Today, I’m pleased to announce our first group of participating artists!
EO1 is a computer made for art, but it would be just-another-device without a community of artists behind it. When we launched on Kickstarter in July, we announced a few participating artists who were willing to take a chance on us, to put their name next to something new. As the campaign grew, and word spread, we began to hear from hundreds of artists and developers interesting in exploring the boundaries of EO1. There are so many of you, it’s still blowing my mind!
So the hard part was not identifying capable artists; the hard part was figuring out who to work with first, and what shape that relationship should take - particularly since we haven’t even finished building the darn thing!
As I set out to build our artist program, there were a few key points that I tried to keep in mind:
1) Artists working with technology.
EO1 is in its early stages of development and, like many platforms, we can’t possibly anticipate all that it’s capable of. It seemed clear to me that the best place to start was with artists who work with screen-based media, the Internet, and code, to push the boundaries and explore the contours of EO1’s technology.
2) Willing to collaborate and experiment.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve met with every participating artist (either IRL or via Skype) to speak with them about their projects, and to confirm with them that ours would be a collaborative and experimental relationship, with plenty of room for error, iteration, and exploration - not a hard commitment with a deadline.
The emphasis on collaboration and experimentation is one reason why I chose to frame our initial outreach program as a “residency,” rather than as a commission. This opportunity is about collaboration, about joining forces to make something we want to see in the world.
3) Nice people.
You probably giggled at this one, but it’s worth including. Collaborating on a creative project is a complex, and very personal experience, so it’s critical to be able to communicate respectfully with your collaborators. (Frankly, this should just be a rule for anyone you interact with in general.)
4) An inclusive environment.
This last one is really important to us. It’s relatively well understood that women are underrepresented in both the art and technology communities. I don’t want to build, nor would I want to be a part of, a community that perpetuates that kind of imbalance. We’re focused on building a diverse and inclusive community from the beginning.
When I look at our evolving list of participating artists, I can’t help but get excited. This group of artists are going to shape how thousands of people (millions, one day?) will experience digital art in their homes - many for the first time. And I’m just thankful to be working with so many lovely and talented people to figure it all out, together. Keep an eye on this list, as we’ll be adding new artists regularly.
Thanks to all the current and future participating artists for being rad, and thanks again to all the backers and everyone who supports us at EO.
If you’re one of our future participating artists, I’d love to hear about your work! You can reach me at email@example.com or say hi on Twitter.
p.s. Every week, we’ll release a new Artist Interview, and you can sign up here to follow along.