At Farmboy Fine Arts, we don’t just provide art consulting services to brands and design firms working in the hospitality, senior living, corporate and healthcare sectors—we aim to activate these spaces through the meaningful incorporation of art. And for us, innovation has always been a core value; we believe in the transformative effects of art and thrive on creative thinking.
As a part of the culture of innovation we foster here at our Vancouver studio, we always dedicate considerable time and energy into researching and ideating how we can fuse the trends we see in the art world with those emerging in the sectors we work within. So, there is no question that over the last few years one of our main focusses has been on technology. From hotels to hospitals, brands are becoming evermore aware of technology’s role in evolving and enhancing the guest experience, and for us, this opens up the door to the possibility of integrating interactive and experiential art experiences into these settings.
In hospitality design, interiors have become increasingly streamlined and architectural, and in some cases this has eschewed the opportunities for traditional wall art. However, art has always been one of the elements that brings character into a space and humanizes it. As a solution in one recent brand standard program we were involved in, the hotel chain was looking to incorporate digital artwork that would play through the televisions in each guest room.
Now, in knowing that luxury hotel brands today collect a lot more information about their customers’ preferences so they can tailor individual guest experiences along those lines, just imagine if technology also enabled those preferences to inform the art that is generated in the guest room. That art experience could start during your stay at one property location, and continue during your stay at another.
This concept of ‘generative art’ refers to artworks that utilize autonomous, non-human systems to determine features of an artwork that would otherwise require decisions made directly by the artist. So, while the frameworks and behaviors of these systems are outlined by the artist, the final piece is ‘generated’ by the system itself, offering unique artworks that can continually reinvent themselves as the system takes in new data and interprets it through the lens of its programming.
In a brand standard program, once the art’s conceptual framework and aesthetics have been developed, each individual property can incorporate regionally and personally relevant elements, such as data inputs generated from within the local area or from individual user preferences, to create art experiences that are consistent to the brand but unique to each property or guest.
The possibilities of how art can be created with the use of autonomous systems doesn’t end there, however. A great example is a project in which the artist Andreas Nicolas Fischer worked with Mercedes-Benz to transform the powerful engine sound of the SLS AMG into a series of undulating wall sculptures through the use of computerized systems. For a music-themed resort we worked on in Mexico, FBFA proposed that popular rock anthems, traditional Mexican folk songs, or any other imaginable musical inputs could be interpreted by a computer system to generate a wide range of two– and three– dimensional art forms.
We also explored the similar concept of ‘interactive art’, where the art actually involves the spectator to achieve its purpose. Interactive art frequently features computers and sensors that respond to motion, heat, meteorological changes or other types of input that the artist has programmed it to interpret. Some interactive art installations accomplish this by letting the observer or visitor walk in, on, or around the work.
For this project, we loved the example of sound artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s interactive installation Experiment in F# Minor, which responds to the viewer’s shadow. As the viewer walks around a table of speakers and leans over to listen, the individual audio tracks fade up or down accordingly. Imagine how engaging this would be as you walk through a hotel lobby or down it’s long corridors. In other instances, the changes could take effect from inputs outside the hotel, such as traffic or weather, to reflect the mood of the city right inside the property itself for visitors.
The possibilities with generative and interactive art really are limitless, and as the costs of technology continuously become more affordable, more and more these opportunities are becoming a reality. Roll that out across an entire brand, and the economies of scale put them even more into the hotel industry’s favor. All of a sudden, our motto, ‘Experience Art Everywhere’, is evermore achievable.