TechArt Predictions -2021

Finally we are at the end of the 2020… Its a propitious time for… Predictions! So what are the Tech+Art trends that will make “waves” in 2021.

1.Cobots and artists

Cobots are the artist’s best friends. The mantra “robots will take all our jobs’‘ will get new nuances, and actually, we will take steps toward seeing them as our partners. Cobots – or collaborative robots – will be the way to go. Already in the art fields, you can see their influence. The nice part of it, is that Cobots are not there just to do the job you don’t like, but to make a new kind of ”art”. Let’s take the example of how quantum physicist and ballerina, Merret Moore, is changing the rules of the game. She is reinventing ballet while dancing with cobots.

Artist Sougwen Chung invested in the human-robot partnership: she has designed and build her own cobot that draws. And many times, the cobot is performing directly at art exhibitions, and it seems successful, and joint works are valued over 100.000 euro. (WashingtonPost)

2. Sound and audio experiences

Already before Covid, podcasts were popular, and the need for them increased during the pandemic. For the first time, well-known and trendsetter Tribeca Festival announce a new section of its competition: Podcast. More exactly, Tribeca is looking for engaging fiction and narrative non-fiction audio stories (and the deadline is open until 13 January, 2021).

But, music and sound, in general, gained traction. For example, classical music experienced a huge boom during the lockdown, young people starting massively listening to Bach or Mozart, according to a research by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the same time, artists such as Jean Michell Jarre reinvent himself, introducing the concept of generative music.

We are not sure which will be the biggest trend, but one thing seems to be clear: everything related to sound, music, audio is not only in demand, but it is on the path for innovation. Audio creators, it is your time. All the rest: work together with them! 

3. Digital Fashion

Fashion as an industry that will have to change, signals were clear, and well-known trend-hunters clearly predicted this. While the mainstream players started to rapidly digitalize and go online, a new niche emerged: digital fashion. It seems that there is a need for fashion newness for our online persona, apart from the need for physical clothing. *Not to mention that gamers have been spending a significant amount of money on virtual clothing for years already. For example, Glu Mobile’s ‘Covet Fashion’ game, which allows users to style models with digitally rendered designer clothing, generated $53.4 million already in 2018. In addition to gaming, e-sports is a growing trend across Gen Z generation, and brands are already testing the appetite for luxury.
The need for digital fashion is there, pandemic just made it visible and grow its popularity.
A crucial factor was also a home office and more time spent online, and as such the “nice-to-have” shows signs of turning into “must-have”.
And another niche in development and not fully exploited yet, is the cinematic XR production, which has a growing trend. Be it animation, art form, or played by actors, characters will need to express their personality through fashion.

4. Digital Beauty

Digital Beauty. Closely linked to fashion, it is the industry. of beauty Similar to fashion, gamers have already shown needs for more up-to-date makeup. Skin, hairstyle, and make-up that are for digital use only. An important factor is also the home-office, and global gathering for socializing with like-minded people. As such the need to develop and give a certain flavor to your online-persona will be in demand.
Avatars have become more and more popular, and we love to play around and talk as our avatar. Also for Zoom, Snap, Google or IG, L’Oreal Paris rolled out in November digital-only makeups. Back in 2018, L’Oréal bought an augmented reality filter company, Modiface, and 2020 showed it was a worthy investment. In the same time, digital make-up artists become popular and start collaborations with companies. For example, Innes Alpha collaborated with Allure magazine for their “The Future of Beauty” issue (which might actually be now).

5. Science+Art

During history, both technological revolution and scientific discovery influenced art.
Firstly, it offered new opportunities by using new technological inventions and applying it to art.
Secondly, as science and technology changed society, it offers new material to reflect on, to raise questions, to show-up the mirror to society, to be sarcastic, so on.
We are in the middle of revolutions, although some will argue that we are at the beginning: huge advancement in technology, 5G is coming, there is a race for quantum computers, physicists, mathematicians, biologists come up with new and new discoveries, paradigms that will change the way we live. It is more than clear that we are in the season when art, science and technology are becoming interlinked. Scientists will team up with artists, and artists will be seen spending time in labs.
We believe this will influence a lot of fields: from theater, to cinema, to fine art.

6. RIP Storytelling. Long Live Storyliving

RIP Storytelling. Long Live Storyliving! Sound like’’the king is dead, long live the king’’, of course the throne shall never remain empty.
Immersive technology is the go-for-it for the young generations. People don’t just want to see a story, want to live it! And, indeed, wouldn’t it be nice to be a Hogwarts student and Harry Potter BFF? From this point of view, digital content is all about to change. A small step is needed, but the revolution is on the way: 5G. Currently, it is impossible to stream high-quality multi-user experiences. But 5G will permit much faster data transfers. Moreover, the request for both location-based and home-based entertainment is growing. The headsets are getting better and better, and more importantly cheaper, and who knows, maybe one day a thinner stylish glass will be available?
But besides technical issues that currently the industry is facing, a new generation of creators are here, to experiment and create stories that will bring new worlds and visions. And on TechvangArt, we have highlighted some creators and the diversity of stories that they are bringing in: imagining how AI will transform us (Anatola Araba, AI Algorithms), to
how technology can impact history and stories (Hsin-Cheng Huang, Bodyless)
Or how to enter into mind of a person with autism (Sonja Bejic, Chocolate Milk)
or feel the wonderful world of people with synesthesia (Ola Pankratova, Synesthesia)
These examples are just a few XR experiences we have covered.

From the ecosystem point of view, all major festivals now have special sections for XR creators, and matchmaking opportunities with investors or producers. Moreover, there is a growing interest to invent new types of entertainment spaces.

Unexpected twists and turns are the characteristics of our times. Science and technology is evolving at an unprecedented speed influencing and changing everything around us.
What will the future bring?
Nobody knows, but definitely not the comfort zones, where we can be relaxed that everything will “go smoothly as planned”.
But in the future, different forms of art will find ways to respond to the changes and new realities that come.
It always did, and it always will do. This is its mission. Because art was always about uncomfortable zones to be explored.
2020 had its not so desired surprises, especially for the cultural and creative sectors, forced to imagine new ways. Definitely some trends that emerged, will continue. And some will gain new power, reshaping the cultural and creative industries.
How?
We just made some trials for some guesses. But, time will tell, what forms and discourses and instruments will invent, for the arts of the new times ahead.

So keep your eyes close to the mind and be prepared for unexpected or long-expected changes