AiA Art + Tech with William S. Smith, Laura Lehmann and Ann Spalter
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At the Peninsula hotel in Los Angeles, Art in America hosted a brunch for the highlighting the magazine's January Issue on Artificial Intelligence and Generative art. Artist, scholar, and collector Anne Spalter joined A.i.A. editor William S. Smith and tech entrepreneur Laura Lehmann for a conversation about the history and future of computer art. Spalter, author of the influential history The Computer in the Visual Arts (1999), described how her research into a field within art history that was neglected at the time led to her interest in collecting. She and her spouse, Michael Spalter, have built a significant collection that includes work created between the 1950s and 1980s by pioneering figures such as Vera Molnár, Georg Nees, and Koji Fujino. Though many of the compositions were produced by algorithms, the designs were fabricated with plotter printers on paper. The Spalters’ collection of computer art features many pieces in traditional mediums. Lehmann articulated an expanded view of collecting, noting that the meaning of collecting and curating is changing as those activities become widespread on social media. A new generation accustomed to managing collections of digital imagery on a daily basis could very well transform fundamental values in art and assumptions about its singularity.
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