. community —

How to Display Digital Artwork in a Gallery

Hi all,

I have a friend who needs to show her digital artwork in a gallery. As she consulted me about it, I realized that it is an interesting problem.

Now LCD monitors are quickly becoming the norm. They are no longer a novelty item that connotes future. I feel like this shift in public perception has happened just this year. The problem for cost-conscious artists is that they can no longer use CRT monitors to present their work in a gallery because they now have the connotation of being retro, or just-past. Unless your work is about being retro or just-past, they are inappropriate.

But on the other hand, LCD monitors are still quite expensive, especially large ones. On top of it, they do not withstand well the abuse of the public users who tend to poke their fingers at it. Most gallery shows last about a month. You cannot afford to sacrifice your own monitor for a month, unless you happen to be going on vacation at the same time your have a show. Unless you are Cory Archangel, you do not have shows every month to make it worthwhile to buy one specifically for exhibition purposes. Renting it for a month is quite expensive too.

So what do most artists do in this situation?

-Dyske

Comments

Scott Paterson Aug. 16 2004 21:56Reply

D,
Well, when faced with this issue once, I bought a wireless PDA and made
my own custom travel case for it that was padded, etc. But it really
depends on a number of factors for what the best setup would be
including - intended experience of work (a straight up monitor seems
like a default response to me - too much library kiosk for my
interests), lighting conditions, scale, position, degree of immersion,
and on and on. Some tech joints will donate if the show is high profile
enough and they get some free advertising…
[sgp]

On Monday, August 16, 2004, at 10:47 PM, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I have a friend who needs to show her digital artwork in a gallery. As
> she consulted me about it, I realized that it is an interesting problem.
>
> Now LCD monitors are quickly becoming the norm. They are no longer a
> novelty item that connotes future. I feel like this shift in public
> perception has happened just this year. The problem for cost-conscious
> artists is that they can no longer use CRT monitors to present their
> work in a gallery because they now have the connotation of being retro,
> or just-past. Unless your work is about being retro or just-past, they
> are inappropriate.
>
> But on the other hand, LCD monitors are still quite expensive,
> especially large ones. On top of it, they do not withstand well the
> abuse of the public users who tend to poke their fingers at it. Most
> gallery shows last about a month. You cannot afford to sacrifice your
> own monitor for a month, unless you happen to be going on vacation at
> the same time your have a show. Unless you are Cory Archangel, you do
> not have shows every month to make it worthwhile to buy one
> specifically for exhibition purposes. Renting it for a month is quite
> expensive too.
>
> So what do most artists do in this situation?
>
> -Dyske
>
>
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
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> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

nathaniel stern Aug. 17 2004 01:40Reply

For those of us in the third world, LCD screens (um, computers, phone lines,
electricity etc) are not necessarily the norm….

Anyhow, I have an upcoming show in a gallery here, where I need to display
video. My plan is to, rather than trying to source LCD screens, get some
cheap dry wall and put it in front of the existing wall. I'll then put the
CRT screen in between, and cut a hole in the wall. If you want to add a
finishing touch, you can even frame it. Actually this is not uncommon in
South Africa - I'll can think of at least 4 shows in the last year that use
this technique to great effect.

n


scott paterson, who can be found @ somebody@sgp-7.net online, so boldly
stated the following, on 8/17/04 5:59 AM:

