Freddie Mercury Nostalgia or New Aesthetic? | PBS Idea Channel

    Everyone has heard about the Tupac Hologram that played at Coachella earlier this year. But with Queen's recent announcement of a Hologram Freddie Mercury and TLC's plans for a Hologram Lisa Left Eye Lopes, it looks Hologram pop stars are here to stay - what does this mean for art and technology? At first glance, it might seem like this is just more of the same old nostalgia, but we think these Holo-Popstars represent something much bigger and entirely new. They are the heralds of New Aesthetic, a hotly debated new art movement dedicated to the blending of art and technology. 

    Grades: 9-12
  • Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? | PBS Idea Channel

    We've all seen and shared a few LOLCats and Internet Memes in our time, but is it possible that these images and videos are actually a new form of art? It may seem strange, but Rage Guys, Advice Dogs, Trollfaces, and Philosoraptors are ways for people around the globe to express their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with others - and isn't that the core principle of art? We think some of history's greatest philosophers and artists might be inclined to agree.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Does the Kinect Make Microsoft an Arts Benefactor? | PBS Idea Channel

    If you haven't had a chance to play with Microsoft's Kinect, you're missing out on some great video games and amazing art. The Kinect is an awesome piece of Xbox 360 hardware that maps your physical movements onto any screen. Artists of all stripes have embraced the Kinect, using the gesture recognition technology to create amazing interactive artworks and impressive visuals. These works wouldn't have existed without this piece of technology, making the corporate giant Microsoft the 21st century's incarnation of Lorenzo de Medici. 

    Grades: 9-12
  • How Does Glitchy Art Show Us Broken Is Beautiful? | PBS Idea Channel

    You may have noticed "glitches," where people purposely push machines to malfunction and therefore create fascinating "mistakes." Instead of being frustrated and disdainful of these errors as we usually do when our technology fails mid-workflow, we find them to be bizarrely beautiful. Why are we so interested in these images, music, or objects that are structurally or formally broken? 

    Grades: 9-12
  • Is a Tagged Instagram More Than Just a Photo? | PBS Idea Channel

    Instagram may be pretty awesome, but it's even more #interesting than you think! The hashtag, so simple and ubiquitous, raises the image from mere photo to a new complex entity. An extension of the social media aspect of the Instagram app, the hashtag enhances searchability and allows a connection to a variety of communities. Some tags can definitely be redundant or even useless, but the right ones can add context, greater meaning to the picture, and chronicle our changing relationship to photography! 

    Grades: 9-12
  • Is Instagram the Best Thing to Ever Happen to Photography? | PBS Idea Channel

    With its ability to make boring cellphone photos look "vintage" and "artsy", Instagram has exploded worldwide. Derided by its detractors as a tool for making bad photos worse, we take an alternate view and argue that Instagram is the greatest thing ever to happen to photography. Its simple filters and social networking features are training cellphone photographers everywhere to think creatively about their photos. Plus, the app is turning its worldwide user base into an army of photojournalists capturing striking images of the people and events around them. As the old photography adage goes, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

    Grades: 9-12

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