ANNE SPALTER: "CAN ART EXIST WITHOUT AN ARTIST?"
AI AND VALUES
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.
DEV HARLAN: "A RECORD OF US IN THE WORLD AFTER US"
Technostalgia and the Metaverse
The New York-based artist Dev Harlan believes that technostalgia is a coping mechanism for the rapid and unrelenting acceleration of technology and social change. In his work, the depiction of computers or devices from the past is not intended as sentimentalism. Harlan is interested in flattening the timescale between technological artifacts, past and present, and considering them all as future fossils, literally flattened into the geological strata. A record of us in the world after us. In conversation with Anika Meier, Harlan discusses technostalgia and retrofuturism, art and technology, and nature in the age of the metaverse.
VICTOR ACEVEDO: "THE WORLD BEGAN TO CHANGE"
DESKTOP COMPUTER ART AND GEOMETRY
Los Angeles-based artist Victor Acevedo is known as a desktop computer art pioneer. While life without computers is unimaginable for digital natives, life with computers was unimaginable and unfamiliar for past generations. The term computer art lasted until the 1990s, when it was replaced by the term digital art. Acevedo first encountered computer graphics in the 1980s. Before that, he was a painter. He wanted to be an oil painter like Van Gogh and Salvador Dalí. But it quickly became clear to him that he wanted to create pictures with digital tools and that this would become the new form of painting. In conversation with Anika Meier, Acevedo remembers how he came to computer art from painting, how computers changed the world and art, and how he brought cubism and photography together in his art.
AURÈCE VETTIER: HAVE WE ALREADY INVENTED EVERYTHING?
NATURE AND AI
In 2019 aurèce vettier has visited the Venice Biennale and came to the "brutal realization" that the role of the artist will have to change. He was irritated to see that the majority of the artworks were mere documentations of the status of the world today. That was not enough for him. So he chose an alias and has started working as an artist called aurèce vettier. Art is about storytelling, so this decision marked the beginning of the portrait of the artist as an AI pioneer. In conversation with Anika Meier, aurèce vettier discusses art and storytelling, AI and nature, and the new role of the artist in the age of AI.
KALEN IWAMOTO: BRINGING THE PAGE INTO THE LITERARY ARTWORK
AI AND POETRY ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
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.
QUBIBI: BEAUTY AND WORMS
VIDEO GAMES AND GENERATIVE ART
The Japanese artist qubibi is known on the Internet for his artwork of worms. That probably sounds strange. Just as astonishing is the life of qubibi, who actually didn't want to become an artist. He finally came to digital art through his circle of friends and video games. He is now one of the best-known and most successful artists in the field of generative art. In conversation with Anika Meier, qubibi talks about his path to art, about beauty and worms, generative art, and exhibitions.
CHRIS COLEMAN: "THE DIGITAL IS AS EPHEMERAL AS FLOWERS"
Digital Art and 3D Scanning
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.
DAVID HENRY NOBODY JR.: HOW DO YOU TURN YOUR LIFE INTO A PERFORMANCE?
ART AND LIFE
David Henry Nobody Jr. speaks to Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, about performance art and NFTs, the "Fantastic Nobody," and his ability to predict the future.
MARGARET MURPHY: PHOTOGRAPHY IN A POST-SOCIAL MEDIA ERA
IDENTITY AND AI
Having grown up on the Internet and everything that comes with it, Margaret Murphy’s art speaks the language of online culture. Her brightly colored and aesthetically accentuated photographs and AI works encourage dialogues that are mostly led on social media: Murphy creates images questioning gender and the male gaze, beauty standards, and self-perception, while also exploring deeper recesses of memory and identity. In conversation with Nora Partl, Online Editor, and Anika Meier, Murphy discusses self-portraiture and identity, image-making and AI, memory, and nostalgia.
EMILY EDELMAN: MEANING BEYOND THE MESSAGE
Typography and Generative Art
Graphic designer turned generative artist, Emily Edelman, compels us to question the meaning of written text beyond its overt layer — the message. Having explored themes related to typography, communication, scale, colour, and the contrasts between physical & digital design theories, she now presents works in the form of systems of text, the understanding of which requires not a dictionary, but instead an open heart and soul. Experimenting with the concept of Asemic writing, leads her to the praxis of generating text that conveys meaning, which is predominantly aesthetic, rather than semantic in nature.
