Artup 4: #reengineering Venture Culture


We are pleased to announce a very special Artup 4, focused on a discussion of the emerging trend of cultural incubators as a model of art support and production. Taking inspiration from tech startup incubators and co-working spaces, cultural incubators blur the lines between culture and commerce, providing a platform for interdisciplinary work spanning art, design, technology innovation, and entrepreneurship. How can we create spaces that support new modes of interdisciplinary cultural production using art and technology, and how do their models interact with existing platforms for the arts?

This conversation builds on the lively ongoing discussion developing in the Re-Engineering Facebook group and the Op-Ed series on Art Practical. Re-Engineering is a public forum for solutions, working towards a sustainable cultural ecosystem in the Bay Area, where art and tech can find common ground and flourish. Any attempt to address the relationship of money and art is fraught with strong opinions, and we have invited two insightful speakers to present perspectives and lead an open discussion with the audience on the topic.

juliakaganskiy_1329017115_41Julia Kaganskiy (@juliaxgulia) is the Director of NEW INC, the newly announced cultural incubator led by the New Museum. Previously she was global editor of The Creators Project, and is also the founder of New York Timesacclaimed #ArtsTech meetup, a monthly event series exploring the intersection of art and technology. In 2011, Julia was named one of Fast Company‘s Most Influential Women in Technology and a finalist for the World Technology Network award in the Arts.

Jaime Selfie HoundstoothJaime Cortez is a writer, visual artist, and longtime student of comic books. His art has been exhibited across the Bay Area at venues that include the Berkeley Art Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Intersection for the Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Galería de la Raza. His short stories, often focused on humor, sexuality, and the perspectives of those on the sociocultural margins, have been published in over a dozen anthologies.

We are extremely grateful to have the support of Gallery 16 as hosts of this event.

When: Doors 6pm, Discussion 7pm. Tuesday, March 25th, 2014.

Where: Gallery 16, 501 3rd St. San Francisco.

$$$: Free

Social Tag: #reenginnering

Artup is a platform for discussion and tangible engagement focused on issues of cultural economics, modes of production, and the confluence of technology and art. It was founded in 2013 by Mat Dryhurst (@matdryhurst) and Barry Threw (@barrythrew). In addition to its meetups, it issues a periodic grant towards projects addressing or using art and technology, funded by the Artup Trustees. Artup is fiscally sponsored by the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@gaffta). Artup operates in a generous partnership with Art Practical (@artpractical). Special thanks to Particia Maloney and Marcella Faustini for their invaluable help in co-organizing this event.

Artup 3.5: Musictech Edition

Artup 3.5: Musictech Edition

For our 3.5 event, we’re focusing on sonic technology. The evening’s performances and presentations will address topics such as artistic practice as process, tool production as a creative act, open source software and hardware, ethical manufacturing, artist empowerment through learning to code, diy solutions and the inherent beauty of blank-slate devices.

We’d like this event to revolve around Q & A, dialog and interaction among everyone, so bring challenging questions for our presenters and a desire to engage with your community. It’s what we’re all about.


Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain – Monome – Brian and Kelli are artists creating open source devices of undetermined use. Their new device, Aleph, is a powerful audio processor, synthesizer, noise machine and rapidly modifiable instrument – a platform for experimental practice and organic discovery. Brian and Kelli will perform with the Aleph and discuss concepts informing its design and purpose.

Peter Nyboer – Livid Instruments – Peter is a partner and the primary programmer at Livid Instruments, crafting custom controllers, DIY products and commercially available control surfaces. Their latest device, the Guitar Wing, is a wireless controller for guitar and bass complete with its own SDK. Peter will speak about the general challenge of designing blank-slate controllers versus one-to-one integrated devices, and what it takes to make something truly useful for musical and other creative endeavors.

