Ten years ago, I thought I knew the answer to the question: “what’s the next art movement?” While that might sound presumptuous—or maybe just irrelevant in our splintered, post-modern world, I now have an even more audacious claim: this blog will make you richer, wiser, and better looking!
The next art movement is not about a new style or content. It's about access. That was the crux of my manuscript entitled On Every Wall: Reproduction and the Future of Art, and the manifesto for United Visual Arts LLC (UVA), the startup I founded to put "an artist's signature on every wall."
But nobody wanted to publish the book. My agent told me to try again once my company became a success. So I focused on launching the business while simultaneously running New Jersey's oldest contemporary arts center with the goal of knitting the two together into an innovative social venture. The results were definitely interesting, but not exactly the next art movement.
Like any good serial entrepreneur who learns from his mistakes, I’m now amending my thesis. It’s not just about access, it’s about the experience. I like nothing more than the old-fashioned craft of pushing paint around on canvas, but I also believe that the next art movement is high-tech in the extreme: it’s about the user interface and experience (UI/UX).
My new mission for UVA is to use art, design and technology to show how everything is connected in ways that help people navigate the world. The ultimate vision is to create user interfaces that reveal our individual place in the visible universe. This blog will record what I learn as I try to get this mission off the ground. I intend to use lean start-up methods to test my hypotheses, soliciting feedback from my posts, maybe a design contest or two, as well as A/B testing and the like.
So how will reading this make you richer, wiser, and better looking?
Well if it works for me, in the spirit of “physician, heal thyself,” I hope it will work for you (and if it doesn’t, no one will care anyway). Early evangelists of my mission are most likely to be visually astute individuals like you. As technology mediates more and more of our everyday lives, my hunch is that our shared love of visual art is the secret ingredient to making user interfaces not only far better experiences than are typical now, but ones that can even be sublime.
I am sure there is money—as well as wisdom and beauty—in that. So please join me on the journey!