Digital Transformation – exploring new ways to connect through the arts – Knight Foundation

Digital Transformation – exploring new ways to connect through the arts

On July 18, 2022 Knight Foundation announced the launch of Knight New Work 2022, an open call for the creation of new works that leverage technology to create art and enhance how art is experienced. Click here for more on New Work, here to see the press release, and here to learn more about Knight’s arts strategy. Knight’s Jennifer Farah shares more below.

Knight New Work celebrates new modes of production, expression and communication through artistic creation and collaboration. Since the program’s start in 2018, digital technologies play an integral role in the development and sharing of new work to great effect. This year we are expanding the open call to all genres of art, focusing on the use of digital technology in the creation, dissemination and experience of art.

The word technology is derived from the greek techne meaning art and craft in work while logos means words or expressions;  together they describe the systematic treatment and communication of an art, craft or technique. While technology has evolved through the ages from the cave paintings of Lascaux to printing with the Gutenberg press to pixels on the arcade game Pong – art, technology and the exchange of information have always been intertwined.

Today, we are immersed in digital technology through the blending of the physical and virtual world. While digital technology, like any medium, can feel restrictive when designed by a few for us all, today we have more access and agency than ever before to utilize digital tools. The more we learn, understand and become digital natives, the more we can explore, intervene, organize, resist, plan and design our collective future.

Rodolfo Peraza, a 2021 Knight Art + Tech Fellow, is a multimedia artist who explores both physical and virtual public spaces. He often utilizes data visualization as a form of representation to draw attention to the flow of information and networks just below the surface. A recurring theme in his work highlights how public hotspots become more than just access points to the internet, they shape the physical spaces surrounding them and they create a place where data is shared – both willingly and subversively. In his data visualizations, such as Naked Link 2.0 and Pilgram 1.0, the networks and relationships between people and place are explored in ways that would not be visible otherwise.

Art enriches our lives by encouraging participation and critical reflection. It has the extraordinary ability to make us aware, impact our perceptions, challenge our opinions and bring us together. Today, artists and the organizations that present their work are leveraging new and emerging digital technologies in their practices to reach a broader audience and create greater impact.

Our goal with Knight New Work 2022 is to catalyze artistic innovation, fuel South Florida’s creative spirit and support artists who are reshaping the arts through digital technology and in so doing impacting their community. Knight has always worked to accelerate what is happening on the ground in our cities, using the power of the arts to connect people to each other and to place. 

We are inspired by the emerging work at the intersection of art, digital technology and communication, and I am exhilarated to participate in the growing impact of this new territory. I invite you to submit your proposal — or encourage your friends and colleagues to take part in the open call. Here’s to exploration!

Image (top) of O, Miami by Gesi Schilling