National Pavilion UAE - Technology and Art by Khawla Darwish
  • Technology and Art by Khawla Darwish

    Technology; could be defined as the application of scientific knowledge for practical purpose, or machinery and equipment developed for such scientific knowledge to serve a specific purpose or a specific field.

    I see that the advancement of the computers is nothing but a positive push for the arts, although I would describe myself as a more traditional artist and as a “DIY” do it yourself person, because when I first started creating art professionally I only used the traditional mediums of creating by hand, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, collage and mixed media. As I am growing in my artistic career I slowly shifted to creating public and interactive installations because I feel that they serve the purpose of my art better, so in the most recent art pieces that I created I used machinery and technology to support the cause of my art and it was beautiful as well as successful and very welcomed by my audience.

    I believe that adding technology to art only enabled more to happen, because after all it is the same thing! In the end it is what the artist wants to deliver, and what he/she wants their viewers to experience when viewing the artwork. Additionally, I strongly suppose that the most difficult and challenging part in creating an art piece is coming up with the concept of the work, then the execution -whether it was using a traditional medium or using technology- becomes easy and known.

    The real questions that I ask myself as an artist when I am trying to come up with a new piece is:

    1. What experience can I deliver to my viewers with this art piece?

    2. How could this experience challenge and provoke my audience?

    3. How could this experience change my audience’s thoughts and way of thinking (about a specific issue)?

    4. How can my art piece change the relationship of my viewers towards something else? Towards the world?

    All the questions above have nothing to do with technology or even the execution of the work, as they all happen mentally and prior to creating the art piece.

    I believe that new technology gives artists more tools, more options and variety of different ways to stimulate the human senses, not only the eyes as before but all the other senses like touching, feeling, seeing, tasting and even smelling. Technology also brought artists a bigger range of innovations and ways to express themselves and their thoughts and ideas in so many ways. Another really important point with technology and art as I see it, is that it enabled us to be global! Because of the Internet everything has been easier; connecting and communicating with other artists, collectors and even audience from the end of the globe! I personally got to exhibit in couple of exhibitions through knowing about my work and viewing it over the Internet and I really think that is an amazing and wonderful thing to happen.

    While walking around in the Arsenale to check out the other pavilions and artworks that are showcased there, I was very interested by the Chile pavilion, where the artist Alfredo Jaar created his work “Venezia” which is basically re-creating the Biennale in Giardini with their 28 pavilions at a scale of 1:60. The perfect replica is made out of gray resin and it rises from the water for few seconds before it sinks again in the dark water and disappears completely. The structure is built inside a pool made out of metal that is 5 meter by 5 meter and is filled with water, approximately every 3 minutes the structure begins to emerge from the water and go up to the surface of the pool then disappear again. This pavilion really caught my attention and I believe that the technology that is used in it only advanced the work and helped it serve its purpose in a better way.

    I trust that it is safe to say that technology is not changing art in a negative way; instead it is advancing it beautifully. At the end whether the artwork is technologically advanced or classic, that is the artist’s choice.

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