Programming for Electric Objects
In July and August of 2014, I worked with the fantastic folks from Electric Objects to coordinate a Pop Up Showroom in Gray Area’s new Art + Technology theater.
Having just held a successful Pop Up Showroom in NYC (their home town), the EO team wanted to replicate the experience in SF during the final week of their hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. Just two short weeks before the event was to take place, I was hired to coordinate and promote the weekend, as well as to program three events which would each bring a different demographic through the doors and provide a different type of engagement. Read on for details regarding the VIP preview, panel discussion, and artist demo day events.
VIP preview of the Pop Up Showroom
This event leveraged the existing Launch Party that EO had planned for later that evening by creating a special moment for VIP guests. I reached out to a select group of press, social media influencers, and museum workers with information about the showroom and a special VIP invitation. Guests who attended were provided with demos by the EO team, and drinks, of course, were served.
Panel Discussion: URL Meets IRL
On Saturday, August 2, I programmed and moderated URL Meets IRL, a discussion diving into ideas of art making, viewing, and collecting in the digital age. As a program, this event aligns with much of the thinking and writing I have already been doing in relation to digital vs. analog art.
“There’s more art on the Internet than in every gallery and museum on Earth,” says the team at Electric Objects. But is computer art stuck in limbo between the fine art world and the fast pace of culture online? URL Meets IRL will dive into big ideas surrounding the future of creativity on the Internet, and the questions that loom as we seek out better tools for the art and artists of the digital age.
- Ben Valentine works for The Civic Beat, and has written and spoken about art and technology for SXSW, Salon, Hyperallergic, YBCA, & VICE to name a few.
- Cortney Cassidy is a visual designer and artist in Oakland, and is a founder of CCOOLL, a collaborative project with a community of internet friends.
- Keir Winesmith is the inaugural Head of Digital at SFMOMA with previous lives including public broadcasting in Australia, and interactive art projects in Europe.
- Min Liu is an entrepreneur whose goal is to enrich people’s lives by deepening their understanding of art and bringing more art to the home.
- Zoë Salditch oversees all things art and community at Electric Objects. Previously at Rhizome & Eyebeam, she only thinks about art & tech.
- How do we currently define and embrace digital art, and how will this change in the future? Will modes of making, viewing and collecting digital art conform to fit in with the existing art market, or is a new system necessary?
- Does the “persistence” of an artwork increase its ability to have an impact? Digital art relies on hardware and software to be displayed – what does persistence look like when an artwork must be turned “on” in order to be viewed?
- How does the context of the Internet inform digital art, and what happens when that context is stripped away? What about the opposite, when object-based works of art (i.e. painting, sculpture, paper-based works, etc) are thrust into the digital realm?
- The Internet is bringing visual culture to more people than ever before, and there’s no doubt that tools for creating and sharing artwork are allowing more people to explore their own creativity and taste in exciting ways. With the popularization of art, does the established art world have a responsibility? How do curators, designers, and institutions fit into this picture? Is it time to wage a war to keep context alive?
If you’re curious to hear how the discussion unfolded, scroll down to read the Storify archive and watch the Youtube video of the talk.
On Sunday, Artist Demo Day offered digital artists the chance to interact directly with the EO1.
Digital artists were invited to submit work online or stop by the Pop Up Showroom in person to try out the EO1 in a very hands-on way. I captured Vine videos of each of the artworks we displayed, and artists were able to see how their work looked on the screen regardless of whether they were able to attend the event. Through my personal social media accounts and the Electric Objects accounts, we garnered a great amount of interest and at least 40 submissions of original artwork. See all of the work I captured on Vine.