GEOFF DAVIS: "THINGS MOVE FAST IN THE COMPUTER WORLD"
MICRO ARTS AND EARLY COMPUTER ART
Generative artist Geoff Davis was inspired to create art at a young age. Instead of art in traditional forms, he found the computer to be the medium that excited him the most. The advent of personal computers and software, specifically in color, allowed him to marry his passion for creative writing and digital art. In 1984, he established the Micro Arts Group with the intention of enabling young artists who previously felt ostracized from the academic slant of digital art. Now, his innovative and community-minded vision remains through blockchain technology, NFTs, and Web3.
JURGEN OSTARHILD: "CODE IS CONTEMPORARY TEXT"
Blockchain and Post-Photography
Photographer Jurgen Ostarhild’s 40-year career boasts an impressive resume of noteworthy gallery shows and portraits of cultural figures, fashion brands, and celebrities. Despite his roots in fashion photography, Ostarhild’s motivation for creating goes far beyond the lens of a camera. The artist has delved deep into dissecting the 0s and 1s that comprise a digital image. Through the reimagination of his imagery be it with Photoshop manipulation or hex codes, Ostarhild pushes the boundaries of what exactly a photograph is. NFTs, blockchain technology, and the Web3 community have driven his pursuit of digital art even further and it seems that he has only just begun.
BENJAMIN HEIDERSBERGER: THE TRANSITION FROM ANALOG TO DIGITAL
GENERATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY AND ALGORITHMIC ART
Benjamin Heidersberger has devoted a big part of his life to carrying on his father's legacy. As a pioneer in generative photography and algorithmic art, Heinrich Heidersberger left behind an extensive oeuvre consisting of his distinctive RHYTHMOGRAMS as well as, among others, photographs of architecture, macro shots, and experiments with lightning in nature. His explorations in the fields of generative photography and algorithmic art have gained international recognition. His RHYTHMOGRAMS are part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
CLAUDIA HART: ON VISION AND THE VISIONARY, CONVERSATION WITH ANIKA MEIER PART III
UNCANNY IMAGES AND SIMULATIONS
With a background in architecture and writing, Claudia Hart came into the spotlight in the 1990s as a multimedia artist interested in investigating themes of representation and identity. Hart integrates subjects from art history, philosophy, and cultural studies to examine themes of feminism, embodiment, and temporality through symbolic poetics that embroider onto real-world politics. She does this by drawing on computing, virtual imaging, and 3D animation technologies. No matter the medium, Hart has made a name for herself by creating uncanny, mesmerising images. In the third and final of three conversations with Anika Meier for EXPANDED.ART, Hart speaks about her journey from painting to animation, virtual reality, and NFTs; her background in architecture and its influence on her practise of creating uncanny images; and how Hart, as an artist of our time, sees the present.
LOVID: THE NATURE OF EXPERIMENTATION
Digital Ownership and Video Art
Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus began collaborating as LoVid in 2001. What strated as a synergy of individual interests in technologies has evolved into a shared artistic vision for more than 20 years. With an ever-strong affection for analogue media and a pioneering spirit for new technologies, LoVid's works are at the cusp of analogue and digital. Immersive installations, sculptural synthesizers, single-channel videos, and textile art evolve from the duo's hand-built instruments, which are as much part of the process as they are of the artwork. In conversation with Anika Meier, Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus speak about the evolution of LoVid, from the early stages of making noise music to eventually bringing their media art on the blockchain, the benefits and challenges of creating art as a couple, bridging the gap between the traditional and digital art worlds, and the future of NFTs.
CLAUDIA HART: MIND AND BODY, CONVERSATION WITH ANIKA MEIER PART II
CULTURE WARS AND ANIMATIONS
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 mid-1990s, Hart saw the movie TOY STORY at the Berlin Film Festival. It inspired her to animate A CHILD’S MACHIAVELLI (Penguin Edition, 1996), her most well-known illustrated book. This piece has lasting relevance. First because of its profound human theme—political strategy and the will to power—but also because the artist translated her version of Niccolò Machiavelli's Renaissance treatise THE PRINCE from one new technology into the next over the course of thirty years.
CLAUDIA HART: "I AM NOT A FUTURIST", CONVERSATION WITH ANIKA MEIER PART I
DIGITAL ART HISTORY AND POST-PHOTOGRAPHY
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.
ANA MARÍA CABALLERO: "POEMS ARE WORKS OF ART"
POETRY ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
Colombian-American artist Ana María Caballero believes that “poetry = work of art”. As the co-founder and curator of theVERSEVerse, a digital poetry gallery, her efforts to bring poetry to a new and engaging audience by way of NFTs have made her one of the most notable and respected poets in all of Web3. Her internationally exhibited work pushes boundaries on the subjects of motherhood, societal and cultural rites, and the concept of sacrifice as a virtue. In conversation with Anika Meier, Caballero speaks about the difference between writing a poem to mint as NFT or publish in a book, finding inspiration for her writing through her life experiences, and her optimism for the future of poets in Web3.
