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Is the ‘Internet’ Changing Our Perceptions of Art?

Welcome to the 196th insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode, we take a look at the Internet’s impact on fine arts, arguing the pros and cons of a coded canvas, the battle between artist vs algorithm, and the stakes of authenticity.

In the contemporary age, one would be naive to discount the Internet’s influence. Having reconstructed the ethos of our world, the net has ultimately taken over, defining the human condition in an entirely new light. Exposing many to the previously shadowed, the World Wide Web has become an extension of our minds, altering perceptions with endless content and hyper-personalized algorithms. Riding on the back of Artificial Intelligence, this data tsunami has sparked controversy in creative communities, prompting many to wrestle with the implications of digital art.

Now, this complex conversation is nothing new, despite recent advancements with Open-AI and others. Since the dawn of the Internet, artisans have been vocal about intentionally limited recommendations, photoshopped inaccuracies, and copyrighted content. In the past, Limewire was perhaps the greatest and widely known example of this, as users stole and altered unlawful music, streaming millions of dollars of sound entirely for free.

While relatively controlled nowadays, this issue is beginning to resurface with pinpoint, imitative accuracy. Using AI to create fake, unreleased songs, unpainted art, and unfilmed movies, we’re left to question the implications of these manipulative intelligences and the algorithms we’re already accustomed to. As a creative, one’s authenticity is often wagered at the cost of virality, rewarded with ‘clean’ media, and disciplined when truthfully expressed.

Then, within all of this confusion, we’re left with a surplus in content, desensitizing many to the highly laborious works we once appreciated so dearly. Despite a newfound sense of digital comradery, an outlet for otherwise unrealized artists and genres, we suffer the duality of ever-evolving constructs. For better or worse, the Internet is changing our perceptions of art, perhaps it just depends on what side you stand on.

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