10 years of “Art meets Technology”

2020: “Communication”

The “Art meets Technology” project has been running for ten years. Students from the Institute of Fine Arts and Aesthetic Education at the University of Regensburg encounter the high-tech company AVL Software & Functions. The young artists get an insight into the dynamics of innovative processes and an impression of the complexity of technical solutions. Through that, ideas about the far-reaching effects of technical progress in economic, ecological and social terms develop. With the means of painting and digital image processing, students visualize their ideas that arise from this encounter. Speculative utopias, critical considerations and fantastic visions become pictorial motifs – as well as authentic personal and biographical references to the topics. The exhibitions that show the paintings combine the sensual pleasure of individual contemplation with the intellectual exchange of what has been seen together. For ten years, the AVL employees, together with the students and many guests of the exhibitions, have been able to experience how the messages of painting form an inspired community in front of the exhibits. Right now, we must experience how in times of distance there is a lack of those occasions which are a basis for a humane society.

Against this background, the theme of this year appears like a résumé of the project: “Communication”. This topic was already chosen before COVID-19 hit us. In the pandemic, it became clear how much exchange between people is currently carried out via modern media and how little of it happens in personal encounters. Communication and information are vital for a functioning society not only from an economic point of view. Can personal encounters be replaced by displays? The thoughts of the students are currently observing possibilities but also deficits that arise under the pressure of the changed communication in the age of social media and smartphones – social distancing is not only a preventive measure against an infection, but a phenomenon typical of our time, in which many people feel lonely. Will it be possible to accept the coming challenges to humanity in an intensive but objective discourse in such a way that the community of thinkers can find common solutions? Will open communication with the goal of the participation of as many as possible stabilize the democracies or will hierarchies and dictatorships destroy the open society from dominance over the media? It’s also up to us, how we shape and communicate our thoughts.

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