[-empyre-] re: thoughts on the gallery space

Hi Taylor,

I agree very much with your long list of why it is important to show this type of work in gallery spaces! Here are some other thoughts on the issue:

In many ways publishing an artwork in a book has the same advantages and disadvantages as publishing an artwork on the web: larger distribution since the object comes to the viewer instead of vice versa.

Sometimes when I see exhibits of photographs in museums I think it would've been better to look at them in a book - but realistically if they were buried in a book I wouldn't have ever looked at them. In a sea of books or websites it makes a big difference if a museum or gallery mounts an exhibit that says "let's look at this work as a public group experience." And then of course works whose scale naturally exceeds the size of a book or the size of a monitor clearly suffer from being compressed into that smaller scale. The experience is simply different.

I dislike head-mounted displays as a viewing platform for VR because it is so isolating as an experience. Who goes to a museum alone? Most of us do it as a social outing, partly because we want to be able to compare our impressions with our companions in a synergistic experience. With interactive pieces the added bonus is that if you and your companion can't figure out how to operate a piece, there is likely to be someone else around who knows and can show you (the Japanese position helpers to do this task too - an interesting difference with the Western "say as little as possible" approach to art appreciation.)

If you think about the opportunity to show a piece publically in a curated show on a large screen as an installation instead of hidden in the privacy of someone's home who doesn't have the right equipment anyway, it is a clear choice. The drawback in a public exhibit is for works - like computer games - that require a long concentrated playing time in order to produce a satisfying experience. Here the public gallery is not so good, because there is usually someone else standing behind you waiting for their turn. But perhaps this problem can be taken care of by offering the piece for sale in the bookshop!

- tamiko

 Tamiko Thiel       Media Artist



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