We recently spent a whole week discussing the digital arts market (or lack thereof), making some observations and predictions about venues for digital art and how to monetize it. Suddenly, Aram Bartholl drops the answer in our laps. It was so obvious the whole time. Why didn’t we think of this?
If you can’t get people to the art, you bring the art to the people, and not just by sending them a link and asking them to check it out online. As the saying goes, give someone a painting, and they’ll enjoy it for a day, give them a museum, and they’ll become a curator for life. Bartholl has already mastered this tactic in his Speed Show curatorial format, which has steadily been spreading its networked tentacles throughout Internet Cafes around the world. In contrast, the Online Gallery Playset is a paper doll room you can set up at home, on your own private keyboard, aligning browser windows on your screen with the cut out spaces on the “wall” where the art is supposed to hang. Pull together a nice set of four browser windows, line them up, and boom—you’re attending your very own art show.
But, of course, no art show is complete without patrons. Bartholl has you covered on that front as well. The playset also comes with little paper patrons, standing in contemplative poses and holding cocktails, no doubt lost deep in thought contemplating the works on view. But still, there are too many good vibes in the room for this to be a fully realistic experience… Enter bored front desk person, who will sit there noodling on an iPhone and mumbling apathetically as people enter and leave. The experience is complete!
Finally, we can realize our deepest desire—having a gallery of our very own. Can someone please pass the scissors and glue? Download the Online Gallery Playset and try it out for yourself.