The engine of progress

Life, love and the pursuit of video art has definitely left us a little breathless lately, so ShinyArt is currently in the process of hiring a writer for THIS SPACE to take some of the pressure off and to offer you some more insight into the wild world of video art and experimental film.  You can look forward to a big boost in content in the month to come….

iPad app exhibit number 2 has been slow to process and we apologize for that! Apple’s changes in policy forced us back to the developers a couple of times as we tweaked and tweaked – but we are back and track now and although the exhibit has unofficially launched, we are NEARLY ready to announce it far and wide, but not quite. Featuring unforgettable work by Minjoo Lee, John Criscello and Ina Conradi, it’s worth the wait!

In other exciting news, Yonge Street Media in Toronto recently wrote a glowing profile piece on ShinyArt artist Faisal Anwar, demonstrating his work and passion for art and technology. I especially like this quote:

“We are living in a hybrid space where our mindset, behaviours, interests and needs are changing, and tech is integrating on many levels,” says Anwar. “I don’t see these elements as separate now.”

Hmmmm, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Now back to getting the App on Track!

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App trap

Lately, you may find yourself asking,  “Oh ShinyArt,  Monsters and Memories was a seductive beginning for your iPad app, but where, oh where, is exhibition number two, Abstract Perceptions ????”

The answer lies our good friends at Apple. Since making some ever-so-slight but necessary changes to the app and its usability, we have been in an approval queue that is only now revealing its endpoint. Abstract Perceptions will be coming *soon* to an iPad near you, featuring intimate takes on physical and intellectual modes of perception. Minjoo Lee presents Drip, John Criscitello offers Guston’s Lullaby, and Ina Conradi displays Emotion Study Part 1: Gloom .

In the meantime, as we wait for all of this to unfold in the latest app iteration, do have a closer look at the work of Israeli artist Yael Bartana in this ArtReview interview. Her videos manage to slyly speak global volumes while focusing on the unspectacular and frequently absurd local.

But stay tuned for the next edition of the SA app; Monsters and Memories, featuring Nara Denning, Dean Mermell and Katina Bitsicas, was a huge success that we’ll be building on in the months ahead!


Yael Bartana

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Can chairs die? Musings by Katina Bitsicas

Katina Bitsicas – featured in the current ShinyArt iPad app exhibition Monsters and Memories – discusses her thoughts on art, technology, ShinyArt and dying chairs….

What do you consider to be your job or responsibility as an artist?

I consider my responsibility as an artist to project deep personal emotions onto a screen in the form of video in hopes of connecting with an audience that feels the same emotions and can get something out of my work.  I also project concepts that are partially political in nature to raise awareness through my art.

What are some of the questions or issues you are currently exploring through film or video?

Right now, I am working on a projected titled “Death of a Chair”, in which I discuss the death of inanimate objects, such as a chair.  Humans decide the life of these objects by not using them, and covering them with plastic to store them away in the attic.  These objects become abandoned and lifeless, much like a human would become if they were covered in plastic.  So, basically just discussing why humans abandon what they abandon, and what determines the value of an object in order to keep it in use.  This same concept can be applied to buildings as far as which ones are demolished and which get preserved.

What two artists (from any era) would you bring with you to a desert island and why?

If I could bring two artists, it would be Bill Viola and Matthew Barney, one calm and serene, the other sharp and wild.  They would balance each other out well!  They are both very inspiring to me, Viola on a spiritual level, and Barney on a formal level.

What are your thoughts about using technology and social media tools as alternatives to conventional galleries and film festivals?

I think there is a time and a place for both.  While I find social media and technology a great outlet for video art, I also would like to see video art incorporated into more traditional galleries.  This would almost serve as a qualifying moment for video art.  I feel that many galleries are not as open to video art as they could be, and that this medium still has a long way to go in that aspect.

How does your work on the ShinyArt app fit within your larger body of artwork? How do you envision viewers responding to it on the app? Would you expect different responses in other settings, such as a gallery or a private home?

The piece featured in the ShinyArt app is similar to my other work in the sense that it conveys an inner message that is relatable to a general audience, like the consumerism of the human race.  I hope that viewers have a strong reaction to this piece that evokes a change in the way that they viewer others and consume things on a daily basis.  I would expect a stronger response in the app, since the downloaders know what they are getting into when they download a video art app.  In a home I would find maybe the strongest reaction, since the viewer would be able to watch the piece in the dark without any distractions.

Artists usually have a great deal of control over the ways in which their work is seen and used. The ShinyArt app, and ShinyArt in general (as well as online video databases), challenges this convention and allows for more spontaneity of use by viewers, in contexts that are uncontrolled by the artists or by a curator. How do you feel about this aspect of the project? Will this have an influence in how you make artwork or what you make for this venue?

I personally like this idea of spontaneity in viewing my work.  Video itself is a spontaneous medium, where in a gallery setting, someone can walk in on your piece at any moment and get a different experience than the person before them, due to the nature of time-based mediums.  I do like the idea of having my work reach another type of audience that may just be your casual app-downloader.  Spreading the word about video art is very exciting, and I find this app a great way to accomplish this.  As far as influences on my own work, this venue lends itself to the viewing of an entire piece rather than part of a looping video.  Therefore, I wouldn’t be hesitant to produce a piece that needs to be seen from beginning to end.

