E+E Class

Survey of Public New Media Installations, New Media Artists, Groups and Events.

Taking New Media Out of the Gallery – Public New Media Installations:

– Exhibitions are traditional ways of showcasing artist work. It usually takes place inside, enclosed in an institutional context. These provide an opportunity to connect to the community, contribute to the discourse of the discipline, and build experience as an artist.

– New Media and Contemporary Fine Art. What are the attitudes?

– New media is interactive in nature – As opposed to traditional forms of art like sculpture or painting, it has the potential to include the viewer and his actions in the artwork.

– This interactivity allows for a more immersive experience of the artwork. You not only look but you engage, and by engaging you change the artworks output.

– This engagement can be greatest in a public context because of the volume of people the work is exposed to.

– It could be argued that most new media art is still exhibited in an old media context although some say it is not fully accepted within the Fine Arts. Perhaps to adapt to old media it is shown in galleries and museums in a static state (you can only look).

– Arguably – new media art realizes its greatest potential in installations and performances, whether public or private.

– Public new media installations bring the artwork into the public space instead of having the public enter the institutional space (of a gallery for example).

– These installations are most often associated with an event, festival, or/and  they are a result of an institutionally or a commercially sponsored project.

– Sometimes the installations are not even interactive, but are better labeled as a spectacle, which a large group of people is exposed to, when presented in a public space.

– Official openings are still the best way to draw crowds to see the installations.

– If an installation remains in one place for a while, it allows people a more intimate encounter with the artwork.

– Installations in the public context bring the art work in front of everyone who passes by and not only the ones who are strictly interested in new media art. What are some of the benefits of that?

– Through this the public becomes aware of new media projects and artists.

– These ‘events’ are often put on by the commercial world – Combining a brand with developments in  technology or creating an ‘art-entertainment’ experience.

– Many new media artists, in order to make a living, work for commercial entities, on commercial projects – new media art and the commercial world cross paths frequently.

Here are some examples:

– Lynx Excite deodorant “Even Angels Will Fall” augmented reality

– Building Projection – Ralph Lauren 4D Experience

The Official Ralph Lauren 4D Experience – London from Ralph Lauren on Vimeo.

– Contrex Water Commercial

Grups and Artists that Install Publicly:

UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS   —   http://www.uva.co.uk/

– Art and design practice established in 2003, and operating in London.

– A collective of artists from many disciplines including fine arts, computer science, engineering, communication and design.

– Work that intersects disciplines of architecture, sculpture, live performance, video, animation, and digital installation.

– Aim for producing work that is meaningful and engaging.

– Work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Royal Academy of Art in the UK, as well as it has traveled across the globe.

– Have been commissioned by venues such as the Madison Square Garden, and have collaborated with numerous musicians such as Massive Attack and Jay-Z.

Example of Work:

– ‘Triptych’, designed for Nuit Blanche event in Paris in 2007.

– LED, audio visual installation; uses motion detection cameras to change its output when a viewer approaches the panel – calm colors and sounds turn harsher suggesting the work has personality.

Triptych from United Visual Artists on Vimeo.

OBSCURA DIGITAL   —   http://obscuradigital.com/

– Operate out of San Francisco,

– Technology lab and a creative agency,

– Immersive and interactive experiences,

– Experimental marketing for large commercial clients,

– Concerned with extending the brand in new and engaging ways,

– Have certain projects they offer as products: projection domes, multitouch platforms; do custom projects as well,

Example of work:


– Done for the United Nations Department of Public Information,

– Visualizes a cube as one ton of CO2; overlays animations, video and other graphics,

– Shown in Copenhagen, Denmark,

– Raising awareness in a ‘spectacular’ way?

CO2 Cube from Obscura Digital on Vimeo.

Should also check out the Sydney Opera projections done for Google/Youtube.

Obscura Digital – YouTube Symphony Orchestra 2011 from Obscura Digital on Vimeo.

GRAFFITI RESEARCH LAB   —   http://graffitiresearchlab.com/

– A collective of Artists including names like: Evan Roth and Theo Watson.

– Part of Free Art and Technology Lab http://fffff.at/ :
“organization dedicated to enriching the public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media” – everything they produce is open to copying and re-use.

Example of work:

‘Laser Tag’

– Shown in Rotterdam, Holland in 2007,

– build in C++ using Open Frameworks (open source toolkit for C++),

– You can download the open source code and do this yourself,

– The green laser required for this to work is dangerous and illegal in some places,

– Equipment and setup instructions available on the Graffiti Research Lab site,

– “camera and laptop setup, tracking a green laser point across the face of a building and generating graphics based on the laser’s position which then get projected back onto the building with a high power projector. “

Graffiti Research Lab L.A.S.E.R Tag from artinkubator on Vimeo.


THEO WATSON   —   http://www.theowatson.com

– Part of Graffiti Research Lab,

– “Artist, designer and experimenter whose work is born out of the curiosity and excitement of designing experiences that come alive and invite people to play.”

‘Generative Graffiti’



‘Lights On’


lights on from zach lieberman on Vimeo.

– Zach and Theo are a part of another collective called YesYesNo


– Speaks on topics of technology and architecture.

