Digital art: Electric Objects and Cooper Hewitt revive age-old wallpapers
There’s a new nexus of art, design and technology, with the Manhattan high tech firm Electric Objects leading the way. Among its latest collaborative projects is a partnership with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, making a group of eight wallpapers dating from the 1920s and 1930s available using the latest technology.
‘The EO1 from Electric Objects presents digital images and art in a way that differentiates it from a routine digital photo frame, slideshow, or even TV,’ explains Seb Chan, Cooper Hewitt’s director of digital and emerging media. So with the EO1 device in hand, a single image or even short animation can remain on a screen for days or weeks instead of merely minutes or seconds, he adds. Best of all is the size; at close to two feet in height and over a foot in width, the screen hangs gracefully on a wall mount or a stand.
’Our Art Club makes it possible to access a range of high resolution images, videos, GIFs, and code-based projects commissioned exclusively for us,’ says Jake Levine, Electric Objects’ founder and CEO, of the open-call company initiative that will also result in a ’collection of new and original art for EO1’.
Electric Objects have recently brought Jenny Odell onboard for the project; the San Francisco-based artist created Peripheral Landscapes by culling imagery from upwards of 20,000 historic maps and atlases from the New York Public Library. ’Jenny’s project is really about taking the overlooked artistry of cartographers and creating a distinctive collage with mythical creatures and more,’ says Zoë Salditch, the company’s director of artist relations. More commissions are in the works.
‘The EO1 is an interesting push to integrate media into our lives in a way that is meant to be consumed slowly. Slow media, like the slow food movement,’ concludes Chan.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
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