Carr Wilkerson – CCRMA – Carr is a System Administrator at the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), a multi-disciplinary facility where composers and researchers work together using computer-based technology both as an artistic medium and as a research tool. Specializing in Linux and Mac OS systems, Carr is a controller and software system builder, performer, instructor and researcher. Carr will present an overview of CCRMA’s culture, current research initiatives, and the many technical resources available to the ArtUP community.


Tuesday, March 4, 02014 Doors open at 7pm Performances and presentations begin at 7:30pm Obscura Digital – 729 Tennessee Street (near 18th at 3rd, in the heart of SF’s Dogpatch) San Francisco, CA 94107 Admission is all ages and free Meetup Facebook event

An Artsy “Art Insider” on SF Tech and Art


In Artsy, Sabrina Buell, a San Francisco-based art advisor at Zlot Buell + Associates, considers the SF Tech community’s relationship to art collecting. The article opens by wondering why the 2010 SF Creators Project didn’t usher in a new age of art and tech in San Francisco. Ms. Buell then suggests that the Tech community simply isn’t interested in art+tech work, and proceeds to consider more traditional media artists.

Artsy: What are tech-world collectors buying? Do certain artists appeal to them?


SB: One trend that is commonly assumed, but is wrong, is that people in the tech world like to collect “tech art”—new media or art with screens, or that incorporates computer technology into the work. That’s not the case.

Is it self evident that art+tech work isn’t desirable by the Tech worker community? Can the rich community of art+tech work in SF simply be dismissed so easily? Look for the next Artup event to add your voice to this discussion.

“Minimum Viable Artwork” Questions the Incubator Model

Over at, Andrew Sempere writes questioning the current trend in starting Art “Incubators” to catalyze projects using art and technology.

That established cultural institutions are having a hard time relating to art and culture made with contemporary technology is painfully apparent. That they want to remedy this by turning towards the incubator model only shows how desperately regressive they are.

Arts Incubator at the New Museum

Over at the New York Times, an overview of the new Arts Incubator at the New Museum. This model of museums and institutions partnering with private sector and creating work will be one that is followed by many organizations nationwide.

“We’re not trying to be venture capitalists,” Ms. Phillips said. “We think of this simply as an extension of our educational mission — a think tank, a laboratory, a catalyst for ideas that might not come out of traditional business environments. We’re a young, contemporary museum that does not have a permanent collection and this is a result of us always asking ourselves what a museum can be.”

Ms. Phillips said she anticipated criticism from people who would question why a museum would want to be involved in nurturing businesses, but she added: “I think our notion of the art world as formed by New York City is a very limited concept. And I think museums can be places for creative thinking in ways we don’t normally expect. In the most basic way, this will be like what artists do in their studios: this will be a place to make things.”

Artup 3 Review: Art, Tech, and Gentrification in San Francisco

Artup 3 Panel Arts writer Dorothy Santos has penned a review of Artup 3 in Hyperallergic. She correctly identifies many of the points of contention and obstacles ahead in continuing the conversation on Art+Tech in the Bay.

The Bay Area has long been known for its diversity, activism, and social justice, which is a heritage we can be draw from to deal with these changes. But to truly understand how art and art practices may be able to help address what is driving the soul of the city away, it may be best to not succumb to the jargon based within institutionalized frameworks for legitimacy. Ultimately, the art and technology markets are just that — capitalist endeavors. A tension will always exist. Yet we need to be willing to build new infrastructures or models, such as The Bay Area Public School, Noisebridge, or Codame, to help advance and evolve the conversation on how we can reengineer arts and technology in the Bay Area.

Artup Grant 1 Given to SONICWALK

The First Artup Grant tonight was given to Geoff Morris for SONICWALK.

SONICWALK is a system for transposing soundscapes from one physical location to another. Participants can use their mobile device to make geotagged field recordings and upload them as a map. When a sonic map is loaded in another location, the sounds are transposed onto the local geography, which the user traverses by walking through physical space. Spectral processing techniques (manipulation of amplitude, panning, reverb, and frequency) are applied to simulate the field recordings’ distribution in space. SONICWALK is a timecapsule, a way of connecting to places you’ve left behind, a method of digitourism, and a means of collapsing physical distance.

