The Hottest New Art Gallery is in Your Inbox
Art- and tech-lovers rejoice—the hottest new contemporary art space is in the palm of your hand. With SCREEN_, her latest endeavor, artist and curator Ada Wright Potter is hoping to turn your inbox into an art gallery. Showcasing a different artist every month, SCREEN_ delivers you a unique, expertly-crafted exhibition of works by new and notable creatives straight to your computer. Or your phone, tablet, Apple Watch, or wherever you read your email. You get the point.
The project—pronounced “screen space”—was launched in January, and its first two shows featured works by artists Jeffrey Scudder and Dina Kelberman. Currently exhibitions are lined up until the end of July. And while Potter uses MailChimp as the default platform for all the shows, she encourages each artist to hack the template and change the format of the email as best suits their vision. Some works from past shows are available through the archives, as is the case with most conventional galleries, but the exhibition—presented in an original, ethereal context—is something wholly new and possibly revolutionary.
SCREEN_ could be viewed as an attempt to further democratize the art world, adding another layer to what’s already happening with the increasing popularity of online platforms for artists to freely display their work. While that may be true, the ideas behind this project go far beyond making art more accessible to the masses. Rather, it’s a more in-depth exploration into the ways in which we as individuals experience art, capitalizing on the weirdly intimate experience of reading an email, as well as the strange tangible intangibility unique to that experience.
“Yes, the email will always be there for you to return to,” says Potter of the project, “but… it probably won’t become a precious, fetishistic object. I kind of like the idea of some of the emails going unread or being buried in spam folders. Obviously I want an engaged audience, but I also think the unseen email is an interesting space for art to exist in.”
And it’s not like this is any elitist, secret mailing list either. All you have to do is go to the project’s website, enter your name and email, click “subscribe,” and wait for the art to come to you. It’s literally that easy. Even if you’re one of those people who have piles upon virtual piles of unread emails, it still would never be a bad idea. Because, as Potter and the artist she is collaborating with will tell you, there is always, always a space for art.
Images by Dina Kelberman, via the Creators Project.
Stay tuned to Milk for more updates on the strange world of modern art.