SENTANCE DIAGRAM: demographics and/or impact ways in which
artists connect with new audiences



This section begins to document examples of artists working in new media and their relation, if any, with new audiences. It is far from exhaustive, the number of artists, especially in the Bay Area, working in technology cannot be overstated; this collection represents but a small percentage. The hope is for this section to grow with new contributions.


Neighborhood Public Radio



Radio is squarely “old tech” but NPR is no golden oldie; it is a prime example of an evolving technology effectively connecting new audiences. Neighborhood Public Radio, a collaboration including artists Lee Montgomery, Michael Trigilio and Jon Brumit, set up shop in a Mission neighborhood storefront as part SO/EX’s 2004 show, The Way We Work. Radio, revitalized by internet, was reclaimed when NPR invited the public to come in an broadcast. The space was open to the public and anyone could walk in and sign up. Prominently posted on their website is:

“Our motto: If it's in the neighborhood and it makes noise ... we hope to put it on the air.”

Courtney Fink, SO/EX’s Director comments, “How do you give the community a voice?
You give it a radio station.” You also teach it to build one. NPR holds transmitter building workshops, teaching residents the power of combining low power FM transmission with streaming audio off the Internet. Composers as well as guerilla activists, NPR produced Alternate Soundtrack City Tours (2007) (html), experienced via small hand held radios distributed at the storefront, led listeners down neighborhood paths for “orchestrated meditations” on the local environment.

Founded in 2004, NPR has had a long run in San Francisco, continuing its relationship with SO/EX (and the Mission District) but has expanded nationally and internationally with installations across the U.S. and Europe, including the 2008 Whitney Biennale,





In 2005, ArtMobs a group from Manhattan Marymount College led by Professor of Communications David Gilbert, produced their own audio tour of an exhibition at MOMA and offered it as a series of podcasts, available for download to an iPod or MP3 device. Their effort went beyond their own creative efforts as artists, but included a call for participation. From their site:

We'd love for you to join in by sending us your own MoMA audio guides, which we'll gladly add to our podcast feed. Why should audio guides be proprietary? Help us hack the gallery experience, help us remix MoMA!

Quoted in a New York Times article about the experience, Professor Gilbert said that his aim was to promote a shift from being “passive art consumers” to take control, articulate and share their views. Since 2005, iPod (and MP3) tours, both official and unofficial, have proliferated, and represent a trend towards active viewing, engaging fellow viewers in an ongoing conversation.

Jim Campbell   Campbell, whom the San Francisco Chronicle has called, “one of the smartest artists using technology in the Bay Area” is known for his ability to tease an aesthetic from an emerging technology, notably the domain of very low resolution video projection. Trained as an electrical engineer at M.I.T., his approach to technology is grounded in an appreciation and facility with the media, he entered the art world as a technologist. Thus, his relationship to technology is unrelated to an intention to connect with new audiences, technology is both his material and aesthetic foundation. Asked about outreach, he draws a distinction between his public (commissioned for public spaces) and studio (for galleries and museums) work commenting that the attraction of doing public art is the chance for increased exposure saying “I’m not one of those artists who does work and doesn’t want it to be seen, I do want my art to be seen and responses and feed back and see how it fits into culture and what’s going on.” He notes that he has to be more careful designing public works because, for a proposal to be approved, it has to be less risky, “You have to do something people like.”





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