Posted in app, artists, electronic, environment, exhibitions, iPad app, ShinyArt, technology, video art | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Look out LA!

LA is all aflutter these days with the arrival of Art Platform, Pulse and Fountain ,  fast-paced art fairs featuring artwork ranging from the conventional to the more avant-garde, and by pioneering artists from SoCal and the rest of the world.

As art enthusiasts, artists, dealers and assorted arts impresarios peruse the city’s art offerings, we hope they also key into Artweek LA’s article featuring ShinyArt’s new iPad app!

After all, it’s the only app that offers a video art mini “exhibit” complete with spectacular artwork, anecdotes and intimate details shared by artists Nara Denning, Dean Mermell and Katina Bitsicas, interpretive info and a super streamlined interface. It’s great art, minus the crowds (and entrance fees)!

Check it out:

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Nara Denning: Technology, art, organic curators and open-ended dialogues

How does the exposure of an iPad app alter the artistic process and the relationship between artists and their audiences?

Bay Area-based Nara Denning, one of the featured artists in the new ShinyArt iPad app exhibition Monsters and Memories, sees the potential of technology to engage artists and their work with broad international communities, while conversely enabling a more intimate and personal conversation with individual viewers.

“I think with most other things, our days of cultural isolation are over (as long as the web remains the way it is).  Video art can also find a richer life with the invention of new platforms and exposure to an international community.  I see things becoming more personal between the audience and whoever’s got the soapbox.  This is a bypass of the old guard, leading to some wonderful possibilities, leading us into (funny enough) a more organic relationship between the creator and the observer, where both are mutually influenced.”

But once your work is exposed to the “world” through something like an app, you do lose control over the way in which it is experienced. Does that alter your process at all or make you think twice about certain subject matter?

“I make work that is symbolic and open ended.  I enjoy the interpretations of it by others.  Sometimes their interpretations are much more provocative then what I had originally intended (though I will never let on).  Curators often see an element within my work which addresses a theme they themselves are exploring, I find my work in a lot of mixed shows and this is very satisfying, giving the work itself new life and new reference.  The idea of everyone being their own curator is a very exciting development.”

See Nara Denning’s contribution to Monsters and Memories on the ShinyArt app
See more of her work here




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Technorati loves video art?!

What is  your favorite app reviewing website? Do please write and let me know as we are trying to spread the word about ShinyArt’s unique offering for your iPad.

How unique is it? Well, despite the thousands upon thousands of apps being churned out daily, we are pretty sure that this is the ONLY one to offer you a curated mini exhibition of video art that you can enjoy on your mobile device AND on your home television. Designed for well-seasoned art lovers as well as newcomers to video art, the app provides you with an accessible window into the work without the intimidating pretension of a gallery or museum.

Our first exhibition, Monsters and Memories, features provocative studies in surreality  by Nara Denning, Dean Mermell, and Katina Bitsicas.  So… Need to let your mind explore dimensions other than those related to work? Need some intriguing eye candy from the comfort of your couch? Look no further…..

Technorati has already caught on. Check out our latest bit of press!

Posted in app, artists, display, exhibitions, interactive, iPad app, media, mobile, mobile devices, museums, ShinyArt, Technorati, video art | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ready for our close up: Video Art on ‘app

Go ahead, search for “video art” in the Apple app store. Slim pickings, am I right??

Not anymore. This morning the first ShinyArt iPad app went “live” changing the way that audiences consume and contemplate video art, as well as the way in which video artists interact with and think about viewers and their art. That’s a lot for one little app.

What does it do? The ShinyArt iPad app features an exhibit a month that is anchored around a central theme and highlights the work of three-four video artists and experimental filmmakers. “Monsters and Memories” kicks off the app, showcasing the surreality and disorienting work of Nara Denning, Dean Mermell and Katina Bitsicas.

App users not only have access to the artwork, but they can also read the opening “wall text” of the exhibit that suggests ways of thinking about and interpreting the artwork. But it is the voice of the artist that is truly dominant here. In addition to the works, artists have included conversational text about the making of the artwork and its inspiration, as well as technical notes as to its construction. In this way, the app is relevant for a cross-section of viewers, from those seasoned in contemporary art to video art newcomers, and to emerging artists and filmmakers.

If you are not content to just wander through the exhibit on your iPad, you may display it easily on your flat screen via AirPlay (Apple TV), conjuring the ideal ShinyArt experience. Bored with the exhibit? The archives will soon be available for purchase enabling you to choose different exhibitions and cycle through them at your leisure. Finally, the app directs you to the ShinyArt website that enables you to choose individual works to also rent and stream to your flat screen.

Naturally, all of the artists featured on the app receive royalties for their contributions. We are always keen to discover new artists and to uncover new sides of their work by juxtaposing it with other videos in the collection.

But don’t let me give it all away…download the app and tinker with it yourself. Enjoy armchair video-art-viewing as you have never seen before  🙂
Feedback and thoughts are welcomed with open arms!

Posted in archive, artists, contemporary art, display, exhibitions, interactive, iPad app, mobile devices, new media | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment