Welcome To The World’s Largest Digital Art Biennial
The Wrong offers the most natural environment for showcasing net art: your browser.
Will it help digital work sell?
“The natural media of digital art is in a browser, not in a big screen,” says Quiles Guilló, who first had the idea for an digital biennial in 2002, when he organized The Wrong Festival, a parallel event to the Sonar festival in Barcelona. After an unsuccessful initial attempt, he decided to shelve the idea until Internet access was better and faster, but never forgot his resolution to create a better venue for showcasing digital art.
“You know where to put the paintings and sculptures but don’t know where to put the digital artwork,” he says. “I thought it was time to gather all these artists who are doing digital work that have an established background and try to bring them all together under one big flag.” The question is whether that “big flag” will help digital art—the market of which is growing, but small—sell.
Much like a physical biennial, The Wrong is exhaustive and sprawling and overwhelming. The directory on the site might be the best starting point—it lists all 50 of the pavilions, which each have a curator in charge. Each pavilion is its own rabbit hole, an immersive pocket of the Internet full of videos, interactive installations, strangely beautiful GIFs, 3-D graphics, incredible data visualizations, poems translated into binary code. Pavilions range from Code Nebula, which features code artists, to Crystallized Skins, an exhibition dedicated to 3-D graphics. Color Hybrids features works that are designed to be experienced using a Google VR headset and Sub Art Department lets viewers manipulate GIFs, text boxes and images in an interface that looks like it could be very early version of Wikipedia.
The natural media of digital art is in a browser, not in a big screen.
The best way to explore is just to browse without an agenda, though you could spend an entire afternoon clicking through the pavilions and barely scratch the surface. Digital tours led by writers, artists, and friends of the biennial offer another mode of discovery—one that ditches the structure of the pavilions all together and just takes you through individual works. Ultimately, the show is as unpredictable and as unwieldy as the digital art genre itself, and it’s still being added to and worked on even as it progresses.
Digital-only museums and exhibitions are also being born online, and some hybrid digital-physical galleries have been successful at making digital art salable. At Transfer, a popular gallery in Brooklyn, gallerist Kelani Nichole encourages digital artists to create site-specific works that have both a digital and physical element and can be sold through exhibitions or in digital editions on their nicely designed website.
The Wrong (Again) – New Digital Art Biennale runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.