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Electric Objects' Pop-Up Shop, SoHo

Getting hands-on with a frame that opens a window into digital art

by David Graver
on 14 December 2015

Anyone who strolls galleries each Thursday or participates in the art fair circuit, is well aware of digital art's expanding presence. As for how many people actually envision digital pieces in their home, that's a different story. When one sees GIF art on an LCD screen or a looping experimental film, presentation becomes a fundamental question: are you buying the work within, or the work and screen it is displayed upon, or are they the same? Electric Objects has an answer to this. In fact, their first product the EO1 is an answer. It's a frame, more or less, that's connected to the internet—and it comes complete with digital artwork made by the likes of Björk, YACHT, Ai Weiwei and others, that updates as new artists become involved.

The Electric Objects Showroom in NYC allows visitors to see the device in person, and the array of art it features. The location also houses a current site-specific installation by game designer and conceptual artist Zach Gage, aimed at shedding light on digital art in the home. In real time, Gage's work tracks Google search results for the words War and Peace, and displays whichever has the most searches at any given moment. The venue also houses a limited edition handmade wooden EO1 frame—further blurring the lines of computer and wall art.

Art historians, gallery owners and more can attest to the value of framing. But with technology at its core, the EO1 is something distinct. Some 50 global artists have contributed over 200 new and original works for this platform—and they can be toggled through via a mobile phone app before illuminating any wall. Electric Objects will continue to commission more work, aiming to have 1,000 unique pieces within by the end of 2016. As with most pieces of art, it's worth seeing in person—making their Soho showroom a valuable opportunity for anyone interested in learning how it works in real life.

The Electric Objects Showroom will run through 20 December 2015 at 72 Spring Street, NYC.

Images by Cool Hunting

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