Public Art in the Digital Space


In the last Elephant magazine, curator Rafal Niemojewski explains his views that the exhibition model is a remnant from an antiquated time. His doctoral studies were on the role the biennal as offering the artist more structural flexibility with which to exhibit art, now imagining the next curatorial phase will take place in the public, with artists more in control of how their work is viewed. This will allow for different forms of art to thrive, including long-duration pieces for example. “…now there’s much more art coming to the street and to public spaces. I think in the coming decades public art will be the most prevalent type of practice.” (Elephant Spring 2014)

With Tomorrow and Today I envision a platform for artists to contribute content in a narrative, long-form or some other way. I’ve talked to a few artists that are interested in how relevant it would be to their work.

My question is how we can learn more about the world around us with technology? How can our bajillion devices provide a deeper (yet nonintrusive) connection to our surroundings, and the cultural and historical significance hiding behind every wall? By connecting the exhibition experience with place-based applications, can artists get exposure to a wider audience? Can digital technologies potentially provide a new exhibition model, where the artist is in complete control of how their work is shown?


The technology that I will be using to build the MVP will be pretty simple – a mobile web application, but eventually the data points for each place will be available via geolocation so that you receive notifications when you are nearby points of interest.

I explored some of the latest AR apps – Yelp Monocle, Across Air and Wikitude (although eoVision is interesting) – and feel that the experience is still too glitchy to be incorporated into this project. I’m thinking something more along the lines of Google Now or the more recent Field Trip, in which you can look at a view with Google Glass and simple cards pop up with relevant information.

Each place on the Tomorrow and Today map will have a network of people and artworks connected, and the user will be able to scroll through and experience the content randomly. E-commerce links to purchase art prints or concert tickets will also be folded in – what you can do to be a part of this place now or in the future.

Amber Case and the team at Geoloqi are doing really interesting work on location-based services. I’m thinking the Google maps API will be sufficient for this project but I’d be interested to learn more about the capabilities of the Geoloqi system. Case is emphatic that technology can help us improve our lives, but it better get out of the way when you don’t need it. I agree – once technology is no longer in our view and is simply an enabler, integrated into our lives, we will have a much smoother existence.

Published by Elizabeth Pizzuti

Design, art, and cats mostly

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