Art has been around for as long as humanity has been making tools. The two skills grew together out of the same exceedingly creative human mind. In this way, art and technology are inextricably linked together, evolving together even if they are not evolving on exactly the same path.
As technology evolves, our lives and the world around us changes. As our lives and world change, so to do our expressions (both what we express and how we express it). In modern art, we can see this link more powerfully than ever as new technologies offer an even wider range of mediums which artists can use.
The turn of the 20th century, for example, saw major shifts in artistic mediums. It was at this time that photography was invented and with that came a whole new way of representing the world around us. Around that same time, film also emerged providing artists for the first time in history the ability to create moving pictures. This changed the scope of what could be expressed. No longer was the artist limited to expressing a single emotion or a single moment in time. With film, the artist can tell a story or show a more complex and detailed perspective of a single moment and emotion. The possibilities were endless.
Later on, the computer came into being and brought a slew of new technologies and abilities including digital media and the ability to digitally manipulate photographs and other images. This meant that there was no longer a clear distinction between representing the real through creative production (painting, drawing, etc) and depicting the real through objective mediums (photography, film, etc). Now, one could take a photograph of a real scene and manipulate to look however he or she chose.
In addition to changing mediums of expression, technology influenced the subject of artistic creations. As technology became more and more advanced, it inspired a wide range of new art including science fiction, futurist art, utopian art, dystopian art and many other art forms that dealt directly with ideas and philosophies surrounding technology.
Perhaps one of the clearest examples of the influence of technology on art (and more specifically the ways in which the two are related) is architecture. Architecture is both an art and a technological production. In architecture, our technological abilities combine with our artistic preferences to create structures and monuments that are wholly unique to the time period in which they have been built.
The further technology progresses and the more art evolves and changes; the easier it becomes to see how closely linked the two are. Although they play very different roles in our society (technology is purely functional while art is generally conceptual and rarely actually useful in our everyday lives), they have evolved and developed out of the same uniquely human talent. That is, the human talent for creating.
Where other species must adapt and change according to their environments, humans are able to adapt and change the environment according to our needs and desires. Thus, we represent, understand, and experience the world around us through art while we constantly alter and rearrange that world we are experiencing through technology.