Art in the Digital Age: Part 2
I try to keep up with technology, but things keep rapidly accelerating. I am way behind, as the pace of change seems to be exponential, not just doubling every couple of years. It’s Moore’s law all over again (often cited, Gordon Moore’s observation that, over the history of computers, everything doubles every two years). Honestly, I rely on journalists and my young employees to keep me (even slightly) up to date.
Yesterday’s news that Facebook acquired WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars has me wondering: mobile computing is incredibly pervasive, and if everyone is on their phone, how does the use of mobile devices affect the way that people interact with art? Questions have been floating around in my head for years now, as I try to get a grip on how people are viewing and interacting with art. That’s because we try in every way to reach our audience: website, blog, videos, and online publications.
My gallery uses a lot of technology, though personally, I prefer art to be a direct, living and sensual experience. Is this working? And is it good for the artists? Is it good for the art? When we present an exhibition, far more people view it online than in person. We know this from the website data. We also know it anecdotally: “Oh, I saw your show online. What are you doing next?” is pretty much what I hear.
I wonder, and hear others asking questions: How does mobile computing affect the way that the public interacts with museum shows? How does the rise of corporate-owned news aggregators in the arts affect the perception of art and the way that people see exhibitions? When people “share” art on social media, is that an effective way to communicate? What media translate the best in the new digital age? What does not?
I missed out on the Whitney’s recent symposium and event about how the museum experience has been transformed by digital media, and wish I could know more about the ways that curators and art critics are viewing the topic. By the way, a tip of the hat to our friend Dan Phiffer, who developed a site-specific network that was used for the Whitney event.
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