Things have been wild during our Kickstarter campaign. Aet and I have been working hard to get SprayPrinter featured in big media outlets, which has been a success! For example: international news agency Reuters and extremely popular Bored Panda found the idea so amazing that they published stories about us. The video on LadBible had over 2.5 million views!
But actually, all these news stories made me feel troubled . When I first saw the headlines “Smart spray technology makes you Banksy“ I thought, “well okay, this is their way of seeing things“. I would never make a claim like this, but if the journalist sees the potential, it’s only good for us, right? Still my gentle artist heart started to bleed reading the titles “This device can instantly make you an artist“ and “with the help of technology now everyone can be an artist”. What the f!$% is wrong with journalism these days? We have never ever stated that a machine can make you into an artist instantly. SprayPrinter is a device of reproduction. Like your inkjet printer that sits on the office table. You can print images to a wall. That doesn’t make you an artist. Ideas make you an artist. And SprayPrinter is a perfect tool to fulfil your ideas. Sprayprinting is a new printmaking technique connecting analogue and digita,l mechanics and human hand movement. But that just doesn’t sound that intriguing for click-hungry journalists.
Being an artist is a way of thinking, a way of receiving the world and communicating your ideas and feelings.The thing that separates humans from machines is the ability to think critically and independently. SprayPrinter doesn’t do that for you. But the thing that SprayPrinter can do is give you new opportunities. It’s a new tool that makes it easier to bring ideas to reality. Let’s say you have a really clever statement you would like to share with the world or a beautiful design you created in Illustrator, but you lack the skill of bringing it to the physical world, onto a wall for example. Then with the little help from our friend SprayPrinter, you can do it!
The amount of questions SprayPrinter raises act as proof of the huge potential SprayPrinter has. In the articles, videos, and posts about SprayPrinter I’ve found some really deep discussions about the definition of art, plagiarism, and the relationship between art and technology. Here are some examples:
It seems that the haters are forming two main groups – one that claims that a machine isn’t able to instantly turn you into an artist and another that is afraid of losing their job to a machine?
I understand that innovation, new machines, and new possibilities can be scary. It has always been difficult for people to adapt changes. When the first photo cameras were invented in 19th century photography wasn’t accepted as an art form. It took years and years for people to get to the idea that a machine could help create art. The main argument was that if a machine can create art, it’s the end of art. And you can see how photography has changed our perception of the world and only expanded artistic opportunities.
I’d say it’s only the beginning. The potential of SprayPrinter is not about being an artist or not, but rather it’s about spreading messages and ideas all over the world. I do believe that there shouldn’t be so many blank walls out there.