“The arts are encroaching one upon another, and from a proper use of this encroachment will rise the art that is truly monumental.” – Wassily Kandinsky
I spent yesterday afternoon with my Mom looking at the work of Wassily Kandinsky at the Phillips Collection. We’d been planning this excursion for a month and made it to the show, Kandinsky and the Harmony of Silence on the last day. I’m glad that we made it. It was a beautiful show that focused on his creative process through a look at one image, “Painting with White Border”.
This Labor Day afternoon, I’ve been looking at the work of the interactive media artist and Björk collaborator, Scott Snibbe.
Coincidentally, there is a picture on Snibbe’s Studio website of the artist holding an art catalog that got my attention. The art on the cover is the work of Wassily Kandinsky. Is there some influence there? I’m not sure, but Snibbe seems to have connected to our times in the same way that Kandinsky tapped into the dynamic of the time he lived in.
Kandinsky was interested in the spiritual in art during a time of chaos and stress in the world. Snibbe is interested in increasing engagement through participatory art in an increasingly isolated and anxious time.
Snibbe’s Artist’s Statement describes his creative goals.
“My work is frequently interactive, requiring viewers to physically engage with diverse media that include mobile devices, digital projections, and electromechanical sculpture. By using interactivity, I hope to promote an understanding of the world as interdependent; destroying the illusion that each of us, or any phenomenon, exists in isolation from the rest of reality.”
Another thread connecting the two artists is the history of the artist as entrepreneur. The Bauhaus, where Kandinsky was an instructor, had an enormous influence on commercial design in the last century. And Snibbe became a creative entrepreneurial role model founding Snibbe Interactive in response to the potential commercial applications of this work.
He’s also one of the innovators in the movement promoting the app as art. You can check out a number of apps on his studio website store I’ve purchased OscilloScoop, BubbleHarp and the Biophilla App, Virus.
Below are YouTube videos of my favorite Snibbe art projects.