Today, artist Ryan Seslow and I launched Encrypted Fills, a new digital exhibition space and archive for creations at the intersection of digital art and street art. Essentially, the site is a site to archive artworks being produced specifically for the internet by street artists. Encrypted Fills brings together the best of a usually disparate set of artworks onto one website and into what will become a collection of digital exhibitions. If you’ve read Viral Art, you’ll probably be familiar with a lot of the content on the site, or at least understand my interest in it.
Ryan and I have been watching for years (and Ryan’s been participating as an artist himself) as people in the street art and graffiti world have turned to experimenting with new mediums like GIFs, video art, and related forms of electronic documentation to express their ideas on digital platforms. Sometimes the aesthetics of the work are nearly indistinguishable from static street pieces, and other times these digital works are hardly recognizable as related to street art or graffiti, but we believe that these new works come from the same place. Artists who have been getting up outdoors are now reaching out to a similar digital public, and it’s opened the door for those artists to reach beyond static images.
“We are very excited about this development,” says Ryan, “We want to promote this work and identify it as something particular and distinct from other art being produced in the street art and graffiti communities, and we also want to preserve the best examples of it for posterity, lest in the future we think of these works as standard and forget the artistic leaps that were made in the last few years and those that will be made in the years to come.”
In addition to archiving works already available, we plan to use Encrypted Fills as a platform to exhibit new digital works, specially commissioned for the site. As Encrypted Fills grows and develops, exhibition lengths will vary, but all of the works and exhibitions presented will be archived on the site for future reference.
For Encrypted Fills’ inaugural and eponymous exhibition, we have collected a range of pieces from more than a dozen artists to show the breadth of what street artists are doing when they move into digital art. Exhibited artists include Peter Drew, John Fekner, Olek, Vandalog contributing writer Caroline Caldwell, and more. You can view the inaugural Encrypted Fills exhibition here.
GIF by Ryan Seslow