DevArt – Exhibition at The Barbican Centre
WORDS: SAMUEL FRY
The search has begun for a large-scale work of digital art to be part of a major exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London. Google has commissioned three artists to create innovative installations and to be judges of submissions made to its DevArt website between now and March 28th 2014, when they will select the fourth and final artist.
Google’s DevArt will be included in an exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre, which runs from July 3rd to September 14th and will subsequently visit other cities around the world.
Impact of Technology on Art
The exhibition is called Digital Revolution. It will explore the impact of technology on art over the past 40 years and display works from artists, designers, musicians, architects, and developers. Scheduled to be the finale of the exhibition, DevArt will showcase four installation, three from established artists, and one that is being selected through a competition, sponsored by Google, that is currently underway.
The contest winner will be awarded £25,000 so that they can create a digital art installation for this DevArt section of the exhibition. The competition is open to individuals and partnerships on an almost global basis. In order to enter, applicants must sign up to the DevArt website and submitting their proposal with a minimum of five posts before the deadline of March 28th.
Developing with GitHub
DevArt uses GitHub and each applicant needs to fork the DevArt template to start their project. They also need to include at least one Google technology in your project.
This competition is a bit different to most others. The site explains that: “DevArt is as much about the process as it is about the finished piece. The judges will be taking your updates into consideration during the judging process. Remember to get started early and post often.”
They continue by stating that, “The Commissioned Interactive Artists will be using the same template so be sure to follow their ‘open process’ as their projects unfold.” As a result, DevArt can mean different things to different artists. The artists that Google has commissioned so far take three distinct approaches. They explain their approaches in a series of short videos – all of which are connected by their interest in creating art from code.
Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet are collaborating on a DevArt installation in which speech is the user interface. Vavara opens their video stating “We use technology and code as artistic material” likening this to a sculptor and clay while later in the clip Mar claims that “Code is the soul of the machine“. The final commissioned artist is Karsten Schmidt who comments in his video that, “Thinking about the world through the lens of a programmer, you start decomposing everything around you.” He concludes the video by saying: “The computer is the most powerful mind-expanding technology we’ve ever created.”
The DevArt Gallery already has submissions and thanks to the open process the visitor can view the proposals and prototypes and explore the code. Each week one submission will be selected by one of the commissioned artists to be the Featured project. This whole programme promises to provide a fascinating insight into the process and practice of developing art out of code.
Below are the three videos produced by the three artists currently commissioned by Google:
Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet
For more information and for guidance on entering your idead, visit the DevArt website before March 28th 2014.