We are Creating a New Digital Civilization
Web 2.0 has disrupted the way we socialize and see the world. Our current social media culture has become a series of learned habits through social participation on a digital platform such as Facebook and Instagram. This is changing the way we learn, communicate and process information.
But do we have real culture in Web 2.0? What is the beauty of being human in the digital age, and where is the beauty in it? Throughout history, culture was a balanced output of creative ideals for humanity by artists, writers, philosophers and poets, utilizing the technology of communication and art-making of the moment.
The Enlightenment began with scientific breakthroughs by Sir Isaac Newton brought about the scientific revolution, philosophers such as John Locke, Denis Diderot and Immanuel Kant presented a new vision for humanity as a democratic, rational, free-thinking society through education, science and individualism. Mozart and Bach reflected new ideals of equality and freedom.
Monet was able to bring newly invented mass-produced, individually packaged pigments into his garden, inspiring a new vision of “Impressionism” -- beauty and poetic representation of life in 18th Century France. He and his fellow Impressionists expressed newly found freedom in artistic expression, which inspired a cultural movement, free to enjoy the outdoors and to depict “joie de vivre”, enlightenment through scientific innovation, freedom from political and religious dogmatic oppression and ignorance. Before him, great painters such as Rembrandt were subjected to painting still life portraits in the confines of their studios, using pigments that were prepared by hand. With every technological invention, came a new way to express beauty, and a new evolution of humanity.
In the 20th Century, abstract expressionist artists such as Rothko understood a greater need for human connection in a modern society, where there was a cultural void of humanity, connection to God and the meaning of life. With every generation there is change, and art reflects these shifts in our culture.
Now in 2017, the digital revolution is like no other revolution in history because of its speed and huge scale of disruption. The adaption of new technology and social media platforms has created sweeping changes in our global culture, and there has never been a more crucial time for artists and philosophers to adapt, to express, to create and to influence culture.
Algorithms are everywhere, and they are controlling what we see through social media platforms, and "sharing" and "liking" has created an narcissistic and egocentric society that is lacking in humanity and authenticity. It is our very "connectedness" on social media platforms that is diminishing real human connection. Our culture is being ruled by inhumane social media behaviour, and causing high levels of depression, addiction and sociopaths.
Artists express humanity in their work. Art is a force of nature that brings us together. The contribution of art using digital technology will create a more connected and humane culture, which will affect how our society chooses to use and innovate digital technology for the future. It is the demonstration of possibilities and expression of free thought, using digital technology that will create a more balanced culture.
Techism is a movement that recognizes technological innovation as an artistic medium, and encourages artists to promote digital humanism in the formation of culture. Collaboration, co-creation and dialogue with engineers and technology specialists is key to this movement, because we are in a transition phase between the institutionalized “painting & sculpture” tradition of artistic expression, into digital.
Freedom of thought, individualism and equality in a future of digital disruption and technological advancement is important for the future of humanity. I recognize the unique challenges that society will face from social media platforms, algorithms and AI in this new and unchartered future and we choose to express connectedness, humanity and transcendence at the forefront of technological innovation through collaboration, dialogue and freedom of expression.
Our future is unknown, but we are aware that hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in AI, deep learning, brain computer interfaces and the opening of the space frontier. The importance of Techism, and its influence on humanity is crucial, now.
It is imperative that companies who are ushering in this new civilization such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Neuralink, recognize the importance of creative human expression, and support the Techism movement for the preservation of a free-thinking society that is empathetic and humane. We need to transcend highly organized and complex digital constructs that connects human consciousness on a level that will forever transform our world and human existence. Empathy, humanity and rational free-thought must thrive in our future.
The creation of a free, humane and great digital civilization is our core belief and vision.
Techism is a movement that reconciles technological innovation with the creation of art. Techism understands innovation, be it technological or philosophical, as a medium in and of itself. For this reason, Techism does not mean how it sounds. It does not put technology before art but rather, sees art and technology as companions meeting the next wave of human expression – digital humanism. We are the masters of technology, and creating art is the expression of digital humanism.
What is digital human existence, and what is the beauty in it?
Many traditional practices of artisanship have remained, and they will continue to do so. Techism is not a movement that stands in opposition to older practices. Nor does it assert brusque claims that the old will be swept away with the new. Artists can decide when and which practices to adopt and discard with each phase of creation.
In the age of digital disruption, technology will continue to transform and revolutionize industries in services, manufacturing, healthcare, media and education, and will continue to revolutionize creative platforms. We are in the midst of creating a new digital civilization, and artists must contribute to this new culture, in order to preserve our humanity. We cannot leave the role of leading future culture to technocrats, engineers and corporations. It is in our collective interest to include artists and people of diverse interests to contribute to our culture in order to create balance, harmony and humanism. Digital disruption is causing fear and unrest, and without a broader dialogue that is inclusive and expresses our true emotions and concerns, there will be wider conflict and misdirected blame. Art is a force of nature that brings us together, and it is necessary today, more than ever.
Art is no longer limited to a frame on a wall. Art is becoming ever more an interactive practice. Collaboration has always enabled art’s creation. Collaboration materializes consciousness. Art is consciousness. Techism is an appeal and return to that consciousness, the consciousness of art as shared, as thing, as idea and as experience.
Software allows the artist to become multifaceted and collaborative. It's about expressing yourself and finding what fits and collaborating with engineers and intelligent software, because you can.
Art is experiential, the phenomenal. We, the viewer participate, and discern for ourselves, what we behold.
Techism is the movement of our time, where we need to acknowledge digital disruption, and accept the immense task of creating new culture that expresses our humanity in the digital age."
- Krista Kim