Technology always shaping possibilities of art

(Article originally published for North Bay Nipissing News.)
It’s hard to believe the Nipissing District is the site of all sorts of innovation through technology, but we have our fair share of advancements especially within the arts sector. As new technologies are made available to the public the creative sector finds ways of engaging with these technologies in art creation, documentation and experimentation. Many local artists use a wide range of video and electronic equipment for their arts practice. These artists are commonly classified as “New Media” artists as they are exploring new technology as the foundation for their practice. My art practice has been based within media arts for the past… well a while. I have always incorporated other technologies and methodologies into my works making myself into a “Multi-Artist” as opposed to a new media artist. This is by choice but many consider my work to be new media just by its blunt appearance. I work in all forms of creation and don’t really enjoy categories, but that’s just me.

Recently there has been a lot of discussion revolving around commercial grade drone cameras. Drones are small helicopter-like remote control devices that can fly very high and very far. They can carry objects into other people’s airspace and drop them without entering their property as well as take photographs and video through camera attachments. As a media artist and activist I find the ethical situation of these devises very interesting, as it will push our government towards regulating their use for the safety of the public. In the meantime, I also think they are debatably awesome as I can document an art event or festival from the air without having to get into a plane myself. It took me no time to buy one, have it delivered, assembled and flying. The ArtGhost01 drone flew its first flight while visiting Debajehmujig’s Creation Centre in Manitowaning on Manitoulin Island. The first flight was a disaster but the following ones went fine. I posted the first one of Youtube so everyone could see the “exploration” process as the drone crashed into several buildings and trees.

Obviously I plan to practice more and if government puts regulations or licensing in place, I plan to get certified so this device can be employed legally. Technology is another of the many tools artists use to create and celebrate life and for us its celebrating life in the Nipissing District together. If you see a drone flying around at an art event in your community, it may be me documenting and promoting the arts from far above.