Gallery in Your Pocket: An Interview with Chiara Passa

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Francoise Gamma

Widget Art Gallery, developed and curated by Chiara Passa, is an exhibition space that fits in your pocket. This digital gallery is an app for iPhones and iPads. Over email, I asked Passa several questions about the project:

What was your motivation behind starting the Widget Art Gallery?

Different reasons led me to start the Widget Art Gallery.

The first one is that I’ve always wanted to do my own curatorial digital art project in relation to a space.

The second reason is the economic crisis. So, it was unreasonable for me to rent an exposition space since it was too binding, and three years ago I decided to create a virtual display space that Id thought extremely coherent in order to show digital art; simple to manage for me and easy to understand for users. Due to our needs that seem to be increasingly handheld, WAG was born. The Widget Art Gallery is a mini three-D, single art gallery room that fits into people’s pocket.

The virtual gallery-room, every month, directly on people’s mobile, hosts a solo digital art exhibition related to the dynamic site-specific contest. So the WAG works both as a sort of kunsthall showing temporary exhibitions and as a permanent collection museum because it conserves all the past exhibitions inside an online archive.

The third aim is a conceptual and emotional one. Recently, I was surprised by the increasing involvement of the audience that I am seeing in some recent mobile-art projects, so I wanted to create a virtual space accessible to everybody by simply using an internet connection. The Widget Art Gallery is a free Safari Mobile Web-based App and works online through two different links for IPhone and IPad. It’s also possible to download the widget version for mac-osx dashboard.

The fourth motivation is a technical one. I’ve built the WAG within the HTML5 programming language and JavaScript functions; therefore it’s simpler to manage and to make some modifications each time there is an update and to switch to the next exhibition, without depending by Apple Store and their decisions/upgrades.

Do you think that bringing the online exhibition to a mobile platform brings it closer to the initial experience of the modern gallery show — i.e. trying to have a private interaction with a work of art in a very public place?

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Digital Gallery Hoping

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Among the exhibitions you won't need to travel to Chelsea or Vyner Street or elsewhere to see:

 DOMAIN GALLERY: Ben Dierckx, Blind Spot

Blind Spot, a solo exhibition by belgium artist Ben Dierckx curated by Manuel Fernández.

Ben Dierckx employs sculptural objects and electronic media to refer to the awareness of one's own perception. What is our relation with reality seems to be the perfectly wrong question; we are reality.

Many of his works interact in a negative way with the audience. A plant will run away from you, a classic roman miniature bust does not want to look at you, the color of a flower will turn into its inversion by the volume of your comments, ect.

Blind Spot is an interactive installation with a plastic bamboo plant and projections. A wireless camera hidden in the foliage of the plant films the exhibition space through the leaves. When a spectator comes closer the plant, it detects his presence and moves in the opposite direction. The projections on the walls reflect the repositioning of the plant and emphasizes the person-space relation.

"Blind Spot" forms part of a series called "Eyestroll" that combines physical objects with electronic media, where in the central idea is an awareness of one's own perception.

BUBBLEBYTE: Yuri Pattison, The Making of 

 

The Making of, a solo exhibition of works by London based artist Yuri Pattison.

Pattison’s practice reflects on the impact of digital media on our understanding of reality, highlighting inconsistencies in the system of representation. Mastering a huge variety of media, his work often uses different devices to explore the strengths and limits of digital communication.

For the show, The Making of, the first solo show of the artist on bubblebyte.org, Pattison reflects on how the internet influences ideas of ...

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