Five different artists and collectives explored the concept of scale in nature and sought to encourage new perspectives on a micro and macro level.
The digital art screen, being located in such a central position and seen by hundreds every day, has the potential to bring staff, clients, and visitors back to an awareness of the immensity and expansiveness of the world around us. Natural features which are all too often rendered invisible in urban contexts are now made an integral part of the urban landscape.
The installation also occurs in parallel to the idea that lobbies are liminal spaces; places of transit where people are always moving and are always temporary. The eddies and currents displayed digitally echo the movement of people in the space around it.
A central challenge in the curation of this project was defining the way in which the curation supported the building brand - we have found this is a common challenge for asset managers: should art curation support a building's branding, or the brand of the asset manager? Which is more important to company goals and marketing strategies that are in place? Is the art intended to impress visitors, engage with tenants, or contribute to foot traffic for food and beverage offerings? Often it can need to meet several goals at once, which is where purposeful curation and integration with other strategies comes in.
Of course, digital art is not just for corporate spaces – it can also elevate important community stories in a broader public art context. Within a city’s shifting human geography, digital art in public spaces is a way to ensure that key elements of local histories and culture remain part of the contemporary urban landscape.
Take the upcoming NSW Metro Art Project, for instance. A collection of artists are set to develop a series of screen-based artworks for several stations across the Sydney Metro. What underlies this project is an understanding that art has the ability to enhance a customer’s experience of public transport hubs and to further enrich the cultural life of these places.
Both the 80 Collins St project and the NSW Metro Art Project show just how expansive the layers of experience are that digital art can provide.