Latest Blog Posts

by Sean Miller

5 Jan 2016

Seth Indigo Carnes, Flux Poetics, 2011

In January, I’ll be teaching a course at Portland Community College called “Apps as Art: Learn to Code Apps that are Artistic”. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, as far as I know, this is the first course of its kind being offered in the world. Thus far, enrollment has been good, and it looks like the course is a go.

Part of the course’s novelty is the newness of the medium that we’ll be focusing on, the mobile app. I’ve written previously about the medium’s promise, as well as some of the reasons why the range of work currently being done in it is so sparse. Digital art has been around for almost as long as computers have been. Internet art has existed since the ‘90s. But due to the mobile app’s youth, and the perceived barriers to entry, it’s still the Wild West.

by Sean Miller

16 Nov 2015

An image generated by
Serkan Ozkaya's MyMoon

New York based artists Seth Carnes and Serkan Ozkaya, along with gallerist Paulina Bebecka, recently created a petition to get Apple to add an Art category to the App Store. Carnes’ justification for the tweak is simple: art is central to culture. As a pivotal arbiter of culture, Apple should recognize the importance of art by recalibrating “how arts-centered apps are perceived, defined, and discovered in the App Store”.

Currently, there are 24 categories in the Apple App Store. When an app artist submits artwork to the App Store, which is the only way to distribute apps to Apple device owners, she must choose between the categories Education, Entertainment, or Lifestyle. None of these labels fit the bill.

by Sean Miller

22 Sep 2015

In a recent post, I mentioned that I did an informal survey of app artwork currently available for public consumption. One of the first ones that I found was an app called Poetics by the New York-based artist Seth Carnes. Carnes published the first version of the app on the Apple App Store in 2007.

Carnes took time to speak with me via email recently. As I learned, Poetics continues to evolve. What follows is a lightly-edited transcript of our conversation.

by Sean Miller

30 Jun 2015

Biophilia (One Little Indian, Ltd., 2011)

As an app developer, I’m interested, for self-serving reasons, in app design. But as someone with artistic pretensions, I’d like to consider apps beyond good design. What I’ve been increasingly interested in is app aesthetics in the fullest sense of that word. The other day, I did a little poking around on the intertubes in search of, for lack of a better keyword, “app as art”. I was looking for developers who design and publish apps with the specific intention of making them artistic (however they choose to define that loaded term). As it turns out, there’s not much out there.

As you know, smartphones, and accordingly, the software that makes them “smart”, haven’t been around for long. IBM made the very first smartphone back in 1992. They called it Simon. It was clunky, monochromatic, and not all that smart. It sold for US$899. The first smartphone to sell in decent quantities (at least in the States) was the Kyocera 6035, which came out in 2001. The smart part of its functionality was based on the Palm OS. It was basically a PalmPilot duct-taped to a cell phone. Setting the notorious corporate incursions of the “Crack”-berry aside, smartphone adoption didn’t explode into global consumer consciousness until the release of the very first iPhone, back in the Pleistocene epoch of 2007. The first Android device followed shortly thereafter in 2008.

by Zach Schonfeld

6 May 2014

The average professor spends the summer revising syllabi, planning future courses, maybe teaching a summer class or two. With some luck, there’s time for a vacation. Artist and MOMA poet laureate Kenneth Goldsmith most recently spent his carrying out a conceptual art piece that entailed printing out the entire Internet—or as much of it that fans and admirers mailed from around the world to his 500 square-meter art space in Mexico City. That includes everything that appears, or has appeared, anywhere on the Internet—Facebook photos, news articles, pornography, dating profiles, and literally anything else.

Several months ago, we spoke with Goldsmith via email about the impetus for the entirely unprecedented exhibit and how it looked in practice.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2016: Executing 'The Deed'

// Moving Pixels

"It's just so easy to kill someone in a video game that it's surprising when a game makes murder difficult.

READ the article