Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post from the runner-up winner from AppCircus in London, the person behind ArtSpotter is Raphaëlle Heaf who is a local London art lover and enthusiast, I first saw her mobile application during [email protected], she did not take part on that mobile showcase. We exchanged ideas and discussed how she realized Art needed a big push in the mobile space, so she hired a couple of developers to create what is ArtSpotter. So I leave you with her perspective on her industry and how mobile will change it.
Art has always been a leader in changing and challenging the modern world, yet it fell behind in the digital age and while we are encouraged to participate face to face with art work, the utilization of technology to engage the viewer seemed non-existent – until now.
As a medium, art allows us to open our minds and question the society we live in. It generates debate and provides a reflection upon the modern world and art has a way to evoke our emotions, sometimes without us even realizing it. Somehow art lost out when the digital age arrived but now it seems there are several players looking to bridge the gap.
From Google’s Art Project to ArtFinder and Art.sy, any company that deals with the art world knows about the complications and hard work it takes to drive adoption of a new technology. Each initiative is helping to change the way we interact with art and encourage more people to understand the impact and importance art has.
It’s not just about the apps which allow us to find the artist within or share moments with some artistic licence (Instagram, Path and alike). Many of the startups are now allowing users to discover art at the click of a button/touch of a screen, create personal collections and understand the wealth of history art encompasses. Others, such as ArtSpotter and Exsibit are looking to engage the user with what’s going on and utilise the opportunity to help people discover new art spaces. Some, for instance TurningArt, allow users to bring the art to their own home, while there are the ones like DigitisedArt who are ensuring art is catalogued and recorded with more metadata than ever before. Together the tech world is bringing their passion for art and creating products that will allow users to easily find the art they love as well as help recommend something they didn’t know about, each one with some unique attribute to support the arts. They are all allowing users to engage and participate with the art world through the use of social technologies.
Where previously it was only the established art attractions (Tate, MOMA, Guggenheim) that had drawn in the sponsors, there has recently been more interest in the smaller art startups, with some well-known angels investing along side some of the top VCs. I’m sure we will see even more startups emerging and there is still room for a variety of technology and apps to be developed. The art world can benefit from more than one of these products and indeed the range of art will always bring different opportunities.
In building these products, businesses need to look beyond simple commercially-driven agendas and ensure they don’t stifle or exclude any part of the art world. It will be in the ability to create solutions that cater for everyone, from the major museums to the commercial gallery and even the lone artist studio, that will determine which of the startups will be the real winners.