Electric Objects is a digital art platform that wants to put digital art on a wall in every home. The company’s first two initiatives include the development of the EO1 display and Art Club collections.
EO1 is an Internet-connected screen designed specifically for art. In addition to displaying high-resolution images and digitally created art, EO1 can play video and animations. Priced at $299, EO1 fits elegantly into any home.
The matte 1080p high-definition display features ultra-wide viewing angles and ambient light awareness. It is not too bright and not too muted. The EO1 was designed to look more like a luminous oil painting than a glowing monitor.
With the free iOS or Android app, you can use your smartphone to change the art on the wall. You can explore thousands of artwork shared by the Electric Objects community or browse the curated collection of original work in Electric Objects’ Art Club. Display any art in the app with the tap of a button.
Art Club is a collection of hundreds of original works of art made exclusively for Electric Objects. Through the Art Club, Electric Objects supports artists interested in making work for display on the EO1.
In 2016, the Electric Objects Art Club Fund expects to spend $100,000 to commission new works of digital art. Artists are selected through periodic open calls for applications. Selected artists receive a commission of $500 and a free EO1.
Electric Objects introduces new collections two or three times a week. They immediately invite EO1 owners to display the art in their homes.
Electric Objects has displayed the work of Art Club Artists at NADA Miami, the New Museum in New York City, and at the Electric Objects showroom in New York.
The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience for researchers, developers, and users of computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2016 (July 24-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center) will feature two emerging opportunities for designers and artists: immersive art and virtual reality.
Data Materialities Art Gallery
The Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature 10 highly interactive and immersive art installations that illustrate the theme “Data Materialities.”
According to SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen, “We have made a special effort to bring back large-scale, highly immersive displays for the Art Gallery. Our title ‘Data Materialities’ illustrates the fact that in 2016 we are all constantly surrounded by networks, information, and data. Whether these stimuli consist of electromagnetic frequencies or physical wired connections, networks are everywhere, consuming and permeating our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces.” The exhibition will expose the plethora of data and not only show its complexity, but allow us to relate to data on a human scale.
“By injecting humor and kinetic energy to this year’s exposition, the Art Gallery will make light of these data platforms and present them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity,” said Brucker-Cohen.
Here are few examples of the installations SIGGRAPH visitors can explore:
Submergence Chris Benneworth, Liam Birtles, Oliver Brown, Gaz Bushell, and Anthony Rowe of Squidsoup
This large, walk-through experience uses more than 8000 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.
The Kinetic Storyteller Tine Bech, independent artist
This installation investigates how art, technology, and playfulness can create new systems of communication. Two beautiful swings light up and display social media messages, encouraging participants to connect while they play.
Plinko Poetry Peiqui Su and Dequing Sun, New York University
This playful, interaction installation combines experimental blackout poetry with the “Plinko” game made famous on the TV show “The Price is Right.” Every player can be both a winner and poet. Using text from @nytimes and @FoxNews tweets, players can absurdly recontextualize news headlines.
To celebrate “The Summer of VR,” SIGGRAPH 2016 will feature an unprecedented number of experiential and cutting-edge Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) installations.
In the VR Village, attendees can explore the potential for new VR and AR formats for telling stories, engaging audiences, and powering real-world applications in fields such as health, education, entertainment, design, and gaming. The 2016 VR Village will feature real-time immersion in tomorrow’s virtual and augmented realities, including short-form immersive filmmaking.
Presenters will represent major studios, independent filmmakers, game developers, universities, and non-profit organizations such as research labs and planetariums.
“When attendees at SIGGRAPH 2015 were surveyed, many of them stated they would definitely like to see more VR and AR experiences in 2016,” explains SIGGRAPH 2016 VR Village Chair Denise Quensel. “We have assembled a diverse array of VR/AR content that will captivate attendee interest throughout the week.”
Some examples are listed below:
Parallel Eyes: Exploring Human Capability and Behaviors with Paralelled First-Person View Sharing by Sony Computer Science Laboratories, University of Tokyo, and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media
This multiplayer VR attraction will allow viewers to play a game of “Tag.” During the game, each player will be able to “see” each other as if they had eyes in the back of their heads inside their VR headsets. Each player will be untethered (Nomadic VR) and will be able to hide from other players.
MechVR: Interactive VR Motion Simulation of a “Mech” Biped Robot Clemson University
MechVR allows participants wearing VR headsets to go inside a physical motion simulator. Each player can embody a giant biped robot machine that will walk, run, and fly and use a hand controller to hit practice targets. The physical movements of the players will match the visuals presented on their VR screens. MechVR was originally developed for flight and training simulators, but could be used to develop new attractions for theme parks.