We’ll be looking forward to seeing how this develops. Apply to our next grant at

Artup & Art Practical Present: Re-Engineering Art & Tech

A community conversation focused on cultural collaboration between Arts and Technology in the Bay Area, hosted at Ratio 3, 2831A Mission St, San Francisco. Join the Facebook event.

Artup, Art Practical and Ratio 3 are pleased to announce the third in Artup’s series of quarterly gatherings that incubate an environment of sharing, debate and collaboration between the Bay Area Art and Technology communities. Come hear insights and provocations presented by leaders of art+tech initiatives, and participate in discussions on how to create more opportunities for the communities to work together.

The event will include discussion of the two-part op-ed article in Art Practical written by Artup founder and Gray Area Foundation Director of Programming Mat Dryhurst and artist Brian Rogers, in addition to brief presentations by Anthony Discenza, Olof Mathé, Josette Melchor, Jon Dick and Sahana Ullagaddi.

The evening will begin with refreshments and a screening of OM Rider, the animated video by Takeshi Murata currently on view at the gallery. Artup’s mission is focused on socially lubricating the culture and innovation sectors of our community, two groups which are massive stakeholders in every aspect of our lives here, but often don’t connect in real-world situations.

Bay Area artists are increasingly finding the economic climate difficult to survive in, and tech workers similarly want outlets to participate as culture producers. Interface between these groups is vital in a city that should be the epicenter of advanced medium art works in the world.

Art Practical enriches critical dialogue for the Bay Area visual arts by providing comprehensive analysis of events and exhibitions. The online magazine is emblematic of the collective and collaborative spirit of the wide-ranging Bay Area visual arts culture, which combines international perspectives with a long local history of incubating experimentation and innovation. For more information, contact Theo Elliott at or 1 (415) 821-3371.

Re-Engineering Art and Tech in the Bay Area w/ Mat Dryhurst and Brian Rogers

Artup co-Founder Mat Dryhurst just completed a provocative op-ed article for Art Practical around the issues confronting the culture and technology sectors of the Bay Area. Published in two parts, this conversation with Brian Rogers starts with a survey of the rich variety of artists, projects and organizations currently practicing in the Bay Area, and then starts to consider some potential investigative entry points to affect stronger cultural relationship between Art and Tech in the Bay. It’s a must read for anyone interested in the issues of the arts economy in San Francisco.

Excerpt from Part One:

MD: Once we get past generalizations, we will notice that the best people in art and tech share common goals and sensibilities. Identifying and creating conversations between these kinds of people is one powerful way to subvert the current climate that is pushing mindful people of all backgrounds out of the city. Making clumsy generalizations about “tech” antagonizes the venerable history of radical technology in this city and ultimately threatens to alienate those in tech who could help get everyone out of this mess.


BR: There’s a long local history of forward-thinking tech development on the West Coast. It’s not a mistake that California emerged as an (admittedly unwieldy) epicenter for technologies of the self, a moment that was at least an attempt to mutually grasp technological, conceptual, social, and aesthetic vanguards…

And Part Two:

BR: Art should make, to quote Negarestani again, “extreme hypotheses,” and should use any materials necessary (including and in particular technology) to make them. This isn’t an idea that artists should make inflated claims about aspiring toward, but it’s also a horizon that—as people who are nominally interested in how we work and how we work in the world—artists should recognize and use as a perspective from which to ask difficult but necessary questions.


MD: We need to recognize that this is the best place in the world to make art about tech. Decisions made about technology in the Bay Area will go on to fundamentally reconfigure the lives of people all over the world, and whether we take a supportive or antagonistic stance, Bay Area artists have first option to play a role in that discourse
and trajectory if we choose to.

  • Artup 2013