Art/Tech Incubator Gives The New Museum Entrepreneurial Edge

Mar 5 2014, 9:20am CST | by

Art/Tech Incubator Gives The New Museum Entrepreneurial Edge
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

null. This summer, it will welcome its first class of approximately 100 artists, technologists and designers for year-long residencies, equipping these digital pioneers with desk space, resources, events, and networking opportunities.

Newly-appointed director Julia Kaganskiy will be responsible for architecting, guiding, and growing this unique community. The 27-year-old is best known as the founder of #ArtsTech meetup, an events and networking community of over 4,000 Twitter-happy participants, and also served as an editor for the Creators Project, a technology series presented by Vice and Intel.

Kaganskiy comes to the New Museum’s Lower East Side as the digital-era incarnation of the neighborhood’s most famous urban organizer, Jane Jacobs. Jacobs brought the Lower East Side’s diverse resident population together over rights, rents and the beauty of neighborhood spaces; Kaganskiy convenes the information economy equivalent: an eclectic community of artists, technologists, designers and thinkers cultivating collective knowledge for a more artful and more efficient city.

With physical space (11,000 square feet of it) and generous funding, NEW INC will offer more opportunities for dedicated community growth, and more opportunities for Kaganskiy to develop what she calls “the defining aspect” or her approach with ArtsTech: bringing disparate communities together.

ArtsTech unites several different tribes that sit under the umbrella of “art and technology” — whether it’s the museum tech sector (I.e. Professionals working with technology at museums, such as Digital Media, Digital Marketing, Digital Conservation, etc.); start-ups dealing with art & tech (your Artsys, 20x200s, Paddle8s, ArtSpaces, etc.); as well as digital artists and creative coders. For some reason, these communities didn’t really mingle before ArtsTech came along, which seemed strange to me as I feel like they have so much to learn from one another…..I see NEW INC as similarly straddling and hopefully uniting various different creative communities, as well as creating an important bridge between the museum and the tech community. Creating bridges between these different groups is an important aspect of this initiative, and I think that’s also one of the things that will help catalyze fresh thinking and new ideas. Connecting people to one another is, in a way, one of the most powerful things we can do, and that’s certainly something I’ve learned from my experience with ArtsTech.”

NEW INC will work closely with its two anchor tenants, Rhizome, an online art collective and archive of digital art founded by Mark Tribe in 1996, and Studio-X, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation’s international collection of lab, with project matter ranging from Chinese megacities to spatial information design. An impressive start, yet Kaganskiy plans to forge further partnerships based on the needs of incoming (and still unselected) members. She says “It’s still early days on the collaboration front, but I think collaboration is in the DNA of this initiative and something we’re keen to develop further.”

null  The organization itself may be not-for-profit, but NEW INC realizes its technologist/artist practitioners are operating in an undefined professional landscape and stand to benefit from mentorship, networking opportunities, and business-building resources. In hosting the first museum-led incubator, the New Museum demonstrates a truly advanced concept of what it means to foster new art and ideas.

Kaganskiy points out how significant the New Museum’s unique identity has already been with projects such as Media Lounge, Rhizome and IDEAS CITY, saying: “The New Museum is one of the most progressive institutions that I know of, and I really can’t think of another museum where this type of project could flourish. It’s really something that very much emerges from the ethos of the museum — a commitment to supporting new art and new ideas while at the same time re-envisioning curatorial practice and museum practice in the 21st Century.”

Follow @KATontap on Twitter

Source: Forbes Business


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