Is Microsoft the digital art world’s newest best friend?

Those wacky guys over at PBS’s Idea Channel. The show, which focuses on the convergence of tech, art and pop culture, recently did a segment on how Microsoft’s Kinect has the potential to create amazing digital art.

Hosted by Mike Rugnetta and produced by Kornhaber Brown, the piece focuses on how the Kinect is affecting the digital art world and how artists produce pieces — using its movement sensory technology to create all sorts of awesomeness — as well as what the technology might mean to the larger digital art movement.

“Artists of all stripes have embraced the Kinect — using the gesture recognition technology to create some pretty amazing interactive artworks and insanely impressive visuals,” read the show’s description on YouTube. “These works wouldn’t have existed without this amazing piece of technology, making the corporate giant Microsoft the 21st century’s incarnation of Lorenzo de Medici [Leonardo da Vinci's benefactor].”

Among its many achievements, Microsoft probably won’t go down in history as a great patron of art — but this is a really intriguing snapshot into an albeit very condensed history of how new technologies have influenced art, like the Bell Labs artist in residence program.

Here’s the clip: