I spent last weekend attending UNTITLED, ART, an international art fair that used to be held in San Francisco, New York, and Miami.
This art fair happened on my laptop, of course. UNTITLED, ART Online was a “virtual reality experience” where 40 galleries showcased art and artists. During the opening weekend, you could take a tour with human experts, whose voices and faces enlivened the screen. As they introduced galleries, artists, and themes on one half of the screen, the other half showcased the art in virtual galleries.
These curated tours set you up to visit on your own, an experience I call “an art fair for introverts.” Artists who hate talking to strangers at a traditional art fair could click through virtual galleries and remain anonymous. You can visit dozens of galleries in a short amount of time, and learn about the artists they represent. You have easy access to data about a wide range of art: titles, size, materials, dimensions and prices. Organized to make it easy for collectors to buy, the virtual galleries provide a great research tool for artists.
Yet something was missing. The virtual galleries provided a simulated experience, a visit to a 3D digital world full of art but empty of people. The sensory overload of the traditional art fair became sensory deprivation in ghostly galleries that look like architectural drawings.
The organizers of UNTITLED, ART Online understood what was needed. The images and voices of gallerists and artists brought intelligent organization and vitality to the experience. They gave thematic tours: art celebrating nature and climate change, visits to lesser known galleries, introductions of artists of color from around the world.
So while technology made the art fair possible, it took people to bring it to life.
Mary Edwards, Ph.D
Career & Life Coach for Artists
“Left Brain Skills for Right Brained People”
As an artist coach, I bring a unique combination of business knowledge, art world experience, and professional coaching skill to my practice.