+ArtApp, a petition and website created by New York based artists Seth Carnes and Serkan Ozkaya and gallerist Paulina Bebecka, launched an initiative to draw attention to the fact that despite the growth of app artworks and arts-centered apps by artists, museums, galleries, and guides, Apple’s App Store remains without an official Art category. The petition found at www.artapp.org urges Apple to add an Art category for all arts-centered apps.
Since launching the App Store in 2008, Apple hosts 24 distinct app categories, from Books and Music, to Sports and Travel, representing a full spectrum of cultural activities, except for Art. It has been widely acknowledged by a range of app developers that even minor tweaks to the App Store can have far ranging ramifications in the ability to sell and be discovered. App artworks by artists are often independent and self-funded, requiring thousands of dollars and prolonged time commitments, then forced into ill-fitting categories like Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Photo & Video. Within these vast categories, app artworks are often buried under the marketing force of commercially funded apps. Meanwhile, some of the largest arts institutions in the world, such at the The Louvre and MoMA, are relegated to the category of Education, which, while surely a part of their mission, does not represent their center within the arts.
The +ArtApp’s campaign decrees that Art is Art, there is no substitute, and all arts-centered apps should be represented as such. Representing +ArtApp, Seth Carnes summarized the need for such a category, stating, "We believe in the power of human culture, where art plays a central role, and feel this should be reflected in how arts-centered apps are perceived, defined, and discovered in the App Store." The petition has already been embraced in the art and technology community, including Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky; Mark Tribe, founder of Rhizome; and Roddy Schrock, Director, Eyebeam, who were all enthusiastic early signers. Scott Snibbe, whose apps are in the Whitney and MoMA’s permanent collection and who also signed the petition, elaborates, "Steve Jobs sometimes called his computers works of art and he’s inspired generations of digital creators with Apple’s elegant hardware and software. It would honor his passion for expanding the boundaries of art to add an Art category to the App Store."
The +ArtApp website and petition will remain in circulation until Apple acknowledges this request from the art community and its supporters.
+ArtApp was created by Seth Indigo Carnes, Serkan Ozkaya and Paulina Bebecka, New York City artists and a gallerist, to gather support urging Apple to create an Art category for all arts-centered apps on the App Store. Paulina Bebecka is director at Postmasters Gallery in New York, a pioneer in new media arts for more than 30 years. Seth Carnes is a media artist who has shown at MoMA PS1, The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and collaborated with Shepard Fairey and The Roots. His app based works include Poetics, a visual poetry app. Serkan Ozkaya is a conceptual artist whose work typically operates outside of traditional art spaces. He has shown in solo exhibitions across the US and internationally, including a recent exhibition at Postmasters Gallery. His app artwork, MyMoon, enables a view of the moon and world in a new way, as a public art piece.
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