OONA: QUESTIONING THE VALUE OF WOMEN'S ARTWORK
Performance Art and Feminism
OONA, the anonymous performance artist, is a mirror. Born from the rich history of feminist video and performance art, OONA's work centers on topics all of us know but often are too fearful to broach. She is a rising figure in the NFT space engaging in performances virtually on her Twitter feed and physically in the form of live auctions at museums like The Metropolitan Museum of Art and art fairs such as Art Basel Miami. OONA's presence is commanding yet enticing. She exists behind her signature sunglasses and curtain face mask, obscuring any recognizable features that could distract you from her often bare breastplate (a wearable performance in itself) intended to pose a multitude of questions surrounding the financial value of both art and artist, especially in contrast to any who do not identify as white, cisgender men. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, OONA discusses the blockchain as a medium for performance art, the equity (or inequity) of the new online art world, and existing as a female artist under the male gaze.
TALI HINKIS: THE GENDERED SPACE OF TECHNOLOGY
FEMALE PIONEERS AND POWER STRUCTURES
When Tali Hinkis started creating digital art during her studies in Paris in the 1990s, it was almost forbidden. She was drawn toward video art and has been bringing the element of technology into her practice ever since. Hinkis has evolved her practice from experimenting with audio-visuals to generative art and NFTs. Together with her partner Kyle Lapidus, Hinkis builds the artist duo LoVid, whose interdisciplinary works explore the often invisible or intangible aspects of contemporary society. In conversation with Anika Meier, the artist speaks about the early stages of her practice, female pioneers of digital art and power structures, the evolving the online art world, and advice she would give emerging female artists.
HANS DEHLINGER: HOW CAN ONE DEFINE ART?
Plotter Drawings and Generative Art
83-year-old Hans Dehlinger has lived a life with many chapters. Early on, there was the chapter when Dehlinger studied under German philosopher and logician Max Bense and alongside Frieder Nake, today one of the most well-known pioneers of computer art. Then, Dehlinger entered the Berkeley chapter, where he studied and later worked as an environmental planner and architect, before entering a chapter experimenting with plotter drawings and generative art. With a broad approach to art and an ever-curious mind, Dehlinger combined the previous chapters and knowledge and has become a pioneer of generative art. With a focus on algorithmically generated line drawings, Dehlinger bases his generative artworks on computer code executed on pen plotters, forming delicate structures, dense textures, or even evoking an unsharp impression from sharp lines. In conversation with Anika Meier, Hans Dehlinger discusses his career and early computer art, the past and present of generative art and the connection between science and art.
SASHA STILES: THE NEVER-ENDING CYCLE OF TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS
AI AND POETRY ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
The idea of writing a poem is, for many, quintessentially human and deeply expressive, and it stands in stark contrast to sterile and emotionless technology. Sasha Stiles, however, has always seen these two halves as a whole and finds the blockchain to be the perfect home for her writing. The Kalmyk American poet uses technology as a lens through which to understand the importance of poetry to humans and explores the technological side of lyrical writing—how poetic language has always been a data storage system. In conversation with Anika Meier, Sasha Stiles discusses the possibilities of poetry on the blockchain and the role AI plays.
OLGA FEDOROVA: CONTEMPORARY SURREALISM
NOSTALGIA AND AI
Olga Fedorova's digital photographs of the human species in absurd situations capture moments in time. The Russian artist uses three-dimensional computer rendering software to create characters and then sets them in surreal-looking settings. Even though the events and actions are familiar to us, her creatures remain distant and otherworldly, conveying a certain feeling of nostalgia and mysticism. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, Fedorova discusses her artistic practice and her journey to working with AI, the absence of men in her work, and the importance of humor in her practice.
LEONIE SPECHT: THE CUTE AND UNCANNY
Self Optimization and Pop Culture
For Leonie Specht, the face presents a playground with an array of seemingly endless opportunities to enhance, distort, and deform. With her oil paintings and works on paper, the artist puts the face and facial expressions center stage, exploring everything from plastic surgery on celebrities to the anthropomorphization of animals and toy dolls. Blurring the line between humans and animals, exploring the topic of self-optimization, and creating a microcosm between reality and fantasy, Specht's paintings present a place where the commonplace and the strange can coexist. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Leonie Specht discusses her journey as an artist, the magic that painting radiates, the balancing act between the beautiful and uncanny, and self-optimization in the age of social media.
