digital disruptors | Dec 18, 2015 |
Electric Objects showroom opens, offering digital art solution
Boh staff

The Electric Objects temporary SoHo showroom in New York City will remain open until this Saturday, displaying digital work from artists like Björk, Ai Weiwei, Zach Gage, YACHT and Sabrina Ratté. 

The company’s hallmark is the EO1, a custom-built, high-definition screen that displays digital and Internet art in the home. It has an integrated computer, which allows the screen to display dynamic works of art, including digital GIFs, looping videos and computer-generated 3-D images.

The idea for frameable digital art stemmed from Electric Objects founder Jake Levine’s move into a new apartment and attendant desire to decorate. Explains curator Zoë Salditch, “He felt, ‘I should buy some art,’ but he wasn't connected to the traditional art world the way he is to technological art.”

Electric Objects, which commissions device-specific artwork, also works with partners through its Art Club initiative, including Cooper Hewitt, Giphy, Ghostly, Kickstarter, New York Public Library, Rhizome and Tumblr. Now on the showroom’s walls are a piece that displays the words WAR or PEACE, depending on the number of Google searches run on those terms (so far, WAR has appeared daily); a yellow collage created by a teenage artist; a series of GIFs produced by Björk; and “Panda to Panda,” by Ai Weiwei and Wikileaks hacker Jacob Appelbaum, which features stuffed pandas filled with shredded NSA documents.

“There is more art on the Internet than in every gallery and museum on Earth,” says Levine. “But many of these beautiful objects are trapped. They’re trapped inside of devices like our tablets, our TVs, our laptops, devices designed for distraction, living between texts, tweets, football games and emails from work.”

Soon-to-debut features include a Playlist option, which will allow users to create a lineup of videos, GIFs and other digital artwork produced specifically for the device, or culled from the Internet by users themselves.

Art viewers can control what appears on the screen using desktop and mobile applications for iOS and Android. The EO1 can be purchased in-store or online for $499.

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