This weekend marks the end of the first round of voting for ArtPrize. As the hours dwindle down people with be utilizing the technology designed to help this years voting run smoothly and efficiently. As I discussed last week, voting for ArtPrize can be done not only through the physical voting site located in Grand Rapids, but also through your smartphone, using the newly designed ArtPrize app. I’m personally a huge advocate for this app. ArtPrize is a huge venue, as Mark Stryker (2013) noted, “There are a number of high-density venues where you can see a lot of art in a relatively short amount of time”. This fast-paced environment is complimented nicely with such an easy to use app. Upon downloading it gave me an entire list of all the entries, complete with title and artist search. I can register to vote straight from the app, as long as you are at ArtPrize when you first attempt to register. After that you can vote from your phone wherever and whenever. It’s an easy way to keep track of your votes, your favorite pieces, and your location all at once. Not to mention once you download the app you are added to the mailing list, where you can get news about ArtPrize via your email as well as voting deadlines, a great way to keep people in the know. But how much farther could we go using technology to make the ArtPrize experience even better?
In regards to the ArtPrize app, I would like to see a couple tweaks and additions next year to make it even more user friendly and helpful. An option to look at art and artists through different categories would be helpful. As of now you can only look up art by the title of the piece. It is alphabetical and you scroll down a list. It would be nice if they added an option where you could choose a category of art. Whether it was interactive, writing based, sculpture, paintings, etc. It would make it a little easier to look up a piece that you could not remember the name too, as well as allow you to skip to things you were most concerned with viewing. I know for me I looooove the interactive pieces. I actually wanted to visit each one they had, but unless I scour the entire area, and make it to every exhibit there is no way I can catch all of them.
Technology is not only used by the viewing public help navigate ArtPrize, we have also seen an increasing amount of technology within ArtPrize, in the art pieces themselves. As technology advances it will be interesting to see just how elaborate and of use it will be to creative artists. This year there were a few exhibits I visited that wre using technology to benefit our world and make us aware. One of the two was a piece titled “Destrucion Of Technology” which was a gigantic iphone constructed of recycled old Iphones. The artist, Garry VonMyhr (2013), reported that “The work is a 3-D portrayal of society’s mindset that technology is obsolete as soon as it becomes less than perfect. We beg to differ. Our Mission: We are technology connoisseurs, repairmen, teachers, salvagers, technicians, IT specialists, and so much more. Our art is displayed through the reuse and recycling of mobile technology. Repair is recycling! The best way to keep hardware out of landfills is to keep it working longer. Toxic electronic waste is a global problem that we all need to pitch in to solve. Our art is our footprint.” This is a fantastic and unique piece of art that actually makes us aware of something even bigger, it uses technology to paint a bigger picture. Another great piece was (Facing Al Aqaba” by Al Aqaba Palestine artist Maurice Jacobsen) in which you were made to feel like you were walking through a village in another country – it prompted you from the beginning to find out why this village faces extinction, through the use of digital media and sound machines they told you a story. It got me thinking of the lengths some artists could go to make a simulation type display – especially in the future as technology rapidly increases yearly. Technology can help to make people aware of world issues and things that go on we don’t see. Experience Grand Rapids website (2013) states “ArtPrize = Catalyst; This grand civic project began with the value that art is important. It is uniquely capable of carrying the ideas of its creator and transforming the perceptions of an audience.” What better way to get people to pay attention than putting it right in their face in a unique and intriguing form – art. It could be a very powerful tool for artists to make a difference. Art + Politics combined to form an evocative message is a powerful tool – made even more powerful through the utilization of technology.
Unknown. (2013) ArtPrize. ExperienceGR. Retrieved from http://www.experiencegr.com/events/artprize/
Stryker, Mark. (2013) Quick Guide To Grand Rapids ArtPrize 2013. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.freep.com/article/20130922/ENT05/309220056/artprize-grand-rapids-art-how-to-guide
VonMyhr, Garry. (2013) Genius Phone Repair – Destruction Of Technology. ArtPrize. Retrieved from http://www.artprize.org/genius-phone-repair/2012/destruction-of-technology-vote-52486-a-giant-recycled-iphone
- Julie Hoogland: ArtPrize Calder controversy brings Grand Rapids full circle (mlive.com)
- Art Prize and Technology (qrpickelhaupt.wordpress.com)
- Grand Rapids ArtPrize and New Technology (lpapciak.wordpress.com)