LISA2012 Panel: Software Art and the Art EstablishmentPosted by isabelwd / December 8th, 2012 / 2 Responses
The Software Art and the Art Establishment Panel at the Leaders in Software and Art Conference, LISA2012, was one of the best hours of the day, at least in my opinion. This historic panel brought together curators from established and relatively upstart institutions with an expert software artist well-versed in software art history, moderated by an art critic from the New York Times.
It featured mention of Claire Bishop’s divisive article (free login required) on the subject in ArtForum magazine, which highlighted the mainstream art world’s ignorance about software art. It also featured a heated discussion about whether, and when, the Art Establishment will learn to accept software-driven artwork. The LISA audience learned that everyone who believes there is a dearth of Software Art in the Art Establishment has a scapegoat to blame, from problems with free reproduceability and maintenance of artworks to museums’ lack of funding, curators’ lack of vision, the art industry’s lack of understanding of technological advancement, and issues of artists’ taste and aesthetics, poor marketing and positioning and programmers’ ignorance of art theory and curatorial practice.
Even Everyman’s fear of math and technology was mentioned as a cause, despite contrary reports of strong audience satisfaction at software-based art shows -at least among the young. We at LISA hope to have many more conversations about this topic until it is no longer germane. At a time when the press has begun complaining that Art is no longer Relevant, and pointing out “post-skill” artists and the “flight of craft” in art, software art can be the answer.
Christiane Paul and Marius Watz have generously posted their full presentations online. Additional photos are available at flickr.com.
Ken Johnson, Art Critic, New York Times – Moderator
Amanda McDonald Crowley, Independent Curator and Executive Director Emerita, Eyebeam
Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA
Christiane Paul, Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, The Whitney Museum of American Art and digital art historian
Marius Watz, Software Artist and Independent Software and Electronic Art Curator
Conference produced by Isabel Walcott Draves. Photos by Phil Stearns, Jeff Becker Photography, Mark Skwarek, and Joe Upham.
Copyright 2012 Leaders in Software and Art. Creative Commons licensed for free non-commercial use with required attribution.