Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Tech Art

Recommendations on tech art from my Swarthmore classmate Branen Salmon...some pretty neat stuff here for those who are interested in how technology and art intersect.

Well, broadly, tech art appropriates technologies and applies them towards aesthetic or critical ends--often both. It's a wildly broad space, and Seattle's tech art community has people working all throughout it. There are a few "full-time" artists [1], but most of the folks in the scene are either software developers, engineers, or musicians by trade. (Or self-fashioned mad scientists [2] with academic day jobs.) I don't have a good feel for the market--I'm sure that some people collect tech art, but I get the impression that most of the people making it aren't expecting to sell anything. That could just be my bias, though--my favorites have this odd tendency to be big, fragile, dangerous, environmental, mobile, social, or otherwise unruly.

But yeah! Seattle's tech art community is big and full of quality. If you'd like to catch something closer to home, Philly has (had? I'm speaking circa 2004/5, here) some truly kickass artists. New York's got a lot of stuff going on (though it's less cohesive than Philly), and I'd be shocked if Boston didn't have something, too. Good places to start include the Slought Foundation [3] and Klein Gallery [4] in Philly, Eyebeam [5] in NYC, AXIOM in Boston [6], and Dorkbot [7] in all three cities.

[1] http://www.washington.edu/dxarts/profile_research.php?who=brixey&project=vault
[2] http://amasci.com/art/pondmach/pond3.html
[3] http://slought.org/
[4] http://www.kleinartgallery.org/current_exhibition.htm
[5] http://eyebeam.org/
[6] http://www.axiomart.org/
[7] http://dorkbot.org/

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