The Gallery Spaces Program, deliberately written in the plural, brings a large number of international galleries and collections with their different positions on digital art to the Ars Electronica Festival.
But there is more to it than showing digital artists represented by galleries: it is above all about the changing conditions of creating and marketing art under the impact of digitalization.
For a long time, gallerists and collectors have been looking rather skeptically at media art—for many quite different reasons, such as its novelty and highly experimental approach, the technical aspects, its virtual and ephemeral nature, the difficulties of preservation and maintenance, and so on. But many of these problems are no longer particular to media art – they have become our everyday problems, and we are increasingly getting used to dealing with them.
Media art in its many forms has a long tradition, and while works based on digital code, using the internet or virtual reality, are still young we can look way back to the early days of film and photography, to kinetic sculptures, op art, video art or also radio drama, musique concrete and electronic music. And it becomes more and more clear that digitally based art is a major part of the cultural heritage of our century and will play an even larger role in the coming decades—not instead of the other forms of artistic expression but in addition to them, side by side.
This confronts us with exciting developments but also with very difficult challenges. What kind of skills are necessary to create this art, to evaluate and to appreciate it, to preserve it and to keep it alive? But the art market itself is also experiencing a big digital transformation; online art magazines, online galleries and Internet auctions are booming, new hybrid business models are being explored—some successfully, some with spectacular failures.
Accordingly, new possibilities and business models for positioning oneself on the digital online marketplace are discussed as well as digital strategies for museums and established art collections. Further questions of the workshops and discussion rounds are how digital art can be preserved in the long term and how the many works created since the 1960s can be restored and preserved for the future.
With its continuous work and experience in the production and presentation of media art and digital art since 1979, as well as the remarkable exhibition areas of “POSTCITY,” Ars Electronica is the ideal environment for this exchange. The program at this year’s Ars Electronica Festival will feature artists’ talks and presentations in a dedicated, approximately 1000-square meter gallery space, and special guided tours for collectors and gallerists.
Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt (DE/US)
This year, the Art Market Initiative Tours once again offer the opportunity to become immersed in the world of the New Media Art Market. The second tour looks at the Gallery Spaces exhibition from the art market point of view.
Christl Baur (DE)
This year, the Art Market Initiative Tours once again offer the opportunity to become immersed in the world of the New Media Art Market. The first tour, with an artistic orientation, tries to capture the abstract and poetic side of the Gallery Spaces.
Students of the Department of Interface Cultures
Students from Interface Cultures at University of Art and Design Linz will take you through their exhibition. They present their projects, explain how they came into being and talk about the background of the works. They will focus on the role of technology and art in their works. Everybody is invited to join and raise questions about their art!