Thursday, April 9, 2015

white cube-a-gram

Data Flow: Digital Influence has been a terrifically exciting show to host. Curating together 11 artists whose work is all uniquely different but relates to each other on the basis of the shared self-awareness of the digital context that shapes our lives, has been a true joy.

Given the nature of the theme we thought it would be interesting to provide an additional, digital space for exhibiting art. A 'virtual' space defined by the four-sided square format of social media platform Instagram. We selected 6 artists from a bundle of submissions and each week a new artist took over our Instagram feed and delivered 7 artworks, one per day.

Ben Aitken (@sniflthreesix)

It's a been a wonderful way to push outside the traditional confines of the physical gallery and explore ideas in this way. It was obvious to us that a vast swathe of our audience views our activities online. It's more than likely we may have more people see our shows in this way than actually physically visit us in Hawthorn. After all, anyone in the world can access photos of our exhibitions. But normally, these 'visitors' would see documentation of our exhibitions - photos of the artworks shared on social media. By setting up a dedicated online gallery scenario, we could deliver art directly to an audience, into their own gallery spaces on their phones. It raises questions about art presentation, distribution and consumption that are more pertinent to art galleries and artists than ever before.

Did you know, for example, that there is a belief that because most Australian artists witnessed the artwork of their international peers via magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, their work was flatter and sharper? Looking at abstract artworks reprinted in glossy art magazines, artists were unable to see the texture of the paint and the wobbly lines and paint splatters of not-so-perfect edges. The printing techniques and the photography made everything seem far more crisp and flat than it actually was. So when Australian artists starting painting their own abstractions, influenced by Americans and Europeans, they produced their work more like the representations in print than the originals in paint.

There's a few days left of Data Flow, and if you're on Instagram, pop on over and check out our feed. We were very delighted to get some amazing art and ideas into that space and are most grateful to the following, terrific artists:
     Lily Mae Martin
     Josh Rufford
     Crystal Knight
     Ace Wagstaff
     Michelle Hamer
     Ben Aitken

Catch us as @townhallgallery #dataflow #thginstaart

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