Phatt-B Panel Discussion

Phatt-B Panel Discussion

On Saturday, I attended two panel discussions of Phatt-B digital art festival in Pratt-DDA. The first one was presented by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy(New York based artists), Megan Heuer (a New York based Art Critic), and Laura Blereau (director of Bifrorms Gallery), and they mainly talked about the boundary between mainstream electronic art marginal electronic art.

They discussed the topic about how to define the “new media art” and “digital media” from their different standpoints as an  artist, curator and a critic with history background. It was an interesting and provocative discussion. From Laura, as a curator of Bitforms, she said “exhibition is like a conversion between art and technology”, and the “gallery always works as a practical venue” used for artists and art experiment. Actually, gallery is also a commercial organization and they should figure out how to keep and sell the artwork to collectors, so Laura mentioned digital artists sometimes sell their customized software to her  gallery. In the future, maybe one work will be presented in different formats, such as video, interactive installation or some other form still to come. Maybe they will only be able to be kept in documentations and archives.

Kevin McCoy, as a digital artist, had a very different viewpoint. His work has been active in digital art field from 2001 to the present. He said artist always pursue the artistic meaning behind their work and continue to explore more new tools and technology, especially digital artists. But the most important concern of artists is “what’s next?” ”What you will do next?”. As the artwork has a kind of continuity, it always represents its‘ artists’ experience and is a part of contemporary society’s history.

The Second panel was more inspiring to me. The four panelists came from four different universities and collages, they talked about Augmented Reality(AR). They all simultaneously focused on the social media and the smartphone. Smartphone as an important tool in our daily life and is used for multiple (a myriad of) functions. Through our phone, we can transform our identity in social media; we view and record our surrounding and sometimes we immerse ourself in virtual space through our smart. This topic remind me an artwork called ALTER BAHNHOF VIDEO WALK(2012) by JANET CARDIFF & GEORGE BURES MILLER. They used a smartphone to make a fake landscape and connect it with reality, which combined to represent a virtual space, event and some mystery stories. In my opinion, It is very new concept and a unique idea to convey the influence of smartphone and the augmented reality.

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