Synthesis Suit: The Full-Body Immersive Experience Keio University, Rhizomatika Co. Ltd., and Enhance Games
Participants will wear a full-body, haptic VR suit that includes 18 power micro-sensors synced to a choice of VR environments. Users will be able to feel the beat and pulse of music within the synced environment. The creators will also showcase a custom game interface that takes full advantage of the suit’s potenial.
VR Village Storylab This new initiative blends narrative, 360-degree VR content into a physical lab environment. It will display a diverse assortment of VR content related to art, entertainment, academics, science, and experience design.
Other features of the VR Village include showings of VR films by Google Spotlight Stories team, Carnegie Mellon University, and Baobab Studios and presentations about: the art and science of immersion, production for VR storytelling, and how VR experiences can be agents of change.
A 2016 survey of “American Attitudes toward Art” found that age is a major factor in art discovery and art buying practices and preferences. Compared to their Baby Boomer elders, Millennials are much more likely to discover new art through social media. In terms of art buying, Millennials are also more likely to purchase art through an online marketplace or website.
The survey of nearly 5,000 U.S. adults was commissioned by Invaluable, a leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques, and collectibles.
Survey findings show that social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest were the preferred art discovery tools of Millennials. Nearly half (44.3 percent) of young Millennials (ages 18-24) and 33.8 percent of older Millennials (ages 25-34) indicate that they discover new art through social media. This compares to 29.5 percent of older Baby Boomers (age 65+) who prefer a more traditional discovery path of finding new art through museums.
Overall, 37 percent of U.S. consumers said they would buy art online. More than half of Millennial respondents (59.9 percent for ages 18-24 and 51.6 percent for ages 24-34) said they would purchase art online. This is much higher than the 19 percent of older Baby Boomers (age 65+) who said they would purchase art online.
In fact, roughly one in four Millennials age 18 to 24 prefer to purchase art through an online marketplace or website.
“There has never been a more critical time for our industry to prepare and execute digital strategies that engage, inspire, and capture the next generation of art buyers — Millennials,” said Rob Weisberg, Invaluable CEO.
While findings reveal that Millennials aren’t purchasing art as frequently as Baby Boomers, the survey shows Millennials see long-term value in purchasing art. Roughly 42 percent of young Millennials and 37.2 percent of older Millennials surveyed believe that buying art is a good investment, compared to roughly 32 percent of Baby Boomers.
“These findings not only reveal the importance of connecting and assimilating new generations and first-time buyers into the art ecosystem, it also spotlights a tremendous growth opportunity in reaching new segments of buyers,” said Weiseberg. “As digital-first preferences continue driving more interest from Millennial buyers, we know that technology will play a critical role in engaging and connecting this generation to the art world.”
Art Appreciation: Almost one-half (48%) of all respondents said they like or appreciate art. About 55% of the respondents over the age of 65 reported an appreciation of art.
Visiting Cultural Institutions: Consumers continue to visit museums and galleries, with 38.6 percent visiting once a year and 14 percent visiting monthly. About 15 percent admitted they don’t visit museums and galleries.
Purchasing Art: Overall, 37 percent of respondents said they would consider buying art online. Survey respondents are mostly likely to buy art at an art fair (26.2 percent), gallery (19.2 percent), flea market (16.2 percent), other sites (15.9 percent), and online marketplace or website (15.2 percent). Only 7.3 percent said they buy art at an in-person auction.
Visit www.invaluable.com for more information about the “American Attitudes Toward Art” survey.
ARTISTS. Art discovery options are expanding with the launch of the Acanvas art-streaming app and self-charging art-display platform. Acanvas is making it possible for art lovers to display a steady stream of classic or contemporary art from Fine Art America. Acanvas developed the art discovery platform to making learning about new artists as easy and as accessible as streaming music.
“With Acanvas, interior design and technology come together to bring millions of works of art to empty walls everywhere,” said Dan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Acanvas. “Our self-charging battery system makes our display as easy to hang as any traditionally framed print or painting.”
The display platform consists of a Wi-Fi connected, 23-inch, high-definition display from LG Electronics USA. The onboard, battery system features a motorized, retractable cord that connects to a portable charging dock. The slim, easy-to-mount display can be customized with matte frames that match the owner’s décor.
