From Object to Audience: Technology, Value, and the Arts

Master of Arts in Visual Arts Administration

From Object to Audience: Technology, Value, and the Arts

Friday, November 20, 2015
9:00am – 5:15pm, wrap-up and reception 5:30 – 7:30pm
Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building, 34 Stuyvesant Street, New York, NY 10003

“From Object to Audience: Technology, Value, and the Arts,” will examine the impact of new technologies on the arts. In a series of panels led by expert speakers across a variety of fields, we will investigate the range of concerns that have emerged in the arts over the past five years in response to new innovations in digital technology. Issues pertaining to the status of the art object and artist, institutional and business relationships, valuation, and labor will be considered in this one-day symposium. Organized by Sarah Hromack, and hosted by the Department of Art and Art Professions, with support from the NYU Steinhardt 125th Anniversary Fund.

Open to the public, admission is free for all students.

9:00-10:30 am: Technology, the Object, the Artist: New Challenges for Arts Organizations
Michael Connor, Artistic Director, Rhizome and Visiting Professor, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
Kelani Nichole, Owner, Transfer Gallery
Clement Valla, Artist
Moderated by: Zach Kaplan, Executive Director, Rhizome

What are the ongoing challenges faced by institutions and organizations as artists continue to incorporate emerging technologies into their work? How do these objects and projects pose new challenges for preservation efforts while renewing interest in “the digital” as a contemporary condition of artmaking? How do digital-born works complicate the traditional gallery system? Rhizome Creative Director Michael Connor, Transfer Gallery owner Kelani Nichole, and artist Clement Valla will discuss this convergence in a conversation moderated by Rhizome Executive Director Zach Kaplan.

10:45-12:15 pm: Valuing Digital Art: Introducing Monegraph
Kevin McCoy, Associate Professor, NYU Steinhardt Department of Art and Arts Professions
in conversation with: Mike Pepi, Independent Writer and Critic

How do emerging technologies inform existing value systems around contemporary art in the digital space? NYU Steinhardt Associate Professor Kevin McCoy will present his new start-up, Monegraph, a platform that makes it easy for digital creators of all kinds to construct licenses for the commercial use of their digital work. Independent writer and critic Mike Pepi will respond. In 2015, Pepi co-edited an issue of DIS Magazine, The Data Issue: Too Big to Scale, which featured a roundtable discussion around Monegraph entitled “Monegraph and the Status of the Art Object.”

12:15 - 2:00 Lunch in the neighborhood

2:00 - 3:30 pm: Supporting the Arts with Digital Platforms
Max Dana, Co-Founder, The External Revenue Service
David Sheingold, Independent Consultant, Artspool
Yancey Strickler, CEO, Kickstarter

How are a new generation of digital platforms working to support the arts in a variety of ways? Yancey Strickler, CEO of crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, Max Dana, Co-Founder of The External Revenue Service, a peer-to-peer tax system designed to help people to share their disposable income with the people, organizations, and causes they care about most, and David Sheingold of Artspool, a cooperative model for sharing administrative services in the arts, will discuss their respective platforms and methodologies for supporting artistic production in 2015.

3:45 - 5:15 pm: Digital Representation: Looking at Images Online
Matthew Israel, Curator at Large and former Director of the Art Genome project, Artsy; Author “Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War”
Kimberly R. Drew, Founder, Contemporary Black Art; Associate Online Community Producer, the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Emily Keegin, Director of Photography, The Fader
Moderated by: Sarah Hromack, Adjunct Faculty, NYU Steinhardt Arts and Arts Administration

How have the rise in popularity of image-based digital platforms such as Instagram impacted the way we encounter, interact with, and even buy art? How does a platform’s design—as well as the constant digital circulation of images—impact our understanding of new and emerging art works, as well as artistic practice? Matthew Israel, Curator at Large and former Director of the Art Genome project, Artsy; Author “Kill for Peace: American Artists Against the Vietnam War” and Kimberly R. Drew, Founder of Contemporary Black Art on Tumblr and the Associate Online Community Producer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will speak with Sarah Hromack about the ever-shifting implications of displaying art and images online in 2015.

5:30 – 7:30 Wrap Up, Reception in The Commons for all participants and audience