Posts from art

Funding Friday: Half-Light

Earlier this week, I backed this project from an artist in Iran.

The project is now over. It was funded with almost $10,000. So her photography book will be made and shared with the world.

It is too bad that I didn’t share this with all of you while the project was live so you could back it as I did.

But this project exhibits all of the things that makes Kickstarter so important to me.

It is from the heart, it is art, it is full of meaning, it is from a person halfway around the world that I don’t know and probably will never know.

And it moved me.

The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Two hundred and fifty years ago, in 1768, The Royal Academy in London decided to hold an annual exhibition of “paintings, sculpture, and design” that would be “open to all artists of distinguished merit” and so began the summer exhibition.

We’ve been attending the summer exhibition on and off for something like ten years and I really love it. We went today, which is the 250th annual event.

As you can see in the photo above, which is from maybe 150 years ago, they pack the walls with art. You can barely see the walls there is so much art on them.

But the thing I love most is the way they hang an unknown twenty-year-old painter next to a Hockney. It really speaks to me and represents an egalitarian approach that is rare in the art world and the worlds beyond art.

You can buy many of the works at the summer exhibition and we have done that a few times over the years. Not today, as many of the works we liked had been sold or were not for sale. But I like that it is a place you can collect and many of the works are not particularly expensive.

If you live in London or the UK, you have likely gone. If not, you should. And if you are not from the UK but find yourself in London this summer, you should go.

Video Of The Week: Kevin Slavin on “Getting Brilliant People to Surprise Themselves”

There is a new cultural institution being built in NYC right now, the first major new cultural institution built in NYC in quite a while. It is called The Shed and its mission is to be “The first arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture.”

I have been fortunate to have had a ground floor seat to watch this come together and observe the team led by the Chairman Dan Doctoroff and CEO Alex Poots make something that is equally ambitious and futuristic.

The CTO of The Shed is Kevin Slavin, who is well known to folks in the NYC tech community. He’s an entrepreneur, academic, and technologist.

In this video, made by Y Combinator, Kevin talks about how to get “brilliant people to surprise themselves” which is something Kevin and The Shed are going to have to do frequently in order to live up to their mission.

Video Of The Week: Digital Art On The Blockchain

About 3:15 into this video Chris Burniske asks an interesting question about how the CryptoKitties team thought about designing the kitties and the next ~four minutes are a revealing discussion about how blockchains may change the way digital art is created and sold in the future.

Funding Friday: Eyebeam’s New Home

Eyebeam is a “a nonprofit studio for collaborative experiments with technology” which is based in NYC and has been connecting artists with technology for twenty years.

Eyebeam is moving into a new studio and is doing a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise funds for some extras. They have already reached their minimum funding target of $15k but if they can reach $20k, they will be able to “purchase live-streaming equipment to enable event programs to be accessed globally.”

I backed this project this morning and if you are a fan of Eyebeam, like me, you can back it too right here.

Rich Media Art Display

I enjoy rich media art and I’ve always wanted to figure out how to display it in an easy way.

We have some rich media art displays in the USV office. We have an Electric Objects and a Meural. They are nice, but they are proprietary systems and at least one of these companies has folded already.

What I’ve always wanted is the ability to showcase rich media art with standard off the shelf hardware.

So when we recently replaced an old TV with a new one, I took the old one and put it on the wall in my home office.

And when the Gotham Gal got a new Mac Mini, I took the old one and mounted it to the back of that display.

Then I cleaned up the old Mac Mini (basically a factory reset) and then launched a browser and went and found some art.

There is a lot of rich media art on Vimeo and you can put a playlist together and run it in full screen mode in the browser.

Here is my display doing that:

I also have been playing around with Sedition Art’s Art Stream service. It’s a subscription service that lets you stream twelve curated works of art that are updated weekly on your display at any time.

Here’s my display doing that:

There are some services out there that are based on Chromebit that I am interested in trying. I got a Chromebit and am working on setting that up. I will report back on that once I get it working.

My conclusion is this. If you have old displays and computers that you don’t need anymore, they are easy to turn into rich media displays. You should try it. It’s great.