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Clemency Burton-Hill explores what technological advances offer to artists. Computers can help us paint, design, write stories and compose music but do they make our work better?

Clemency Burton-Hill presents a landmark series exploring the impact of technology on creativity. Across three episodes we trace how technology has shaped the creative process, from conception to execution, to sharing and experiencing. Technology may help us to be more productive, but does it make our ideas better?

In the second programme we focus on the execution of ideas. As technology has improved how has it enabled artists to create new kinds of work?

Musician Holly Herndon reveals how technology is not only central to her creative process but it's also key in terms of subject matter. She responds to the impact of technology on society and is raising an AI baby that she's teaching to sing.

Doug Eck from Google's Magenta is also looking to create new forms. His goal is to create a new form of art, generated by computers. If fifty years of music was driven by the electric guitar, perhaps it's time for a new type of sound generated with the help of machine learning and AI?

We hear from visual artists including Trevor Paglan and James Bridle, who reveal the hidden infrastructures of the internet.

Writer Ed Finn asks what impact these technological advances are having on our cultural output? Instagram's filters may make us feel creative but does increasingly average perfection lie ahead?

Computers can help us paint, write stories, design objects and compose music, but as technology is heralded as an enabler to a better life, do we risk losing sight of that spark of imagination that makes us human? If human beings are no longer needed to make art, then what are we for?

Produced by Barney Rowntree.
A Reduced Listening production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

45 minutes


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