10 UNEXPECTED FACTS ABOUT ANDY KASSIER
CONCEPTUAL ART & PERFORMANCE
Andy Kassier has everything one needs to celebrate the art of the good life on social media: a smartphone and a mobile network. They allow him to always be at the right place at the right time. “I hate to spend money. Nothing is mine, but everything could be,” he says. “I don’t care about possession, I care about possibilities,” he explains. “What can you do without spending money?” Andy Kassier shows what is possible without having a bundle of cash. In this way, he wants to criticize success and coldness in the new meritocracy. Andy Kassier plays along on social media, but he does not exactly play fair. In actual fact, he cheats like everyone else, only he overdoes it without having to blush. And that is exactly as it should be: the exaggeration of self-promotion and self-improvement, the sarcasm and the irony, the art of trolling, as one could also say—all are part of his concept. Andy Kassier releases 10 unexpected facts about himself.
CHRIS DRANGE: QUESTIONING AUTHORSHIP
POST-DIGITAL ART AND SOCIAL MEDIA SYMBOLISM
Chris Drange has not painted any of his artworks, although his works are oil paintings depicting contemporary influencers like Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid. Drange has found an unusual way of making them: he creates sketches from various digital found objects, like influencer selfies or cute puppies, and sends them to an oil painting factory in China, where they are painted by hand on large-scale canvases. With his approach, the artist questions authorship and originality. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Drange speaks about the origins of his practice, social media symbolism, and discusses the question of whether a selfie is an expression of emancipation or serves the male gaze.
JOSEFINE SCHULZ: THE INTIMACY OF SISTERHOOD
THE BEAUTY OF EVERYDAY'S LIFE
Looking at Josefine Schulz's paintings, one can sense a certain calmness and equilibrium, almost wrapping up the viewer in comfort. The artist explores the different realities of life and focuses on depicting friendships, mostly female ones. Her paintings celebrate the unexcited, everyday moments of friendly togetherness in familiar situations. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Josefine Schulz speaks about her influences and her development as a young female artist, friendships as her biggest inspiration, and embracing womanhood.
JUSTIN AVERSANO: HEALING THROUGH ART
PHOTOGRAPHY AND NFTS
Justin Aversano has a deep, almost spiritual connection to art. While he has always been creative and has started taking images at an early age, Aversano found comfort in painting and making collages after his mother's passing. Since then, he has been working on projects not only for art's sake but to heal from past trauma. With his projects TWIN FLAMES and SMOKE AND MIRRORS, Aversano reflects on his individual path while creating deeply emotional art. He connects his art with the world around him by capturing moments, faces, and communities that surround him, bringing them together through the lens of his camera. He has become the most successful photographer to cross over from analogue to the NFT realm. That Aversano sold TWIN FLAMES #83 for the record amount of 1.1 million USD at Christie's has become almost common knowledge. In conversation with Anika Meier, Justin Aversano discusses his artistic journey, the role of his family, and the process of healing.
ALBRECHT/WILKE: IRONY MEETS ROMANTIC LONGING
BAD PAINTING AND SURREALISM
Artist duo Albrecht/Wilke are inseparable since they met in art school in 2017. Since then they have studied under Anselm Reyle, developed a unique visual language that ironically captures the Zeitgeist of contemporary society, and exhibited across Europe, showing their surreal visual worlds. In their works, Albrecht/Wilke address the clichés of the German middle class with irony and a dash of glamour. Combining figurative elements in an associative way and interlacing them with abstraction, they create captivatingly contemporary imagery and a highly subjective mood between naivety and unease. They draw from all sources, like the Internet, pop culture, art, or cultural history. Whatever comes their way—be it a garden gnome, a mini golf course, or a roll of mops—by humorously reflecting on the reality of their own lives, they create surreal visual worlds that ignore the seemingly strict aesthetic rules of painting. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Albrecht/Wilke speak about their process of painting as a duo, their idea of "good painting", and their obsession with currywurst.
PHILLIP TOLEDANO: "AI IS A MIRROR TO THE IMAGINATION"
PHOTOGRAPHY AND AI
After decades of working in photography, acclaimed artist Phillip Toledano tried something new and started creating images with AI. Hooked by the technology and the endless possibilities it comes with, Toledano can't stop challenging himself artistically and the viewer intellectually. In his first AI series titled ANOTHER AMERICA, he reflects on a world that doesn't seem to make sense any more. Toledano's AI creations fill an empty spot in the world of post-photography and make the artist consider cutting back on conventional photography. In conversation with Anika Meier, Toledano discusses his experiences and thoughts about artificial intelligence and photography.
