Vilcek.org Unveils Second Annual dARTboard Exhibition

New York, January 7, 2013 — Today, Vilcek.org launches the second annual exhibition on the dARTboard, a digital art space created by the Vilcek Foundation in 2012 to celebrate the accomplishments of foreign-born artists working in the realm of digital art. Swiss-born artist-engineer Marc Böhlen has been chosen as this year’s featured artist and will exhibit his unique digital artworks in this electronic art space.

Selected from among the applicants for this year’s dARTboard Call for Entries in Digital Art, Mr. Böhlen combines his background in art history, robotics, and computer programming to create works that investigate the relationship between people and automated systems. Exhibiting his works WaterBar and MakeLanguage – Synthetic Accents, Mr. Böhlen uses real-time news aggregation and fabricated cadence to engage audiences with an unfamiliar twist on everyday items, such as a cup of water or the accent of a computerized PA system.

Christiane Paul, PhD, adjunct curator of new media arts at the Whitney Museum of American Art and juror for the dARTboard call for entries, noted, “Mr. Böhlen’s interdisciplinary artistic practice has made significant contributions to the field of new-media art in the US and internationally. An artist and engineer with training in art history and robotics, he has critically explored the aesthetics and cultural impact of information-processing systems and the complex relationships between humans and automation.”

She added, “Mr. Böhlen’s works are characterized by a sense of humor that playfully highlights absurdities of our technologized world.”

Rick Kinsel, executive director of the Vilcek Foundation, continued: “In creating mineralized water mixtures based on news aggregated in real time or manufacturing computerized accents, Marc Böhlen engages his audience by tapping into their own experiences with technology. Whether standing among his computerized creations or experiencing them online, the effect is constant—you become a unique participant in his thought-provoking works, bringing your own history with automated systems with you. You want to take part in this new technology; you want to taste the water.”

In speaking of the dARTboard, Mr. Kinsel said, “This initiative, now in its sophomore year, broadens our recognition of the key role that immigrants like Mr. Böhlen play in brightening our cultural horizons, being among those to pioneer the bourgeoning field of new-media art.”

Each year, the Vilcek Foundation awards a $5,000 honorarium to the artist selected to exhibit his or her digital creations on the dARTboard.


Swiss-born artist-engineer Marc Böhlen, aka RealTechSupport (CH/US), designs and builds information-processing systems that critically reflect on information as a cultural value through speculative robotics interventions. His projects query the relationship between people and automation systems in fundamental ways, with a current focus on public computational media—the making of information for shared concerns in the public realm. His work has been shown in exhibits, museums, and galleries around the world, including VIDA/Art and Artificial Life, and Ars Electronica. His texts have been published with the Association of Computing Machinery, Springer, MIT Press, and the Architectural League of New York. Böhlen is an associate professor in the Department of Media Study at the University at Buffalo in New York.

  • A Message from Jan and Marica Vilcek

    Our founders arrived as penniless refugees over fifty years ago, but with the kindness and opportunity they received in the United States, they went on to accomplish great things in biomedical science and art history. Read their statement on the recent executive order imposing a travel ban.

     

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