”the most relevaNt art in the show"

 
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Expanded audience

What began as an artful commentary on the advent of mobile design to an audience of geeky people has grown to an ever wider and broader audience. And no wonder since the entire world has entered geekdom. The era is long past when digital concepts were meaningful to just a few of the nerdiest among us. Our whole culture has undergone a digital transformation.

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“the AUDIENCE gets it ”

observing

Seeing the ways in which an audience responds to a piece of art is pure fun for me. The things I create are things that interest me. That’s why I create them. I like exploring ideas. And I would still enjoy the journey even if no one else came along.

Nevertheless, I also get a big kick out of watching others respond to these notions. As a UX designer, I’ve conducted hundreds of usability tests and various focus group sessions. It’s always fascinating to me. There’s always a few surprises. And I always learn something.

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A repeating pattern of Response:

This is their world. Digital natives, those born after the internet are who techXpressionsim is about. more than anyone. Whether it found them or they found it, who knows. But it’s a conceptual playground of ideas, a little whimsy and some sarcasm anlong with a few serious statements now and then. in other words, its like them.

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The sighting

And just like with usability testing software and web sites, pattens likewise emerge in the response to art. TechXpressions see a common pattern of responses.

TechXpressionist art, initially aimed at engaging tech designers in their natural habitat has broken out of its box and found its way into venues of all types. And there found it had an audience. And while that audience grows ever wider and deeper, it shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that the pinnacle of that audience is with millenials.

Big art pieces seen from a distance catch some attention. People are surprise to see art about digital experiences. Millennials especially, react to seeing art that speaks to what has been a large part of their life experience.

the approach

Approaching the art, they begin to notice the iconography and pause to explore.

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the connection

Then suddenly something connects and the art becomes a personal experience. It is usually an image or object that relates to some past experience of some personal importance. And now the art has taken on some personal meaning.

What it is that makes that connection may be completely different for different people. Each art piece may include numerous images in it as part of a theme. ANd the more diverse images the more likely a connection with someone.

When a person sees something that makes a connection on an emotional level, it is not uncommon to see them spend several minutes gazing at the art. This can happen even in a large show or gallery where there is much else to see.


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Yes, it’s Deliberate

Personal emotional connections are what I aim for with iconography in my art. So when I see it, there is a great deal of satisfaction. It’s not about people liking the art. It’s about the art doing something, making a connection, perhaps with a past experience. It need not be serious. Whimsical, light hearted moments can be deep and important. When a little smile appears on the face, this is the best part.

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further and deeper

When people discover certain elements that have an important meaning to them personally, that’s when I know my art has hit its mark. When they take more time to look closer and deeper, i get a thrill. And the experience is not about their becoming a customer or updating their insurance policy details or getting a car loan or checking in to to their flight on line. Those are all great things, very practical to help people in the lives. But it’s nice to sometimes just commune with an audience over non-utilitarian emotionally enriching experiences and reflect.

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millennials crave real life experiences

I found this interesting as it describes the millennial generation. The purpose of the article was to help marketers know how to reach millennials with their sales campaigns. Whatever. I just found the description of millennial tendencies to be right in line with my own observations regarding the dichotomy of love for technology and digital fatigue. That is, the deeper we go into the digital lifestyle, the more our real life experiences matter to us. According to this webinar about millennials.

Millennials characteristics:

  • Are more about experiences than about things

  • Demand authenticity - Suspicious of slick

  • Expect continuity - things should connect in many ways.

  • Like experiences they can share with others

  • Are totally mobile - Computers are only for work or gaming.

  • Their influencers are REAL people, not institutions

  • Distrust old style marketing

  • Are multicultural, multi-everything

  • Respond to music, fashion, sports, the arts, & story-telling,

  • Music - 70% use Spotify all day long.

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Timothy Leary is digital

Timothy Leary’s dead?

Yes. He really is. He’s been for a while. He died in 1996. Who was Timothy Leary? Timothy Leary was a prophet of sorts, or pied piper more like. He was known for promoting experimentation with drugs, LSD in particular. His famous catch phrase was,

“Tune in, Turn on, drop out”

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This phrase summarizes the trend of an era. It was about exploring a new dimension of reality. In that case it was induced by drugs. Now in the new millennium, technology is the hallucinogen.

The phrase today might be something like,

“Sign up, sign in, zone out.”

