Sedition was recently interviewed by Digicult, the online cultural platform that examines the impact of digital technologies and applied sciences on art, design, culture and contemporary society. Digicult is founded and directed by italian art critic and curator Marco Mancuso who spoke to Sedition about our artists, aims and art on screens. The full article ‘Sedition. The platform that is changing the contemporary art market‘ can be read on the Digicult website. Below are excerpts from the interview.
Marco Mancuso: What is most surprising is the growing number of digital artists involved in the project. Some of the most important and well known artists at global level are in your catalogues: From Ryoji Ikeda to Aaron Koblin, Herman Kolgen to Claudia Hart, Zimoun, Scanner, Kurokawa, Mark Amerika, Casey Reas, Lia. Why did such important artists decide to join your project? Not to mention very important artists of the contemporary art world such as Yoko Ono, Damien Hirst, Boltanski, Bill Viola and Wim Wenders…
Sedition: We’ve been very fortunate in regards to the artists’ response – they like what we are doing and are as excited as we are at the prospect of reaching a whole new audience for contemporary art! Our goal is to make a selection of some of the best art pieces and the most exciting artists working today available to our collectors – some of these are well known figures of the contemporary art scene, others are highly regarded for their work in digital or media art. We’re excited about the possible dialogues between artists from different spheres.
Marco Mancuso: It seems that you tend to focus on artworks and artists that work mainly in visual art and/or audiovisual creation. From data visualization to generative art, from graphic animations to still images. The media is basically stills or videos. Is there a pure technical reason connected to the devices you work with (screens, tablets, monitors, mobiles) or do you think the market of collectors is more interested in such artworks rather than other screen artworks (Internet art, interactive media, movies and so on)?
Sedition: Sedition currently only supports videos and image stills. We would really like to support generative artworks and interactive works as well, but there are many technical challenges to have interactive artworks or apps compatible across all devices. It is something we are considering for the future development of Sedition. Our aim is to be able to support all kinds of digital artworks.
Marco Mancuso: Sedition is also working as a sort of online platform, presenting and connecting artists, collectors and museums. You’ve developed special projects with some museums (The Eyebeam for example) while giving collectors the chance to see their collection appreciate in value as other collectors move the market, building up their private collections of digital artworks, selling and trading original limited editions. Do you also consider Sedition as a virtual plaza for a new business collection economy on contemporary art?
Sedition: Yes we see Sedition as a vibrant online community for selling, collecting and trading digital limited edition artworks. We develop partnerships with museums to help increase awareness of their exhibition programs and the exhibitions of artists we are working with. We also offer museums the chance to fundraise with digital editions sold in the gift shop. We have developed an on-site display and Sedition Gift Cards for this. We want to bring Sedition also into physical spaces for sale in gift shops, but artworks continue to be experienced digitally on screens.
Marco Mancuso: Finally, the main question. Why should a collector buy an artwork to be seen on a screen? Especially small screens like tablets or mobile? Considering the original habit of such artists and artworks, looking also at concepts as immersivity, synthesis and sensorial experience. How could Sedition give the collectors such a deep emotive experience using such devices?
Sedition: Screens are ubiquitous today. Everyone now owns at least one or two smart phones, tablets or TVs in their home. It is about embracing the idea that artworks can be taken with you anywhere you go, and can be viewed on any device. The ideal ‘digital canvas’ for viewing works from Sedition is the TV. It is like thinking about your TV as a picture frame for art in your home where works can be changed at any time. Smart phones and tablets tend to be the mobile way to experience and manage your collection, but large screens and projections are perhaps the best way to view the works at home.