ORDINALS AND ART
FAR: PAINTING WITH MACHINES
FAR (Francisco Alarcon) is an artist and engineer exploring the intersection of visual arts and technology. His research delves into the material history of computer-generated graphics, examining digital imaging from historical and conceptual perspectives. He investigates computer simulations and visualizations, focusing on their impact on our understanding of the physical world through film, video games, and virtual worlds. FAR's work has been exhibited at prestigious venues such as the Harvard Art Museums, Ars Electronica, Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, A+D Museum in Los Angeles, SCI-Arc Gallery, and the Druker Design Gallery at Harvard University, among others.
In conversation with Anika Meier, FAR discussed his studies at Harvard, how he got into blockchain, NFTs, and Ordinals, and how he turned from being an engineer into both an engineer and an artist, working on numerous projects such as Taproot Wizards, Quantum Cats, and his art.
AI AND VALUES
ANNE SPALTER: "CAN ART EXIST WITHOUT AN ARTIST?"
Anne Spalter knows how to help herself. When she was looking for a book about the pioneers of early computer art, she couldn't find an in-depth publication, so she wrote it herself. It took her six years to finish the book. Spalter took the time to speak with artists like Herbert W. Franke, Frieder Nake, and Manfred Mohr. When she first heard about artists working with technology, she wasn't convinced; she thought computers were for science. Her initial reaction helps her understand the sometimes negative responses to artists working with the latest technologies. Spalters herself became an artist interested in creating art with new technologies; she is a pioneer in the field of AI and, together with Michael Spalter, stewards one of the world's largest private collections of early computer art.
In conversation with Anika Meier, Spalter discusses early computer art and AI, creating art by hand and telling stories, the role of the artist in the age of AI, and the future of NFTs.
Digital Art and 3D Scanning
CHRIS COLEMAN: "THE DIGITAL IS AS EPHEMERAL AS FLOWERS"
What can contemporary art be in the digital age? Artist, curator, and collector Chris Coleman has been asking this question for almost 30 years. He is Professor of Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver, where he teaches code to students, among other things. Until the 2021 hype surrounding NFTs, digital art was niche. Has that actually changed in the long run?
In conversation with Anika Meier, Chris Coleman tells how he got into digital art and coding at an early age, how collecting digital art has changed, and why he captures the world around him using 3D scanning.
Poetry and AI
KALEN IWAMOTO: BRINGING THE PAGE INTO THE LITERARY ARTWORK
Kalen Iwamoto is one of the co-founders of theVERSEverse, a poetry NFT gallery where poem = work of art. Together with Ana Maria Caballero and Sasha Stiles, she empowers writers creatively and financially, celebrates the rise of crypto-native poetry, and onboards acclaimed writers to Web3. As an artist and poet, she explores the intersection of art and language on the blockchain. Her work takes blockchain technology and crypto culture as its point of departure and focuses on playfulness, exploration, and experimentation to push the boundaries of the NFT medium and of conceptual writing and art.
In conversation with Anika Meier, Iwamoto discusses writing and poetry, blockchain and AI, and the dialogue between art and language.
Digital Art History And Post-Photography
CLAUDIA HART: "I AM NOT A FUTURIST", CONVERSATION WITH ANIKA MEIER PART I
Claudia Hart is one of the most well-known female pioneers of digital art, with a career that began in the early 1990s. Starting by defining all that photography was not, the New York-based artist reimagined image-making in the early days of virtual reality. She pioneered what are now ubiquitous technologies: 3D rendering, printed sculptures, and virtual and augmented realities.
Hart’s influence on contemporary digital art is substantial. Her work is in prestigious collections and exhibitions such as, among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the THOMA Foundation, and is the cover image of Christiane Paul’s fourth edition of DIGITAL ART, published in May 2023. The book is considered to be the canon of digital art history.
In the first of three conversations with Anika Meier for EXPANDED.ART, Hart discusses post-photography, being a female artist in a man’s world, and her goal of moving contemporary art forward.
Culture Wars And Animations
CLAUDIA HART: MIND AND BODY, CONVERSATION WITH ANIKA MEIER PART II
Claudia Hart wrote her way into visual art. Leveraging her positions at ID and later at ARTFORUM, Hart took the opportunity to explore the obscure corners of design and contemporary art and became obsessed. Her obsession led to her curating an exhibition in 1984 about art and design crossover, an impulse that then swept the art scene. It was called HOUSE ON THE BORDERLINE, and was staged at White Columns, New York's oldest alternative non-profit space. The artists, curators, and writers she met—from the gallerist Holly Solomon to artists Dan Graham and Ericka Beckman—guided her. Hart's explorations led her to rediscover herself as an artist using multiple mediums, from the decorative arts to painting and animation.
In the second of three conversations with Anika Meier for EXPANDED.ART, Hart discusses her early artistic influences, how Europe transformed her into a digital artist, and the "mind and body split" in her visual and literary work.
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DIGITAL ART
"Many of the early pioneers did not dare call their work art and instead categorized it as design." – Herbert W. Franke