SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Blog Post

The Growing Trend of Virtualizing Art Galleries

How Art Galleries are Migrating to the Cloud

The role of the Cloud has only recently started to be seen in the art industry. Recently there was an exhibition in Spain that showcased cloud datacenters as art in and of themselves through the medium of videos. Yet a new trend is emerging that will shift how artists relate to the cloud. There is a growing trend for art to be exhibited exclusivity in the cloud.

TheInfinityPool.com, a digital exhibition space that uses the cloud to showcase artist's works, will be holding an art exhibition from just this month in honor of Italian cult-horror director, Mario Bava. This exhibition is a series of recordings that will be displayed online. However, after July 31, the recordings will be deleted.

This is not the first virtual art gallery to display the works of their artists online. Online art galleries are different from Art galleries' websites. The key difference being, art lovers cannot access the art in person at any one given location, rather, only over the internet.

Over the last few years, there are many online art galleries that have emerged, especially since the onset of cloud computing. One such good example is Where Gallery, which streams all its content live from a shipping container in Brooklyn. This is achieved through a 24-hour security webcam. Their current project, which started late June of this year, and only takes place on Mondays from 8.00 p.m. The exhibition  is called "Eye in the sky hold ‘em up" by Melissa Brown. This is a live poker game which can be viewed by anyone, and it also allows people to call the players while the game is still going on. Previous exhibitions include "Where 1", which featured sculptures by Alexandra Lerman, Jesse Greenberg, and Lea Cetera.

Light and Wire is another virtual gallery that has been in operation for the last six years. This year alone, they have exhibited numerous works by artists like Max Maslansky "13 Pages from History", Lia Trinka-Browner "The Greatest Weight", Nikki Darling "Ascension", Spectral Reverberations: Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Taiki Sakpisit, and Chulayarnnon Siriphol, Curated by Lauren Reid, Rachel Mason "YouTube Drawings", and Sonja Gerdes.

In the past, exhibitions in art galleries was the talk of town. However, with the change in the way technology interacts with our lives, this is slowly changing. Mainstream art galleries and museums are moving towards online exhibitions. New York's New Museum is a notable example. Besides displaying art in a physical gallery, they are also tasking artists to produce art work for their online gallery "New Art Online".

Additionally, the USA National Gallery of Arts has virtual exhibitions where you can either take a virtual tour or view online exhibitions of art masterpieces by famous artists,  such as Van Gogh, including masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Online galleries are not the only ones that have embraced this new niche. Artists have not been left out either. Jacob Ciocci is one of the early adopters of online exhibition. He showcases most of his work on his website, jacobciocci.org. He is also featured in other online galleries like Light and Wire. David Horvitz is another artist who showcases his work through his personal online gallery at davidhorvitz.com.

This puts the future need for curators in jeopardy. For example, there is an auto-curation website called Curatron, which allows artists to vote on each other's projects. The artist with the most votes (the winner) is rewarded by getting his work displayed in a physical exhibition. There is no doubt emergence of such sites will eliminate the role of curators or worse reduce them to a ‘voting machine'.

Truth be told, this is a scene that is still unfolding. Currently, physical art galleries may still be dominating the art industry, however, something big is brewing in online art galleries that these other galleries can't compete with. They are giving artists more power. Also, besides online galleries, there are platforms that allow artists to display, curate and manage the sale of their artwork right from the comfort of their living rooms. This cuts off all the middlemen in the supply chain, linking the artist to the end consumer directly. There is no doubt cloud computing will soon take the art scene by storm.

More Stories By Natalie Lerner

Natalie Lerner is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Twitter: @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.

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