> D,
> Well, when faced with this issue once, I bought a wireless PDA and made
> my own custom travel case for it that was padded, etc. But it really
> depends on a number of factors for what the best setup would be
> including - intended experience of work (a straight up monitor seems
> like a default response to me - too much library kiosk for my
> interests), lighting conditions, scale, position, degree of immersion,
> and on and on. Some tech joints will donate if the show is high profile
> enough and they get some free advertising…
> [sgp]
>
> On Monday, August 16, 2004, at 10:47 PM, Dyske Suematsu wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> I have a friend who needs to show her digital artwork in a gallery. As
>> she consulted me about it, I realized that it is an interesting problem.
>>
>> Now LCD monitors are quickly becoming the norm. They are no longer a
>> novelty item that connotes future. I feel like this shift in public
>> perception has happened just this year. The problem for cost-conscious
>> artists is that they can no longer use CRT monitors to present their
>> work in a gallery because they now have the connotation of being retro,
>> or just-past. Unless your work is about being retro or just-past, they
>> are inappropriate.
>>
>> But on the other hand, LCD monitors are still quite expensive,
>> especially large ones. On top of it, they do not withstand well the
>> abuse of the public users who tend to poke their fingers at it. Most
>> gallery shows last about a month. You cannot afford to sacrifice your
>> own monitor for a month, unless you happen to be going on vacation at
>> the same time your have a show. Unless you are Cory Archangel, you do
>> not have shows every month to make it worthwhile to buy one
>> specifically for exhibition purposes. Renting it for a month is quite
>> expensive too.
>>
>> So what do most artists do in this situation?
>>
>> -Dyske
>>
>>
>> +
>> -> post: list@rhizome.org
>> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
>> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
>> +
>> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php


nathaniel
http://nathanielstern.com

Pau Waelder Aug. 17 2004 02:46Reply

Depending on how the artwork is (if it's interactive, etc.), there are touch screens such as those commercialised by EZ Screen <http://www.ezscreen.com>, or maybe use a projector and a wireless mouse…

–Pau

Rob Myers Aug. 17 2004 03:35Reply

On Tuesday, August 17, 2004, at 10:13AM, Pau Waelder <pau@sicplacitum.com> wrote:

>Depending on how the artwork is (if it's interactive, etc.), there are touch screens such as those commercialised by EZ Screen <http://www.ezscreen.com>, or maybe use a projector and a wireless mouse…

Projectors are cool. They still look sci-fi even after all this time. They're expensive (I can't afford one) but you can hire them OK and if you're lucky the venue may have one you can hypnotise them into deploying for you. :-)

- Rob.


I like laptops and projectors… Many gallerys have both things, or
can be hired. Interactivity is possible and the public can watch the
whole thing.

Jason Van Anden Aug. 17 2004 06:12Reply

Dyske,

Does this artist expect to sell the work?
If so, what exactly will be sold?

Jason Van Anden
www.smileproject.com )

MTAA Aug. 17 2004 08:37Reply

We're running into the same issue. CRTs suck. LCDs are cool, but expensive.

(my other gripe is that every screen comes with some company branding on it.. someone should market a gallery monitor which keeps the bezels to a minimum and completely removes any visible branding.)

Speaking in a purely pragmatic sense, it's up to digital artists to provide the hardware either by buying it themselves, getting grants and buying it, or consulting very closely with a very open-minded gallery or institution.

MTAA are planning on combing eBay for values in the LCD area as we expand our digital art practice into the gallery.

Dyske Suematsu wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> I have a friend who needs to show her digital artwork in a gallery. As
> she consulted me about it, I realized that it is an interesting
> problem.
>
> Now LCD monitors are quickly becoming the norm. They are no longer a
> novelty item that connotes future. I feel like this shift in public
> perception has happened just this year. The problem for cost-conscious
> artists is that they can no longer use CRT monitors to present their
> work in a gallery because they now have the connotation of being
> retro, or just-past. Unless your work is about being retro or
> just-past, they are inappropriate.
>
> But on the other hand, LCD monitors are still quite expensive,
> especially large ones. On top of it, they do not withstand well the
> abuse of the public users who tend to poke their fingers at it. Most
> gallery shows last about a month. You cannot afford to sacrifice your
> own monitor for a month, unless you happen to be going on vacation at
> the same time your have a show. Unless you are Cory Archangel, you do
> not have shows every month to make it worthwhile to buy one
> specifically for exhibition purposes. Renting it for a month is quite
> expensive too.
>
> So what do most artists do in this situation?
>
> -Dyske
>
>

