Artists Working With Technology: This Is The New Avant-Garde

Two of my favorite finds at 2017’s Armory Week dealt with technology – specifically VR and Mixed Reality.

Virtual Reality:

  • Artist Jacolby Satterwhite’s work at Moran Bondaroff Gallery at NADA (photo lower left)
  • The artist uses an amalgam of his mother’s drawings from the ‘90s and his own dance performances to create a theme park wonderland.

Mixed Reality:

  • The Amsterdam-based artist duo Studio Drift created Concrete Storm, a mixed reality installation commissioned by Artsy Projects in collaboration with Pace and Microsoft Hololens (photo upper left).

BUT what I really came away wishing was part of The Armory Show was Random International. They are the artistic collective that created the Rain Room which has traveled around the world, breaking attendance records – and reservations systems! Rain Room was recently purchased by LACMA for their permanent collection (photo right above).

Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass, the founders of Random International, were recently interviewed on Bloomberg’s Brilliant Ideas. See video below – it is 25 minutes long but 1000% worth watching. Absolutely inspiring to hear how artists who grew up with technology are working with the medium and creating magic in the process.

And just in case you don’t have time – or the inclination to watch – here are some highlights:

  • Random International is a London-based collaborative studio for experimental practice within contemporary art, founded in 2005 by Hannes Koch and Florian Ortkrass.
  • Their work employs complex technology to explore human behavior, the body and natural phenomena e.g. they’re fascinated by bird migration and how thousands of birds can fly at high speed, in unison, without ever crashing into each other.
  • They produce art installations, kinetic sculpture and interactive art.
  • They are best known for the “Rain Room,” which been exhibited all around the world from the Barbican in London to Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Their work is in the collections of MoMA, LACMA and the Victorian and Albert Museum in London.
  • In this “Brilliant Ideas” interview, Hanes and Florian talk about their works including “Rain Room,” “Swarm,” “Blur Mirror” and their new work “15 Points.” (Source: Bloomberg)

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