But who is the Timothy Leary of the Tech culture? Is there just one? More likely, there's been many.

Steve Jobs - Bill Gates - Elon Musk - Mark Zuckerberg - Me? - You?

 

What is Festivalization?

Festivalization is the bringing together diverse arts and entertainment into a social experience.

  • Conferences are changing to festivals - Coachella - Aurora - Burning Man - SXSW

  • Live Music - art - technology - art installations - interactive art exhibits 

  • It’s about seeing something new. It’s all about experiences.

  • Festivals occur simultaneously live and online via social media

  • Brands sponsoring events quietly build trust

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Reintegrating to wholeness

Merging the two life experiences, the digital and the physical, somehow brings about a wholeness. These are two worlds that we all live in day to day. Frequently these are separated by a divide, like the waking self and the dreaming self, passing each other briefly in the hallway at the shift change, but seldom getting a chance to sit down and visit. I’m trying to make a space for the two to go get a beer together or a nice cup of coffee and talk about old times.

Allowing the digital and terrestrial universes to join their perspectives together as a whole person, like the final scene in the Sybil story and sort of healing it brings. However trivial this might seem, it is rich and fascinating to me as one who has spent three decades studying human engagement with technology. I’m likely to keep right on exploring this. I hope you find it interesting too. If you don’t, that’s okay too.

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shows & Venues

The MAC member's Show, 2019, Dallas,TX

Heartfelt Celebration of Frisco Arts, 2018,, Frisco, TX

Extra Life gaming Tournament 2018, Las Colinas, TX

The Future of Blockchain 2018, Conference, Frisco, TX

BIG DESIGN 2018 Conference, Dallas, TX

Art en Blanc, The Gallery 8680, 2017, Frisco, TX,

BIG DESIGN 2017 Conference, Addison, TX

Edges and Intersections, 2016, Deep Ellum, TX,

ArtRageous, Visual Arts Guild of Frisco 2016, Frisco, TX,

HealthWildcatters new headquarters, 2016, Dallas, TX

BIG DESIGN 2016, Addison, TX

Random Art Gallery, Dallas Design District, TX

The nod North Dallas Coworking, Dallas, TX

Roma Gallery, Dallas, TX

Texas Sculpture Association 2014 Show, Grapevine, TX

Frisco Sculptechular 2013, Frisco, TX

McKinney WERX, The Old Cotton Mill, McKinney, TX

Texas Sculpture Association Show, Mesquite, TX

Health Wildcatters, Dallas, TX

Health Gone Wild 2014, Dallas, TX

Dallas Indie Festival 2014, White Rock Lake, TX

Deep Ellum Arts Festival 2013, Dallas, TX

Edges and Intersections 2013, Dallas, TX

Blow Up Gallery, Dallas, TX

Vivify Health Headquarters, Plano, TX

Thirsty Canvas 2013 Show, Shoppes at Legacy, Plano, TX

Gravity Centre at the AT&T Foundry, Plano, TX

Industry Giants 2012, Oak Cliff, TX

BIG DESIGN 2012, Addison, TX

World Usability Day 2011, Sabre Headquarters, Southlake, TX

Texas Sculpture Association 2011 Show, Aloft, Dallas, TX

Fort Worth Arts Goggle 2011, Fort Worth, TX

Gravity Centre at the AT&T Foundry, Plano, TX

Tech Wildcatters - At the Tech Church, Dallas, TX

BIG DESIGN 2011, Addison, TX

Artisans' Gallery, Bishop Arts District, Oak Cliff, TX

Texas Sculpture Association 2009 Show, Design District, Dallas, TX

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing billing with Desmond Blair on multiple occasions.

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing billing with Desmond Blair on multiple occasions.

Jason, partner in the RA+G Gallery with Desmond Blair and Desmond’s daughter.

Jason, partner in the RA+G Gallery with Desmond Blair and Desmond’s daughter.

Thank you, Brenton Black for your entrepreneurial spirit, love for art, and connections to create awesome venues for showing art. You Rock!

Thank you, Brenton Black for your entrepreneurial spirit, love for art, and connections to create awesome venues for showing art. You Rock!

Poster for Texas Sculpture Association show

Poster for Texas Sculpture Association show

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The Texas sculpture association has at least a couple of shows each year. I’v been pleased to participate in it multiple times. Showing alongside a variety of styles, contemporary and traditional.

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