MIKEY WOODBRIDGE: THE EPHEMERAL STATE OF BEING
AI AND DIGITAL COUTURE
Mikey Woodbridge belongs to a truly multidisciplinary artist breed—he paints, performs, and sings. Woodbridge, however, feels most at home working with AI and thrives when creating digital couture or questioning gender and identity. The artist speaks about Berlin and the city's influence on his practice, combining performance, fashion, and AI art, and collaborating with his partner Ezra Shibboleth on recent projects.
KIRA XONORIKA: EXPLORING IDENTITY THROUGH AI
GENDER AND AI
Born in 1995, Kira Xonorika belongs to a generation that is comfortable with technological advancements and is used to integrate them into their lives. Xonorika effortlessly integrates AI into her practice and creates surrealist landscapes and figures that are immediately recognizable. With her colourful worlds, the artist challenges binaries around identity, sexual orientation, and culture as the results of colonial power infrastructures. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, Xonorika speaks about her artistic influences and her love for science fiction, her curiosity towards AI and a possible hyperhumanity.
DANIELLE KING: ARTIFICIAL EMOTIONS
FEMININITY AND AI
Looking at Danielle King's AI creations makes one wonder about the emotional side of technology. Her highly photographic works, whether depicting women, nature, or buildings, appear emotive and create an intimate relationship between the viewer and King's work. With a background in photography and film, King now utilizes AI technology to explore alternative art histories and timelines and to investigate capitalist and art historical ideals of beauty and femininity. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, Danielle King reflects on the differences between the traditional art world and the NFT space, speaks about her path from photography to working with AI, and cites women as her ultimate source of inspiration.
ELLIE PRITTS: REINTERPRETING NOSTALGIA
PSYCHEDELIA AND GLITCH
Ellie Pritts' work seems otherworldly and captivates the viewer with oversaturated colours, glitch art, and psychedelia. Working across video, photography, and AI, Pritts has developed a unique visual language that pushes the psychedelic and chromatic aspects of her work. With her digital art, she explores the relationship between cutting-edge coding techniques, analog technology from the past, and artificial intelligence. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, Ellie Pritts speaks about her love for psychedelia, her recent projects, and exploring the deeper recesses of herself.
LARS NAGLER: BETWEEN BAUHAUS AND AI
POST-PHOTOGRAPHY AND AI
Lars Nagler has been creating art for more than 20 years. His artistic journey took him from studying at Bauhaus Weimar to photography and, eventually, led him to working with AI. Nagler, however, doesn't stop there: by continuously adapting and re-imagining his visual language, the artist is a fixum in the NFT space. Nagler discusses his career and artistic development, post-photography, and the promises of AI with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community.
CROSSLUCID: "THE COLLAPSE OF OUR WORLD AS WE KNOW IT”
The Promises and the Future of AI
How will our future look like? The times are uncertain, technology moves at high speed, and change is in the air. Artist duo Crosslucid, Sylwana Zybura and Tomas C. Toth, have devoted their practice to imagining emerging futures. Crosslucid focus on AI-generated works, thereby exploring topics of identity, sexuality, and gender. They question how technology affects our relationships and identities. In conversation with Anika Meier, the artists speak about their journey from photography to working with AI, their creative process as an artist duo, and their thoughts about the future and the promises of AI.
ANNA CONDO: "ALL ART IS ARTIFICIAL"
Artificial and Emotional Intelligence
For Anna Condo, an artistic path was almost predetermined. Coming from a family of artists, she explored various approaches for her own path: acting, filmmaking, photography, painting, and NFTs. In July 2022, Condo discovered the tools of AI and has been inspired by them ever since. Staying true to her visual language and the flower as her ultimate muse, the artist explores beauty in subtle ways. In conversation with Anika Meier and Margaret Murphy, she looks back on the art world of the 1980s, speaks about her artistic influences, and discusses the promises of AI.
