Does technology create more artists?

A drawing. From left to right- a classic wood guitar propped up on the wall. vinyl records, gears with song names lit up with a lamp behind, more vinyl records, a blue ukulele propped up on the floor.

Technology, one of the most debated concepts of the 21st century. From the boons of wikipedia to the banes of piracy, it has become one of the foremost topics to argue today. 

So, the concept of technology and art must be explored in as much, if not more detail as all the other aspects surrounding this fad that has taken over the world in the last 50 years.

Technology does not curate talent. Technology cannot instil in people what does not exist. Can a person improve? Yes. Can they find the resources to practice, to learn? Yes. However, can they use technology as a means to force skill? No. Nor can technology substitute a teacher.

Since technology is giving a lot of people the platform to showcase their craft, and is also creating a safe space for people to learn, it often gives the illusion that there has emerged an increased myriad of artists. But there does lie a very strong difference between us seeing more artists, and there actually being more artists. 

Technology is making everyone capable of being an artist, it is giving everyone the same opportunity to make it. So, in that sense, yes technology is making us artists; but are we making a difference? Let me elaborate more on this. I post a picture of my doodles on social media with the hashtag artist. A professional painter who makes a living from his art has barely 20 followers on his page.

Which one of us is the artist?

Is technology making everyone artists or is technology feeding everyone the illogical illusion that our talents are all measured the same? Is my skill really comparable to someone who has spent years perfecting his art? Is it fair that we let technology define us as artists? 

It is because of this that I must ask, should technology make everyone an artist?

It is as many have said before me: you can give two people the same resources, the same environment, the same everything. They will still never be the same.

Talent is something that cannot be taught- technology or no technology.

I must throw light on the fact that my aforementioned statements in no way claim that all people are incapable of art. And yes, technology, while also giving people a platform, has also proved to become a hub for people to interact and figure out ways that suit them best. So maybe it is helpful to consider that technology does in fact make everyone an artist.

Technology does extend way beyond the internet. It refers to Computer Aided Design and softwares such as Photoshop and Illustrator. A graphic designer is as much of an artist as a painter. It is a disrespect to imply that someone who operates using a laptop is any less talented than someone who prefers a canvas. In fact, digital softwares help create art quicker, they make it easier to make changes, make improvements. 

And to counter this, I will have to say: the amount of time taken to create something doesn’t define the capabilities of an artist. And no matter what medium, computers do not make art; people do. 

You did not credit the paint brush for Van Gogh's starry night. You did not credit the guitar for Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. Technology is the elf at the North Pole wrapping the gifts. The art belongs to Santa.

Art, in every sense of the word, is of the people. 

It can never be stolen by technology, it can never be given from technology. In fact, even the people who designed technology were artists. So, by that logic, technology is art-- but it is not capable of creating it.

Another argument to consider would be that technology, in fact, reduces artists. The dilution as well as the emergence of talent in the 21st century have been heavily influenced by technology. For instance, applying autotune to a song is a blatant disregard for the talent of those who would not need it; although, using autotune in itself is a talent and requires a tremendous amount of skill. Therefore technology can be called responsible for both the creation and eradication of talent.

Whether my song reaches 10000 likes on Social Media, or it lies unnoticed in the voice memos of my phone. Whether I recorded it using Adobe Audition, or I just picked up my guitar and sang for my family. Whether I used technology or I didn't; my art is art, undefined by the norms of a computer, undefined by the norms of what is in front of me.

Technology does not make artists, technology does not make artists. Technology cannot make artists.