Plasma Studii Aug. 17 2004 09:11Reply

>Projectors are cool. They still look sci-fi even after all this
>time. They're expensive (I can't afford one) but you can hire them
>OK and if you're lucky the venue may have one you can hypnotise them
>into deploying for you. :-)


a lot of non-profs (theater groups, galleries, schools, etc) have
them and will lend them out. likewise, if they don't have one (or
more), they usually have a list of folks they can borrow one from.
projectors SHOULD just be just standard equipment for displaying art
in the 21st century, like lights or a sound system. but the art
world in the US, though they always claim otherwise, is phenomenally
resistant to change. most US restaurants have long adapted to buying
touch-screens for the waiters/waitresses.

cheap projectors only cost between 1000 and 2 new. granted that's
more than a lot of individuals want to spend, but hardly out of whack
with yearly budgets for organizations. people will fork over far
more every year to their cell service providers. and even the
projector bulbs (the first one's included) can last a few years.

your eyes adjust to the dark/light, so after about a minute you
ultimately see the same as you would with an expensive one. some
models differ in their resolution, the ability to adjust for
keystoning (in one or both directions), the variability of the
dimensions of the final projection. most have a reverse mode, for
rear projecting. close up, some project a tiny grid of colors, some
circles, some a thicker border, some none at all. but then if the
image is the size of a wall or on a stage, no one's going to be
looking close up. sometimes people use mirrors to lengthen the
distance between projector and projection, thus getting a bigger
image using less installation space.

the thing about the lumen rating to remember is that above about
1000, the only practical difference is how much light it has to
compete with. colors from the expensive 5000 lumen models hold their
own against spot lights, but as long as the room is dark, it makes no
difference. obviously, projecting black is just not projecting, so
if there is a competing light source, that spot will be lit no matter
what.

it's kinda depressing to see most of em used to show video (old
linear mentality). such a waste of cool technology. some are wary
of connecting a computer, have never tried it and tell you it can't.
i don't think they make projectors any more that JUST have
RCA/composite in and not VGA.

Windows computers used to require a signal booster for long cables
between the PC and projector. Macs never did, and now even the PC
laptops are fine. (the longest i've tried is 100 feet, but that's as
long as the cables come)


also, have commonly heard of manufacturers lending LED screens,
projectors, monitors, for art exibits.

Jason Van Anden Aug. 17 2004 10:55Reply

I have had to face this dilemma with my work as well.

I keep an eye on prices so I have an idea of what to spend when I need to buy one.

If the artist is planning to actually sell the work, then they should just figure the cost of the monitor into the price. This cost does not seem unreasonable for the artist to consider … 2-D new media art have such low overhead (a desk, a computer, maybe a digital camera). There is no need to layout for this expense unless you are fortunate enough to be selected to show inside an actual gallery. If the artist is not selling the monitor with the work, they can re-use it for their next show, or sell it used on eBay afterwards.

t.whid> … getting grants and buying it…

It is hard to find grants for individual artists that cover re-usable materials like computers and monitors.

t.whid> (my other gripe is that every screen comes with some company branding on it.. someone should market a gallery monitor which keeps the bezels to a minimum and completely removes any visible branding.)

It's not too difficult to remove the plastic frame. You just have to be really, really careful (I did blow a 14 incher back when those were $700! Fortunately I have a very patient friend who is also and electrical engineer, who was able to replace the blown parts. Hint: make sure the back of the pc board with the power button on it does not make contact with the metal frame of the exposed monitor - or you are hosed! I did this twice - believe it or not. The second time those pointy solder points wore through the tape for a repeat performance! I ended up covering it with very thick electrical tape and velcro.)

