CODAworx’s First Summit on Art & Technology Unites Top Artists & Industry Professionals

L-R: Bill FitzGibbons, Pierre Fortin, Jeremy Crandell, Tracey Jerome, and Robin Juan. Photograph by Annie Watt.

CODAworx is a collective on a mission to push the art commissioning world ahead. It understands the great beauty of this increasingly-interconnected world: that overlapping industries can converge and connect to cooperate and celebrate their mutual interests.

It was in aid of this mission that the CODAworx team organized the inaugural CODAsummit on September 21, describing it as “The Intersection of Art, Technology and Place” — and all those involved are in agreement that it was a massive success.

Sean Kelley of the Fine Art & Sculpture team at architecture technology firm Zahner was highly optimistic about the future of the event, saying “I was so glad to have been there this year and we look forward to returning. We see this event as having the potential to mature into one of the most important art, architecture, design, fabrication, and public art summits ever.”

This landmark event brought together leading professionals from art, technology, and manufacturing backgrounds, all possessing the conviction that the artistic possibilities of tech advancement aren’t just noteworthy but in fact constitute a paradigm shift. Through sharing resources and creativity, society can transform shared spaces, making art accessible to all.

How art is using and commenting on the digital world

Attendees at CODAsummit were treated to insightful talks from numerous supremely-talented artists responsible for some of the most thought-provoking exhibits in the world today, many playing on the problems and challenges brought about by the digital world.

One such speaker was Matthew Mohr, an artist and an Associate Professor at the Columbus College of Art & Design. Specializing in the potential of technology in service of expression, his exhibit As We Are is a permanent fixture at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, using cameras to map visitors’ 3D profiles and display them at enormous scale to encourage contemplation of the role of social media in modern life.

Also serving as a Panelist, Mohr was effusive about the event: “Never have I felt so welcomed, informed, and encouraged by a community that values what I hold so dear. CODAsummit was an absolute delight. I made new friends, found possible solutions to my challenges and left invigorated with increased assurance that my future is bright, and our work as a community is the wave of the future.”

Mohr’s As We Are exhibit.

Another speaker was Andrea Polli, an artist and a Professor at the University of New Mexico. She spoke about her project Energy Flow for which she partnered with wind energy company WindStax to highlight the possibilities of alternative energy by creating a light display showing real-time wind speed and temperature change data on the Rachel Carson Bridge in Pittsburgh.

How CODAsummit fills a need for the art community

The merging of the offline and online worlds was a strong underlying theme. Not only was there a natural blend of digital projects being discussed in person, but also the promise of great collaboration in the near future. It’s clear that the concept meets a real gap in the art world.

After all, there are so many links in the art commissioning chain, but there hasn’t been a way for them to come together and forge natural connections — until now. It was only appropriate that the final speaker be Frank Rose, author and contributing editor at Wired, who is often quoted for his comparison of social links to digital links.

Gavin Downey, Senior Product Manager of printing and imaging company Epson America, attested to the event’s value for tech firms: “We enjoyed gaining a better understanding for public artwork, and having conversations with the artists and those supporting their vital work. We hope to continue to build our partnership over the years and look forward to collaborating with artists we met at the CODAsummit conference!”

Looking to the future of CODAsummit

Given the success of the first instalment of CODAsummit (it sold out, and earned a battery of rave reviews), it’s clear that repeat performances are on the horizon. Thankfully, CODAsummit 2019 stands to take this bright ember and kindle it into a roaring fire, taking huge steps towards the CODAworx goal of uniting the art and technology worlds into a flourishing collective.

In the meantime, though, anyone who missed out on CODAsummit 2018 can still benefit from its presentations through the transcripts and videos available on the official site and reach out to the speakers and attendees through social media to learn more about how they can be involved in future editions.

CODAworx is on a mission to transform every space in the world by making great commissions happen. Its network connects artists and creative teams to architects, design and art professionals, and the universe of companies that provide services and products for commission projects.

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The press release and the photographs are courtesy of the gallery and the artists.

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