March 5, 2017

Armory Live Talks: Collecting Digital Art

This year, the symposiums at the Armory Fair seem to be improving slightly, giving me a single ray of hope that people will realize that the fairs should amplify the symposium component of art fairs in general.

(start rant)

The strategic apex of an art fair is its ability to collate collectors in one place at one time. The downside is that this subverts the role of the gallery as a prime presenter and community builder of collectors, artists and the art viewing public. It's like processed food, separating and concentrating nutrients to the point where they enter the body asynchronous to the natural system of digestion. It turns collecting into crack, every hit of industrially condensed art/audience/buyers/collectors, amplifying desire and sequentially reducing satisfaction in a logarithmic reduction towards zero. It's a free world and if the market presently gives an advantage to a portable bazaar, we all can only shrug and cope until the day that everyone realizes that they've been taken for granted when art fairs arrogate their advantage, overcharging and dictating what galleries can exhibit in their booths, throttling both customers galleries and collectors, alluring artists to cater to the market. Then on that day, we might recover the freedom to take our business elsewhere... eventually providing the art fair business model a motivation to self regulate and recover it's equilibrium. The art fair itself is not bad intrinsically, but only so when it it tends to be the only game in town.

(end rant)

Most of the topics in this years Armory Live offerings catered to the collecting class. I hope in the future, art fairs would showcase the symposium part of their program and amplify its content towards artists in general.

Here are my notes from the talk about collecting digital art. I was curious about what can be done with the problems arising from rapid technological change. We cycle through computers and cell phones one generation after another, operating systems become obsolete, hardware eventually ends up in third world scrapyards in the blink of an eye, media becomes legacy media faster and faster. I've got a stack of transparencies from the 90's that are waiting to be scanned into jpegs. I've been archiving this blog into the WayBack Machine. What are digital artists doing to cope with accelerating change?

Conversations on Collecting | Collecting Digital: Art, Technology, Preservation and Posterity

PARTICIPANTS: Tabor Robak, Artist, New York; Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Pamela and Richard Kramlich, Collectors, San Francisco; Michael Connor, Artistic Director, Rhizome, New York; Sima Familant, Private Curator, Art Advisor, New York; Michael Xufu Huang, Collector and Co-Founder, M WOODS, Beijing
MODERATOR: Erica Barrish, President of EAB Fine Art Services, New York


Posted by Dennis at March 5, 2017 9:16 AM

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