Jason Van Anden
www.smileproject.com )





t.whid wrote:

> We're running into the same issue. CRTs suck. LCDs are cool, but
> expensive.
>
> (my other gripe is that every screen comes with some company branding
> on it.. someone should market a gallery monitor which keeps the bezels
> to a minimum and completely removes any visible branding.)
>
> Speaking in a purely pragmatic sense, it's up to digital artists to
> provide the hardware either by buying it themselves, getting grants
> and buying it, or consulting very closely with a very open-minded
> gallery or institution.
>
> MTAA are planning on combing eBay for values in the LCD area as we
> expand our digital art practice into the gallery.
>
> Dyske Suematsu wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I have a friend who needs to show her digital artwork in a gallery.
> As
> > she consulted me about it, I realized that it is an interesting
> > problem.
> >
> > Now LCD monitors are quickly becoming the norm. They are no longer a
> > novelty item that connotes future. I feel like this shift in public
> > perception has happened just this year. The problem for
> cost-conscious
> > artists is that they can no longer use CRT monitors to present their
> > work in a gallery because they now have the connotation of being
> > retro, or just-past. Unless your work is about being retro or
> > just-past, they are inappropriate.
> >
> > But on the other hand, LCD monitors are still quite expensive,
> > especially large ones. On top of it, they do not withstand well the
> > abuse of the public users who tend to poke their fingers at it. Most
> > gallery shows last about a month. You cannot afford to sacrifice
> your
> > own monitor for a month, unless you happen to be going on vacation
> at
> > the same time your have a show. Unless you are Cory Archangel, you
> do
> > not have shows every month to make it worthwhile to buy one
> > specifically for exhibition purposes. Renting it for a month is
> quite
> > expensive too.
> >
> > So what do most artists do in this situation?
> >
> > -Dyske
> >
> >

void void Aug. 17 2004 13:25Reply

I have over time acquired, an assortment of CRT's and projectors and computers. which I use depending on the situation in the gallery. Most of which now only lend themselves to installation type work and not "museum quality display"
The price of small LCD screens are getting more reasonable.
I bought a used XGA projector from a rental house about 2 years ago have used it a lot since, and I pray the lamp doesn't give out anytime soon. It was a good investment. Now I have a method to exhibit which I think is the best to view the work.

Galleries and museums which show this work should be responsible for providing the correct equipment to be displayed… NOW REALITY… If I didn't provide a decent method to show my work it would not be shown, or it would on a 13" samsung VCR/TV combo that the guys in maintenance have for watching ball games.


AE04
atomicelroy.com
CHAOS Studios

Haim Aug. 17 2004 13:37Reply

Well, the best play to display digital artworks remains to paint screen captures
on canvases. It is way profitable… at least that's what Google said…
Interactivity remains between bank accounts, though.

Cyrill.



Quoting atomic elroy <atomicelroy@mac.com>:

> I have over time acquired, an assortment of CRT's and projectors and
> computers. which I use depending on the situation in the gallery. Most of
> which now only lend themselves to installation type work and not "museum
> quality display"
> The price of small LCD screens are getting more reasonable.
> I bought a used XGA projector from a rental house about 2 years ago have used
> it a lot since, and I pray the lamp doesn't give out anytime soon. It was a
> good investment. Now I have a method to exhibit which I think is the best to
> view the work.
>
> Galleries and museums which show this work should be responsible for
> providing the correct equipment to be displayed… NOW REALITY… If I
> didn't provide a decent method to show my work it would not be shown, or it
> would on a 13" samsung VCR/TV combo that the guys in maintenance have for
> watching ball games.
>
>
> AE04
> atomicelroy.com
> CHAOS Studios
> +
> -> post: list@rhizome.org
> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>

void void Aug. 17 2004 15:59Reply

touche'





Cyrill Duneau wrote:

> Well, the best play to display digital artworks remains to paint
> screen captures
> on canvases. It is way profitable… at least that's what Google
> said…
> Interactivity remains between bank accounts, though.
>
> Cyrill.
>
>
>
> Quoting atomic elroy <atomicelroy@mac.com>:
>
>