– Worked with Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), IBM, Victoria’s Secret and others.

– Was director of Experience Design at Imaginary Forces and WET Design.

– Founder at Apologue; Board of Directors at Society of Environmental Graphic Design,
Founding Member at 5D: Future of Immersive Design.

– Concerned with “strategic development of projects that seamlessly integrate storytelling, new media and physical environments.”

– She conducted a project with Branden Hall of Automata Studios, for a cultural centre ‘LA Plaza’ in Los Angeles (opened in April 2011).

– Interactive 4 ft by 7ft Christi Microtylile screens respond with unique animations to passers by, and are located both inside and outside the building. They serve to create a connection between the people in the community and the institution.

– About ‘La Plaza’   —    http://www.dexigner.com/news/22961

– Tali’s Blog: http://talikrakowsky.tumblr.com/


– Public Safety: Is the project creating a significant and/or dangerous distraction for drivers, and pedestrians?

– Is the technology you are using safe in itself to use in a public place?

– Do you have to have permission to do something like that and if so, who do you approach?

– Is someone going to object to the art installation, are you offending someone with sensitive content?

New Media Events – Conferences and Festivals:

– Why should you attend? Because no new media artist is going to thrive while isolated and uninformed,

– Internet is one way to educate yourself on what is going on in the contemporary art world and the digital industry, but sometimes you just have to be there in person to become fluent in the language of new media,

– Conferences can be academic and non-academic, happening all around the world; some fixed to a city, some touring,

– Large conferences have steep entry fees, although discounts for students are also offered,

– New technologies are presented, artworks are shown, artists, and researchers discuss projects and technology,

– Most conferences have an artistic component to them, mostly in the form of an exhibition,

– Network, network, network!

– Perhaps here you can meet your future employer, or meet several artists that you’d like to collaborate on a project with?

– Public art festivals are mostly free.

– Academic conferences give students a chance to present research papers and projects.

NUIT BLANCHE   —   http://www.scotiabanknuitblanche.ca/

– The name in French it means ‘white night’

– Annual night time arts festival.

– Centre of the city is ‘transformed into a free of charge art gallery’

– All types of art are exhibited but with a large portion of new media content.

– In Europe (Paris) and Toronto.

– Corporate sponsors.



SIGGRAPH   —   http://www.siggraph.org/s2011/

– Conference on ‘computer graphics and interactive techniques’.

– Last one was in Vancouver in August 2011. It “welcomed 15,872 artists, research scientists, gaming experts and developers, filmmakers, students, and academics from 74 countries around the globe”.

– Networking, exhibition of products by major companies, demonstration of new technologies, symposia, job fair, awards presentations, keynote sessions.

-“Talks, sessions, panels, papers, presentations, and screenings”

YouTube Links:

Cory Doctorow Copyright lecture

Art Reel

2011 SIGGRAPH Gallery Tour

2010 Computer Animation Festival Trailer

SXSW   —   http://sxsw.com/

– Has many facets: music, film and interactive technology.

– Tradeshows, art shows, screenings, concerts, parties, demos, presentations and lectures, special luncheons and project pitching.

– Major sponsors like Chevrolet, Pepsi and others.

– Very large and renowned conference.

FITC   —   http://www.fitc.ca/

– Design and Technology event with speakers, parties, tech demos and workshops.

– Touring festival: Toronto, Amsterdam, Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Seul, Hollywood, and believe it or not Edmonton.

– Talks by major industry professionals (Kyle Cooper, Joshua Davis, etc.).

2011 Highlight Reel

EYEO   —   http://eyeofestival.com/

– New festival similar to the ones already mentioned – started in Europe.

– Tag line: Converge to Inspire.

– Summons “creative coders, designers and artists, working today and shaping tomorrow”.

– Talks, tech demonstrations, other festival events.

ADOBE MAX   —   http://max.adobe.com/

– Big sponsors:  Blackberry, Samsung, Sony, HP, etc.

– Technology event organized under the Adobe umbrella with a structure similar to the ones above.

– “Adobe conference for forward-thinking designers, developers, and business leaders”.


Other Useful Articles:



Perhaps because New Media has an interactive, ‘spectacular’ flair – it is considered by traditional Fine Arts world as a form of entertainment sponsored by the commercial world, too focused on technology, instead of utilizing it to discuss important issues?


Exerpt from ‘MEDIA, NEW MEDIA, POSTMEDIA: Marius Watz reply to Paddy Johnson’

“So I’m afraid I’ll play devil’s advocate and share Domenico’s summary: New media artists who want a serious play at the art world might do better to play down the media art rhetoric.The “New Media” label has served to differentiate and promote the field in many ways (not coincidentally by helping it to gain funding), and without that discourse there would be no field at all. But for the artists themselves it can also be an obstacle to be taken seriously.

New Media as Grand Project has already been done, and arguing the transformative potential of technology should be superfluous in a world of smartphones. So let’s focus on the good work for its qualities as art, and not because of the rather outdated and frankly meaningless label of “New Media”.

Are we limiting our potential by strictly calling ourselves New Media artists? Is the ‘new media’ label outdated?

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