January 20, 2007 10:47 AM PST
At Sundance, even artwork needs a power cord
Film's art and tech realms converged Friday afternoon at the 10-day Sundance festival's panel discussion on the intersection of fine art and emerging media technologies, a genre featured as part of New Frontier, the festival's media center.
"New media is the most contemporary art," said panelist Steve Sacks, director of New York's Bitforms Gallery, which represents artists who use technology tools.
One shining example of such art is a 75-minute
Another example of the emerging genre is
Panelist Lincoln Schatz, who designs his own custom software for his art, is displaying a video installation in New Frontier that records, reflects and remixes random moments onto a collage.
And Lynn Hershman Leeson, who is screening her
While galleries, hotels, Web communities and other public venues are increasingly interested in such unconventional works, the artists said they face challenges getting the world of fine art to embrace, or even understand their projects. Part of that, they said, is because it's so hard to find the words to explain what are often cutting-edge, unnamed methodologies.
Another challenge that high-tech artists face is getting the market up to speed about addressing the maintenance and longevity of technology-based installations, they said. Leeson emphasized that because technology changes so quickly, she has relied heavily on programmers to make sure her artwork can be remigrated to different platforms and will never become obsolete.
While recognizing fears about the uncertainties of technology, DuBois argued that modern artists have always worked "with the highest level of technology available to their culture."
"They shouldn't be afraid of it. It's perfectly natural," he said.