ROOPE RAINISTO: STRETCHING THE BOUNDARIES OF REALITY
PHOTOGRAPHY AND AI
Roope Rainisto's AI creations are both instantly recognizable and disturbingly surreal. The Finnish artist embraces AI in all its imperfections and uses it to create AI photographs that are at once intimate and otherworldly. Roope Rainisto worked as a designer for over 25 years before fully devoting his career to exploring the field of AI photography. Since then, Rainisto has seen a remarkable rise to fame in the spheres of NFT and AI art. His NFT collection, LIFE IN WEST AMERICA, which explores a distorted vision of the idea of the American West, ranks among the highest-valued AI art collections. The work of Rainisto plays with the brain's innate pattern-seeking abilities by providing viewers with scenes that they have both seen a million times but have yet to encounter, cementing his success in the NFT space. In conversation with Anika Meier, Rainisto speaks about stretching the boundaries of AI.
ROSS GOODWIN: THE DATA POET
AI AND POETRY ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
Ross Goodwin was a ghostwriter for the White House and was on the 2008 Obama campaign team before making a U-turn and devoting his creativity to computational creative writing. Goodwin created the world’s first film from an AI-written screenplay, and in his practice, he pushes the boundaries of poetry on the blockchain. In conversation with Anika Meier, the artist speaks about his career and influences, training algorithms, and good writing and bias in AI.
ANNE SPALTER & NATHANIEL STERN: AT THE FOREFRONT OF AI
When exploring new territories, it is often helpful to not walk alone. That’s probably why we see more and more artists collaborating on projects in the NFT space. Experiences can be shared and expertise combined. When Anne Spalter and Nathaniel Stern met, they both knew it was meant to be. Their encounter influenced their artistic practice and impacted their work with AI. Spalter and Stern have been collaborating ever since, exploring video, poetry, and AI. In conversation with Anika Meier, the artists discuss their practice, working together, and the present and future of AI. And, of course, the conversation was also about Spalter Digital, one of the world’s largest private collections of early computer art, comprising over 1000 works from the second half of the twentieth century.
CRASHBLOSSOM: "BLOCKCHAINS CAN TRANSFORM OUR WORLD"
DYNAMIC ART AND GENERATIVE ABSTRACTION
His artist name says it all: Crashblossom defines the ambiguity of information. His name and art stand for the examination of the jagged human relationship to the technologies that define our lives. James Bloom, aka Crashblossom, creates art based on the moments when technology fails and generates dynamic digital art influenced by its viewers and collectors. In conversation with Anika Meier, Crashblossom discusses his practice and influences, the fetishization of technology, and the power of the blockchain. London-based James Bloom has been creating art since his teens. He has always viewed art as his passion, never a possible career—until he discovered crypto art. Bloom saw it as a possibility to bring together art and digital innovation while exploring society's contemporary experience. Influenced by the dopamine-triggering colours and movements of computer games and inspired by failures of technology, Bloom creates abstract works, which, through the combination of glitched forms and live data feeds, act as living artworks. Under his alias Crashblossom, the artist questions the technological systems on which his artworks are based.
EMERGENT PROPERTIES: EXPERIMENTING WITH TECHNICAL INNOVATION
GENERATIVE ART AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
What actually is generative AI? Why is AI the future? And how do you select artists for a new platform? In conversation with Anika Meier, the artist Ira Greenberg and his two co-founders at Emergent Properties, Emil and Sandy Corsillo, talk about generative AI.
ERIKA WEITZ: ART AS ALCHEMY
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY & AI
Erika Weitz is an artistic alchemist. Not only do they use the scientific concepts of alchemy in their dark room practice of collodion wet plate photography, they see the process of art making as a conjuring of dimensions between artist, subject, style and experience. In conversation with Head of Community, Margaret Murphy, Weitz discusses their incorporation of AI into traditional artistic mediums, intuition in creative conception and the importance of storytelling as citizen of the world.
"YOUR VOICE IS YOUR IDENTITY"
The Beauty of Nature and An Archive of Voices
Herbert W. Franke first encountered Harry Yeff’s work in Linz in the summer of 2021. Both were part of the exhibition PROOF OF ART at the Francisco Carolinum in Linz, the first museum to tell the brief history of NFTs. Franke, who was also a caver and rock collector, became interested in Harry Yeff and Trung Bao's work, VOICE GEMS, and soon a collaboration emerged: Yeff asked about the potential of using Franke's voice in an audio-visual production, and Franke responded by sending one of his voice gems, which is a vocal work of art in itself. In conversation with Anika Meier, Susanne Päch, the wife of Herbert W. Franke, Harry Yeff, and Trung Bao talk about the collaboration that began in 2021. Päch, who today heads the art meets science – Foundation Herbert W. Franke and lived with the artist and scientist for 40 years, also tells more about Franke's fascination with stones and what this has to do with the beginning of his artistic career.
