Ethan Ham
Since 2005
Works in New York, New York United States of America

PORTFOLIO (5)
BIO
Ethan Ham is a visual artist living in New York City. Ethan's former career as a game developer can be seen in the art he makes. The artworks often playful and demonstrate his continuing interest in the interaction between an artwork and its beholder. His work often explores themes of translation and mutation and take the form of literary/art hybrids, sculpture, and internet-based art. His art has been commissioned by Turbulence.org and Rhizome.org and has been exhibited at the PS122 Gallery (New York, NY), The National Portrait Gallery (Canberra, Australia), The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina (Novi Sad, Serbia), and on the websites of The Museum of Graphic Arts (Machida City, Japan) and The Museum of Contemporary Art (Badajoz, Spain).
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DISCUSSION

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I enjoyed it... if it feels a bit commercial it's because the concept has been co-opted by ad agencies. There was a commercial which had 20-somethings using their cel phones to coordinate invading a supermarket and taking slingshot rides down the aisles... a bastardization of the crowd happenings that changes them from something that is intended to give the viewers a surreal experience into anarchic & destructive joy-riding.

DISCUSSION

Data visualization art


For me there's room for both prototypes and sketches... If I really wanted to only use art-world terms, I suppose I'd call a prototype a "study." Something that is specifically directed towards developing a particular finished work seems a prototype or study, where a sketch seems a bit more aimless.

DISCUSSION

Data visualization art


Pall,

That makes sense (both your thoughts & that Bill was responding to you). The concept of a sketch is an interesting idea... I do make "prototypes," which is something along the lines of a "sketch," but not exactly since the prototypes are a step in a larger process where a sketch could just be a doodle without (necessarily) a plan to develop further. Hmm... I think I might do a few new media sketches!

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DISCUSSION

Data visualization art


It is important to draw some sort of distinction between what is work that is still being developed and something that is fully realized.

In-development in what way? Do you think these projects are uncompleted (that certainly doesn't seem to be the case to me) or that they should be taken as a quasi-artistic "proof-of-concept," or something else? All three of these projects have project websites that were put up by the artist/developer--so I'm pretty sure they want people to discuss them... and if that is the case, I think the artists need to be open for people to look at both what works & what doesn't.

Finally, what if some work is meant for us to question our relationships to both technology and information and isn't particularly about an "object" to be viewed even though an object is present?

I'm certainly up for art that is more conceptually-oriented (if that's what you're meaning). But in the case of these three project, it's the object that seems most successful and the conceptual exploration of our relationship-to-technology that seems less so.

Honestly, I don't mean to pick on these three projects in particular... what I find interesting about them is that where I think they fall a bit short is a good illustration of how many technology-based works (and again, I'm not exempting my own work from this) miss the mark in ways that seems particular to our media.


DISCUSSION

Data visualization art


My point wasn't that data visualization is shallow; that's way too sweeping of generalization for me to be comfortable with. My point was more along the lines of saying shallow data visualization is shallow. If it is intended as art, I don't think it is enough for the data to be presented in a visually interesting way... there needs to be something more there. Data visualization isn't really the core the art I do, so my thoughts on the matter may not be as fully developed as some other peoples'... the more central concern for me (and one which encompasses, I think, the type of data visualization art which is mainly about having a cool looking graphic) is technology-based art which focused on the niftiness of technology as opposed to trying to transcend the medium and speak to something larger.