Caroline Connolly | Staff Writer
Inspired by NASA photographs of space, photographer Navid Baraty came up with the idea for the Wander Space Probe. The project involves a series of scenes that appear to be of outer space, yet are actually scans of ordinary food products. The various constellations in the sky reminded Baraty of spices and other items in his kitchen, prompting him to experiment and produce these unique and strikingly-realistic “photographs” of space.
Baraty’s Wander Space Probe is an example of experimental art, a type of art produced by many influential artists today. Artists experiment with different materials, from food to household items, creating them into masterpieces.
While experimental art may be relevant now, the future of art remains a mystery. However, art and design professor Masaru Suzuki believes that experimental art will continue to be a prevalent type of art as artists constantly engage in experimentation.
“Experimental art and design is just part of what artists do,” Suzuki said. “It’s always been around, and artists experiment every day of the week. Every new work starts there maybe.”
For art and design professor William Catling, art will continue its function in engaging viewers with truth.
“The future of art means that art will continue to be a vehicle for making visible things that are invisible,” Catling said. “It takes ideas and realizes them as art. Art will continue to be a vessel of truth telling as each artist understands truth. It will entertain, enlighten, provoke, intrude, decorate, stimulate, articulate, realize and inform the viewers. It means to me that there is hope for the future and art will play a role in visualizing that hope.”
Technology also has an enormous impact on the future of art. According to Suzuki, social media plays a key role in how any artist can share their work to vast audiences.
“There are lots of ‘Insta-famous’ artists who don’t hold graduate degrees yet are reaching many thousands of people every day,” Suzuki said. “You still have to have talent, be dedicated, etc. but you can become famous and make money on Instagram just by playing the game well. You post stuff, use proper hashtags, and tag other users all very strategically to gain followers. None of that ‘you need to be at the right place at the right time’ or ‘you always have to be ready when the opportunity arrives’ stuff. You dig? This happened in music through YouTube, Napster, MySpace, etc. (remember Justin Bieber?) and it’s happening in TV and cinema through YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix, Google Prime, etc.”
For those interested in seeing how experimental art is done on campus, Catling recommends visiting the Heritage Art Gallery as well as student studios in ARTC 5, Duke 300 and Duke 304.