ANNA BELLER: THE MIND, BODY AND SOUL OF ABSTRACT ART
Transcendence Through Artistic Process
Emerging abstract painter Anna Beller believes in the importance of process in her artistic practice. Whether in her physical paintings or NFTs, creating art provides Beller with an experience transcending time and space. Beller speaks about art as a form of religion, balancing both a digital and physical practice, and her sensory response to painting with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community.
IRA GREENBERG: CRACKING THE CODE
GENERATIVE AI AND CREATIVE CODING
With a background in classical art history and a pioneering spirit for the matter of computer science, Ira Greenberg has been feverishly creating in the fields of painting and coding and has worked as a creative director and art and computer science professor. He has been experimenting with creative coding and generative art long before NFTs gained momentum. With works like ORACLES and GLOMULARUS, he has taken the NFT space by storm. Ira Greenberg discusses his extraordinary career with Anika Meier.
GRETCHEN ANDREW: REMAKING THE GLOBAL INTERNET
WEB3 AND FEMALE IDENTITY
Gretchen Andrew calls herself an Internet Imperialist. Hacking systems and corporations, breaking algorithmic rules and remaking male internet power structures are on Gretchen’s agenda when trying to make the web a more democratic and female-friendly place. All of this she does with art, code, and glitter, mixing her background in tech with her artistic approach. Gretchen Andrew talks about the intersection of art and technology, reflecting on her gender identity through her work, improving the Internet, and demystifying male-dominated knowledge with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community.
JINY LAN: THE RIGHT TO SPEAK VIA ART
Feminist Art and Activism
For Jiny Lan, art and critique are interwoven; the first can’t exist without the second. Having grown up and studied art in China, she experienced early that speaking and creating art freely is a privilege–one she didn’t have but was willing to fight for. Jiny Lan’s paintings, mixed media works, installations and performances question gender roles, tell stories of Chinese women and critice societal systems. The artist speaks to Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, about her experiences leading the feminist art collective BALD GIRLS, standing out in a communist regime, and finding a voice in the art world.
HERBERT W. FRANKE & LEE MULLICAN: PIONEERS AND THEIR LEGACY
EARLY DIGITAL ART'S INFLUENCE ON NFTS
As pioneers of digital art, Herbert W Franke and Lee Mullican have left behind a significant legacy. Anika Meier discusses the artists' impact on today's digital art and NFT scene with representatives of their Estates, Susanne Päch and Cole Root.
BANZ & BOWINKEL: SIMULATING REALITY
COMPUTER ART & DIGITAL PAINTINGS
Artist duo Banz & Bowinkel have stretched the boundaries of digital art since 2008. In their works, Giulia Bowinkel and Friedemann Banz explore the human perception of the digitally augmented real world. The computer not only functions as a tool but becomes the subject matter itself and serves as the origin to blend the physical with the digital. Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, spoke to Banz & Bowinkel about their studies under Albert Oehlen and the early stages of computer art, the simulation of reality through their practice and shaping new digital environments.
MARTINA MENEGON: EXPLORING DIGITAL BODIES AND IDENTITIES
FEMINISM AND VIRTUALITY
Inspired by the endless artistic potential of cyberspace and evolving technologies, Martina Menegon’s art explores the multidimensionality of the body—specifically her own. Viewers pinch, push, and drag 3D scans of Menegon’s nude body across a screen, inspiring questions regarding the consumption of the female body both on- and offline. While many artists hesitate to incorporate a virtual practice, Menegon is embracing it and setting the stage for feminist art in the fast-approaching Metaverse age. In conversation with Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, Menegon discusses the expanse of the Internet, her relationship to her physical form, and the importance of female artists supporting one another.
ZIYANG WU: INVESTIGATING THE ALGORITHM
AI AND WEB 3.0
New York-based artist Ziyang Wu spends his time exploring the invisible forces of the virtual world. Data and algorithms ubiquitously micro-alienate and reconstruct humans in the highly globalized post-Internet society. In his practice, the artist uses Artificial Intelligence, user-based Internet algorithms, and episodic video to create cutting-edge NFTs. Ziyang Wu currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is a member of the Experiment on Art and Technology Track at NEW INC, New Museum. Margaret Murphy, Head of Community, spoke with Ziyang Wu about his creative process with AI, the ever-looming presence of the algorithm, and what he looks forward to in the future of Web 3.0.
MAYA MAN: THE ART OF ZOOMING IN
FEMINISM AND INTERNET CULTURE
Maya Man is a Los Angeles-based artist who considers the computer screen a space for intimacy and performance; her practice responds to contemporary internet cultures with a focus on identity and femininity. In conversation with Head of Community, Margaret Murphy, the artist talks about multidimensionality vs. authenticity, the Internet as a performance, and feminine aesthetics in artwork.
