Posts from art

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.

Funding Friday: The Ollie Chair

The Gotham Gal is an investor and Board member of Rock Paper Robot, which designs and manufactures furniture for modern living environments. Their newest design, The Ollie Chair, is coming to market this year and they are running a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the manufacturing of the chair. It launched this week and has already passed it’s initial goal of $80k, but I know that they would like to raise more than that, and they already have. It’s an awesome chair and an awesome company. If you want to get an Ollie Chair and/or support this campaign, the Kickstarter is here.

Here’s the video. It’s great and well worth the 3mins.

Art Basel

The Gotham Gal and I just spent four days in Miami at Art Basel, one of the big global art fairs that collectors come to every year.

We have been collecting art as a hobby since we were in our mid 20s. We got a bit more serious about it in our mid 30s and have been collecting emerging artists ever since.

We have never sold any of our art and I doubt we ever will. We don’t approach art as an investment or a business. We approach it as something we enjoy doing together and enjoy having around us. We also enjoy knowing the artists and watching them develop their craft over time. We also have gotten to know and like a number of dealers over the years. 

Our focus on emerging artists is much like the angel investments the Gotham Gal makes or the VC investments my partners and I make at USV. We like to meet artists as they are starting their career and follow them, and collect them, as their careers develop.

We have bought art at shows that art students have done in undergraduate and graduate school. We have bought art at edgy underground galleries and shows where new artists and new styles emerge. I feel like these are like seed investments in some ways. 

We mostly like to buy art from the galleries that specialize in emerging artists and the art fairs that cater to this market. These are like Series A and Series B investments in some ways.

We have not participated in the more established artist sector even when the artists we have collected get there. We maybe should change that. Like USV did with our Opportunity Fund.

Over the past thirty years we have bought some wonderful pieces. We have them around us, in our offices and homes. And we get joy from them every day.

We bought some new work this week at Basel and may buy some more of what we saw in the weeks and months ahead as we think more about it.

Yesterday as we worked our way through one of the most edgy fairs down here, I asked the Gotham Gal about a sculpture we had seen about twenty minutes previously. She said “I have moved on from it”. But both of us were still thinking about another work we had seen around the same time. We ended up purchasing the latter one.

The same is true of seed and early stage investments. Sometimes when you meet a company and you like what you hear but a day or two later you aren’t enthusiastic about it. Other times you can’t stop thinking about the opportunity for days and weeks after the meeting. That’s how you know what early stage investments to make and the same is largely true with art, at least in the way that we collect it.

The Creative Independent

In a world full of click bait media and fake news, it is harder than ever to find authentic and meaningful content on the Internet. The utopian early days of blogging in the early 2000s, when this blog was started, seem long gone.

But the Internet is a vast place and there is quality content on it. Podcasts are a particularly bright spot right now and remain largely unpolluted.

The most exciting new entrant into my daily reads this year is The Creative Independent which quietly started publishing in late September.

The Creative Independent is a publication by artists for artists and is funded entirely by Kickstarter PBC and is advertising free. 

Their mission is to “is to educate, inspire, and grow the community of people who create or dream of creating.”

Each day a new post appears that is about a particular artist and it’s dives into something specific about them and their work. I follow The Creative Independent on Twitter and am taken into the world of art and artists every day. 

If you are looking for something a bit more meaningful to read every day or if you are an artist or have an appreciation for artists and their work, you may enjoy The Creative Independent as much as I do.