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iPad Artwork

There's an App for That

In a world where devices, programs and apps are slowly replacing tools, technique and talent, Future/Canvas takes step in the direction of further meshing the world of technology and art without overstepping boundaries.

On display at the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, the iPad art show celebrates the emergence of a yet-developing medium with a showcase of highly imaginative and innovative art and apps. This show follows last year's first ever multiple-artist iPad art show also held in San Francisco and features generative art, interactive art, as well as digital art and fingerpainting.

The modestly-sized multimedia showcase presents a combination of works from prints of illustrations made with various programs like ArtRage to more hands-on pieces made with applications like Magic Window, allowing tech-creatives a chance to nurture their artistic side without betraying their true selves too much.

A bulk of the printed work found on the walls are portraits originally created on iPads, and while falling a bit short of the goal of capturing the true depth and texture of tangible mediums like acrylic or watercolor on canvas, they definitely display the potential of digital art and the shape it may take in the future. Still, with portraits of recognizable figures like Steve Wozniak (who was rumored to have shown up at the first Future/Canvas show) and even those of anonymous people, the works do possess a little of the charm of more traditional art aesthetics.

The interactive works in the showcase are highly collaborative efforts with an emphasis on participation from on-lookers. One particularly outstanding piece, “Magic Window” combines the skills of a number of programmers and audio engineers with the artful technique of a few great photographers to share time-lapsed pictures from regions all over the country. Hal Bergman, one of the photographers involved, spent six weeks traveling on an unlimited JetBlue pass to capture the breathtaking images, which including many Bay Area scenes. Stand back and one can see the sun slowly setting on a foggy city as miniscule squares on massive buildings begin glowing with lights. With a drag of a finger on the screen, the scene moves in any direction – from night to day and back – at the speed of each person's choosing.

Other intriguing pieces include Oscilloscoop, an almost synesthetic application designed by Lukas Girling with Scott Sona Snibbe and Graham McDermott that provides visual representation of music loops that can be manipulated by users dragging their fingertips over the oscillating crowns of sound.

While this show is small, it makes up for humble size by offering a glimpse into the future of the inventiveness of iPad art as well as the programs and applications that make its progression possible.

Gray Area Foundation for the Arts
Now through June 23rd