From the Acanvas app on an iOS or Android mobile device, users can select “Art Stations” curated by Fine Art America and stream a continuous flow of art to the display. From the app, users can control how long each piece is displayed before it is replaced by another one.
While viewing art in a Pandora-like “art station” such as seascapes, bold primaries, and dynamic abstracts, users can learn more about different genres of art and discover new artists.
Users can also browse for specific art to add to their personal libraries within the Acanvas app. Or, users can hang and showcase personal photos from anywhere, either within the home or remotely. The first units are expected to ship during the fourth quarter of 2016. Pre-orders are currently being accepted.
Acanvas is an emerging start-up based in Santa Clara, California. The independent company began as a research project within the LG Silicon Valley Lab (SVL). The Acanvas platform is supported by a partnership with Fine Art America.
“Acanvas allows us to further our mission of connecting people to the art and artists they love,” said Sean Broihier, CEO of Fine Art America.
Fine Art America, which was established in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest online art marketplaces. Hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers have uploaded millions of images to the Fine Art America website and thousands of new members and images are added each week.
A group of artists, investors, philanthropic funders, and social innovators have launched Upstart Co-Lab. The collaborative arts organization is designed to:
Increase opportunities for artists as innovators by encouraging greater recognition of artists’ accomplishments in the private, social and public sectors;
Catalyze more capital for creativity by making creativity investable through public equity, debt and venture capital investment products;
Enable sustainable creative lives by equipping artists with crucial skills for executing their ideas, and linking eligible artists to existing social services and subsidies.
Upstart is funded by Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Surdna Foundation with in-kind support from the F.B. Heron Foundation. Upstart is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
“Artists are the original social entrepreneurs. They make our society stronger because of who they are, how they approach the world, and the risks they are willing to take,” said founding partner Laura Callanan, the former senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “But because other social changemakers don’t realize what artists are doing, artist-innovators often have to go it alone. By creating this national collaboration between artists, impact investors, sustainable companies and other partners, we can fix this.”
Upstart Co-Lab will be based in New York but is national in scope. Upstart Co-Lab has conducted hundreds of conversations with arts and innovation leaders to inform a portfolio of projects and develop the partnerships that will advance them.
Upstart will work in three ways:
Adapting successful models for the arts and creativity. By repurposing models from impact investing, community development and social entrepreneurship, Upstart will catalyze fresh opportunities for artists. By emulating the Social Capitalist Awards that popularized the concept of the social entrepreneur, Upstart will recognize artists and designers who have launched innovative companies such as Kickstarter, AirBnB and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Upstart will also recognize artists working on issues such as environmental conservation, criminal justice system reform, and effective government.
Integrating the arts into existing systems and standards. Today there are no options for the mission-related investor committed to the arts and creativity. Upstart will launch a Creative Economy Index Fund of U.S. public companies across the creative industries, enabling targeted investment in creativity for the first time. This product will integrate values of sustainability by focusing on companies that lower the cost for the design, fabrication and distribution of creative work, or that enable individuals to be creators, not just consumers.
Developing new initiatives designed to respond to gaps and market failures. Artists face some unique challenges. For example, to address the persistently low rate at which arts graduates actually make their living by working in the arts, ArtPath will rethink the resources and skills artists need at every stage of their career life cycles – to launch new projects, start commercial enterprises, and better manage their careers.
“The creative economy is all around us, but the problem is we don’t recognize it,” said Veris Wealth Partners Partner Anders Faijersson Ferguson. “Because we don’t understand how big a difference artists and innovators make in our local and global economy, their role is somewhat invisible. By helping their contributions be better understood and valued, more investment capital will be made available. And the catalytic role artists play in achieving impact and bringing positive economic change will increase.”
To implement these initiatives, Upstart Co-Lab is engaging with arts organizations, social innovators, impact investors, universities and others. To date, Upstart’s strategic partners include Arizona State University, Artspace, B Lab, Bennington College, Calvert Foundation, Foundation Center, Global Development Incubator, Maryland Institute College of Arts, McKinsey & Company, Oberlin College, Veris Wealth Partners, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
A portfolio of five projects is under development and will be implemented by the end of 2016. More information about the organization can be found at http://www.upstartco-lab.org.
If the thought of pricing and promoting your art makes you profoundly uncomfortable, check out the business consulting services of artist Laura C. George.
Laura C. George is a business consultant for artists who want to “price to sell without being a sleazeball” and “make a profit, without ripping off your customers.” She also helps artists who aren’t sure how to promote themselves in the ever-shifting landscape of online communications.