WHAT DOES BEING AN ARTIST MEAN?
Interview with Jonas Lund
The Swedish artist Jonas Lund has been concerned with the emergence of values and the distribution of power in the art market since 2012. He creates his works with the help of algorithms and viewers, who, for example, have voting rights in decisions affecting his art and career as owners of the JONAS LUND TOKEN (2018). He talks to Anika Meier about the emergence of values, changes in the art market, and the benefits of NFTs. And why do animals play an important role in his JONAS LUND TOKEN universe?
HOW TO TRANSLATE HUMOR INTO ART
Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek: Photographing Animals
Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek knows when to pull the trigger. Flying cats, alpacas on the streets of New York, or guinea pigs in cocktail glasses—his photographs transport the element of surprise like no other. The Berlin-based photographer and aspiring NFT artist has developed a characteristic visual language featuring the right amount of humor, spontaneity, and ugliness. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek speaks about defining his aesthetics, entering the NFT world, and capturing the perfect image.
MAXIME BALLESTEROS: BETWEEN TRUST AND INTIMACY
PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Lyon-born Maxime Ballesteros has dedicated a big part of his life to creating photographs. Exploring the medium of analog film, developing a special technique to capture life's most intense moments has been Ballesteros's passion since an early age. He always knew he had it in him, even when his art school professors told him to give up photography. Maxime Ballesteros spoke to Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, about his journey leading him to become the chronist of Berlin's nightlife, creating raw intimacy in his images and the perfect picture in the age of social media.
CLARE KENNY: ASPIRATIONAL AESTHETICS
The Art of the Ordinary
To Clare Kenny, nothing is more inspiring than ordinary life. Petrol slicks become glass sculptures, and rope found in the fabric her grandmother used to work at becomes a neon installation series. Kenny's art is always authentically hers and never aspires to be art for art's sake. Her upbringing and her value system have formed Clare Kenny's view on the world as well as her artistic language, which she brings to life in the form of sculptures, photographs, and mixed media works. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Clare Kenny explains her fascination for ordinary life and multidisciplinary art, the cultural feminist dialogue, and her wishes for the art market of the future.
MARK WILSON: DIE WITH THE MOST LIKES
SKYE NICOLAS: LIVING IN A SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
NOSTALGIA AND PIXEL PAINTINGS
Skye Nicolas speaks to Anika Meier about music and nostalgia, digital art and pop culture.
"TECHNOLOGY IS NOT A THREAT TO ART"
INTERVIEW WITH HERBERT W. FRANKE
Herbert W. Franke is a universal genius, you can say that with a clear conscience. For several decades he separated three lives: he was the caver and scientist, the artist and curator, the art theorist and the science fiction author. Only on the occasion his solo exhibition in 2010 at the ZKM Karlsruhe did he bring these three lives and careers together under the title "Wanderer Between the Worlds". In the early 1950s caving led him to experiment with light and technology. He kept his curiosity throughout his life; it was his drive to examine new technologies for their artistic potential. His pioneering spirit made him one of the first computer artists who was more than six decades ahead of his time. Franke discussed his visionary practice with Anika Meier in June 2022.
RUOHAN WANG'S SURREAL WORLDS
COLORS AND CONTRASTS
Ruohan Wang’s work comes from the ingenious interweaving of contrasting and pure colors. The artist’s multicultural background, from China to Germany, has established the individuality of the surreal world in her works, where abstract figures meet real-life characters. She focuses on the theme of "movement and coexistence" and brings her approach to life in the form of illustrations and paintings, as well as installations and improvisational aesthetics. In conversation with Nora Partl, Head of Content & Communication, Wang discusses her development as an artist, her place within the art world and the importance of social media.
MANUEL ROSSNER: CREATING VIRTUAL WORLDS
Virtual Architecture and Spatial Paintings
The German artist Manuel Rossner has been creating digital spaces and virtual worlds since 2012. He explores how society and art are impacted by technological advancements. He is best known for his site-specific digital work—virtual reality drawings that crash with physical buildings. His intervention focuses on the context of their location and the materiality of the digital. Rossner’s work has been exhibited throughout the world, including at the Grand Palais Éphémère (Paris), NTT InterCommunication Center (Tokyo), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden and Kunsthalle Zürich. In conversation with Anika Meier, Manuel Rossner speaks about the present and future of digital art.