We are very excited to bring Daata Editions to Belgium and introduce this exciting digital art platform at the first Midnight Chardonnay Edition in Antwerp with an exclusive Krispy Kremes playlist compiled by Daata founding director - David Gryn. Ahead of our launch, we talk to David about Daata movement and its role in the digital art environment.
GASS: For those who still don't know, what is Daata Editions?
David Gryn: Daata Editions is an online commissioning platform of artists working with digital media, video, sound, poetry and web. We have currently over seventy artists and more than three hundred artworks available.
GASS: How, and maybe, why did you come up with this concept?
David Gryn: Daata came about due to the lack of outcomes and support for artists working with current digital, yet non-traditional art mediums. Artists get paid and receive royalty on sales, two somewhat unusual and rare things in the art world. The idea is that Daata is ‘a’ model and not ‘the’ model, and is my hope that the proliferation of similar companies grows and we have the beginning soon of a stronger competitive online market and process.
GASS: I find it really amazing and very interesting that through your platform you are encouraging people to buy these works while they can just get online and rip it off. I respect that a lot.
David Gryn: The logic here is simple, be generous. If we only allowed people to see an extract, it would mean most of our users and audience would not see the full intended work. We have many more viewers who just look than those who buy and collect. I have yet to be faced by any acts of ripping off/stealing artworks from online in my last twenty years of working across the artworld. In some ways when that happens - I will know I have a truly great success.
GASS: You are working with the artists focusing on film, digital art and sound. How do you find them?
David Gryn: There is a great eco-system in the artworld, where when artists are really good - the whispers and conversations about them start to emerge and circulate from other artists, galleries, art fairs, critics, art magazines, collectors and social media. It is then all about chemistries, trust, commitment as to how we then work together.
GASS: There is a whole bunch of really serious people on your roster but you also seem to be very supportive of the new artists and new projects. How can a young artist get commisioned by Daata?
David Gryn: We have a finite budget - so we are not endlessly commissioning - but when we become aware of someone who feels right for the platform and we think we can mutually work together - it starts to take shape - and usually fairly easily and smoothly.
GASS: As a curator, what does turn you on?
David Gryn: I don't really see myself as a curator, more of a facilitator, deliverer, go-between. I am impassioned by artist and others who are true and generous collaborators. It is usually the quality of that relationship that motivates me, as generally, I do not know what artwork I will receive - as they are always new works - so the start point is the artist and the belief that they are great and will deliver something magnificent.
GASS: Can you talk about Krispy Kremes playlist. What's in the pot?
David Gryn: Krispy Kremes is a Daata Editions playlist compiled especially for Midnight Chardonnay, it features artists from the website including: Helen Benigson, Jacky Connolly, Jeremy Couillard, Keren Cytter, Sue de Beer, Elliot Dodd, FlucT, Ed Fornieles, Rashaad Newsome, Hannah Perry, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Scott Reeder, Jacolby Satterwhite, Katie Torn, Amalia Ulman, Zadie Xa, Lu Yang.
I selected works that I thought would sit well with each other and make an exciting and captivating time for audiences whether they see the whole thing or just excerpts.
GASS: What's next for Daata in 2018?
David Gryn: Daata Editions is doing a project called Queertopia curated by Gemma Rolls-Bentley at a new art fair in San Francisco called If So, What? Along with some VR projects and a collaboration with Label Dalbin’s table.video. We also have an ongoing video program working with Vanity Projects in NY and Miami. In September, we are programming Video and Sound at Art Rio art fair and EXPO Sound at EXPO CHICAGO and many other exciting projects, commissions, talks throughout the year.
GASS: Whats your opinion on the future of the digital art and maybe the future of the internet from the art perspective?
David Gryn: I would have thought by now we would have reached the point where the art world would have fully embraced digital culture, mediums and process. However, there is strong a resistance and nervousness to it from the art market, which is familiar with selling objects. Once that changes - the economic reality for artists working with digital mediums will change.
I see digital as a means to an end and that the future will see lots of change and variable outcomes. The reality to me is that it is artists that need our support - as it is they that use the technology and the various art mediums and that the digital should never be regarded as more precious than the human who encounters it.
GASS: And what about real-life art projects, projects OFFLINE, if you wish. Do you think projects and festivals such as Midnight Chardonnay are important at this day of age?
David Gryn: We all want to engage with other people - and the internet and digital cultures have both - disturbed that and encouraged it. The desire to socialise and be stimulated and entertained is as vital as ever and projects like Midnight Chardonnay - help to create a really healthy landscape for audiences looking for cultural engagement and social encounters.
GASS: What do you think the modern world art scene is lacking off right now?
David Gryn: We could all be better at genuine collaboration, support and empowerment of all participants in the artworld. Like so much of our world - the artworld is driven by self-serving avarice, commercial greed and profit, which is always subject to corruption and we need to turn it into a place of community, mutual empowerment and always strive to make the best outcomes for all.
GASS: What do you think it takes to be a badass Artist?
David Gryn: Being - a great collaborator, generous, self-confident, self-motivated, having a strong vision, having great aesthetics, a deliverer, non-confrontational, having marketing awareness, good communication skills and understanding the artworld and all its greatness and foibles.
GASS: Haters gonna hate?
David Gryn: With the rise of simple communication technologies - there is a lazy approach to human interaction - and one of those - is the belief that people can hide behind their screens and send vile, hate-filled comments and spelled-out thoughts - that maybe a few generations ago - may have been just stupid, unconsidered and unrealised ideas in their minds (eg the letter/email you should never send). There are however mostly good people out there and they are the ones who are not trying to create barriers, conflict and tell others what to think and who to hate, and they should all be celebrated as these silent voices are the majority.