George believes that technology has so thoroughly transformed the art market that some artists are losing ground because they don’t know how to navigate the new landscape.
She recalls working with an artist who was huge in Boston the ’80s. According to George,”She would just walk into galleries and they were thrilled to be able to put her work up. She never wanted for money. But over the last 10 years, her sales have tanked because she didn’t have a professional-looking website or an email list. And she didn’t know how to connect with and approach people through the internet. She was relying on outdated and ineffective strategies such as press releases and hoping a gallery would call her.”
As a result of this experience, Laura George has made it her mission to help educate artists in similar situations, and those just starting out and are unsure of best practices. She wants artists to find ways to promote themselves in a way that feels natural, not soul-killing.
“I want artists to feel in control of their businesses,” explains George. “I want them to feel like their success is in their own hands and not handed to them by a gatekeeper gallerist, agent, or rich collector.”
To help artists see what’s possible, Laura has posted two free webinars that you can download and view at your convenience.
The Art of Getting Press: Making the Media Love Your Art
In this 90-minute webinar, Laura explains how you can start getting the media attention you deserve. She explains how to find the right publication and write an effective pitch. She also talks about what to do after you’ve sent the pitch and presents examples of artists who have successfully gotten the attention of the press.
Art in Your Inbox: Email Marketing for Artists
In this 80-minute webinar, Laura discusses why email works and how you’ll benefit. She explains how to lay-out your emails for maximum effectiveness and how often to send emails. You’ll also see how email fits into your overall marketing strategy and get a step-by-step formula for writing fantastic emails. A bonus worksheet can help you plan out all your emails for the year.
Looking professional matters, says George, because people are more likely to buy from artists who don’t appear flighty: “When most people first get to an artist’s website, they’re looking for some sort of proof that the artist will actually ship the art if they buy, that the art will actually look like it did in the picture, that there won’t be any hassles through the process, and that if something goes wrong, the artist is going to fix it” To sell your art online, it’s not enough that people love your art. Art buyers need evidence they can trust you to deliver.
Studio F is a new art marketing platform through which artists can sell their work as high-quality vinyl decals and wrapped canvases on fathead.com. Part of the Fathead family of companies, Studio F uses the marketing prowess and reach of the Fathead brand along with Fathead’s digital graphic technology to reproduce curated artists’ work as decals that buyers can display as frameless wall art, furniture enhancements, or window art.
Colorful Launch over Thanksgiving Weekend
To demonstrate the full potential and scale of Studio F’s creative capabilities, Detroit artists Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen were commissioned to create RADIANT CITY, a large-scale public art installation that in downtown Detroit. The artists were commissioned to help create an exciting experience to unveil Studio F and the transformative nature of the product.
The installation was open November 25-27 during the festivities surrounding America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van.
Rutt and Ethen designed over 300 one-of-a-kind patterns that were sampled from Detroit architecture, printed on Fathead vinyl, and applied to the tops of tables by IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer. Using downtown Detroit’s beautiful, historic Grand Circus Park as their canvas, Rutt and Ethen arranged the tables to form an enormous mosaic and immersive color field around the Russell Alger Memorial Fountain.
“The patchwork quilt is a powerful metaphor for Detroit,” says Ethen, “there are so many people, ideas and cultures at play. This city is best understood as a plurality—nothing less than the sum of its parts.”
The duo explored Detroit to archive a collection of patterns from all over the city. “It’s important for us to make work that’s imbued with a sense of place,” adds Rutt, “There’s such a rich creative history in Detroit, so much inspiration surrounding us already, that sourcing patterns from local architecture was an obvious choice. RADIANT CITY symbolically references the present cultural climate, the energy and passion that is so tangible here.”
After the exhibit closed, some of the art-topped tables in RADIANT CITY for Studio F were donated to Humble Design, a non-profit group that provides furnishings and design services to families transitioning out of homeless shelters. The remaining tables will be sold on December 1 in celebration of #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. All proceeds will go to Humble Design.
RADIANT CITY for Studio F was a colorful launch celebration for Studio F. Fathead worked with Minneapolis based advertising agency Fallon Worldwide to develop the launch idea and choose Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen as the first artists to be featured on the Studio F website.
“Studio F is the next evolution of Fathead,” said Joanna Cline, chief marketing officer, Fathead. “We can now offer our quality products, stellar marketing support and customer service to the artistic community.” Established artists and “artists to watch” will be able to expand their art collections to this dynamic new online gallery.
Information about how to apply for inclusion in the Studio F gallery and earn commissions for the sale of your work can be found on the Studio F website.