2019: E-Motion Running High

With boundaries between genres dissolving, the new artforms appear continuously. Paintings that look like sculpture…

Untitled. Anish Kapoor. 2017 ©Lisson Gallery

performances that look like installations…

Yingmei Duan. Happy Yingmei. 2012

urban art that looks like printmaking…

DronestagramJames Bridle. 2014.

videos that looks like paintings…

Painting Europe. Sweatshoppe. 2017

or installations that are a hybrid of it all.

Shih Chieh Huang. Artist TED talk.

Just as 100 years ago, flux in society and politics seems to integrate art into what it was supposed to be all the time — an immersive flow of artists’ making that manifests itself in ever-multiplying new forms, as various as the people that make them. The difference with the previous century, however, is that art is losing the vibe of being elitist, detached, and inaccessible. It permeates every pore of the proverbial global village, a term coined by Marshall McLuhan and simultaneously explored by the giant of video art Nam June Paik in his piece Global Grove, 1973 (below)

Paik’s visionary take on art lovers and normal TV viewers was the beginning of a true democratisation of the art viewing public.

By 2019 normal TV viewers turned into digital media consumers and producers in equal measure. The amount of video documentation and video art far exceed the proportional magnitude of the Library of Alexandria in Ancient Greece. We are all swimming in (and injecting our own streams to!)  an ocean of motion pictures in the original sense of the word.

No amount of discerning judgement can contain and classify this avalanche for future generations. Some call it metamodernism but the ‘-isms’ are so 20th century. Definable movements yield to merging tendencies, new mimeses, and a culture of perpetuity. The digital plays a leading role in this cultural phenomenon of the self-recording reality of daily existence. Some practicing artists have seized digital tools that have become the instruments of contemporary art, while aspiring ones have realized that their phone recordings are more than just a personal communication log or diary.

Some call it a doomsday, some find it inspirational.

The 2018 Turner Prize winner Charlotte Prodger used iPhone video features to make her work. Ironically, she is referred to by the BBC as an ‘iPhone artist’, which only emphasizes the fact that the wide availability of digital devices is still sinking in with some art journalists, who would undoubtedly refrain from calling, say, Jackson Pollock a ‘paint brush artist’.

Art collectors have begun to see the possibilities of collecting video art. Julia Stoschek’s private time-based media collection is open for public in Dusseldorf and Berlin.

The 21st century is becoming that information superhighway that Nam June Paik saw coming in 1973. Exploding with video recording devices being carried around the world in millions of pockets, and used to make motion pictures on a daily basis. The quantity of artists working with video is expanding, while museums and galleries are not always capable of accommodating video work. That is why we are building Ephemereye as a platform that combines live and virtual shows, as well as building the technology that would help to find it all. We look forward to 2019, and expect our programming to be as exciting as ever.

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