The visual arts world has been slow to embrace computers. Some forward-thinking collectors hope to change that.
Computers have been fixtures in peoples homes for about 20 years. It's amazing how almost nothing about them surprises us. What don't we use computers for these days?
The visual art world, however, has been a little slow to catch up.
Jonathan Carroll sounds like a character out of a movie. He is a former bond trader who retired from finance early--really early, at age 33. Since then, he has been working on his art collection. He is throwing his weight behind a below-the-radar commodity: computer art.
"I have this year, in fact, in the last few months, decided to sell about 6, 7, 8 pieces of art. Most of it is actually traditional art, to boraden my collection of new-media-based art. I can sell one of these peices, and because of the nature of the market, I can buy, I would say, between ten and twenty pieces of the kind of art that I am now focusing on."
He has bought so much computer art, that he is combining his Brooklyn brownstone with another one next door. Carroll lives with his art collection, so it has to be more than an investment.
"Once you have had a photograph on the wall, after a period of time, you know what it is. Whereas a lot of the art that is driven by a computer, you can never say that. It is constantly in flux," says Carroll.
Some people think any art with a computer looks gimmicky.
"We can also ask ourselves 'How engaging are the ideas within this piece?' You can ask the same of a sculpture, you can ask the same of a painting. Are these ideas challenging, or do they play out the minute you process the ideas?" says Patty Johnson, who writes a blog about the New York arts scene. "I just don't think the new media community specifically with gimmick as a problem. I think that is something that is pervasive."
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