The Adobe Museum of Digital Media (www.adobemuseum.com) is pleased to announce its second exhibition, John Maeda: Atoms + Bits = the neue Craft (ABC), on view March 23 to Dec. 31, 2011. The exhibition is a digital representation of Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), leading an interactive lecture on how artists are connecting the worlds of digital creativity and analog (or handcrafted) creativity. Titled Atoms + Bits = the neue Craft (ABC), the lecture underscores the mission of the AMDM to provide an interactive venue for presenting digital media works as well as providing a forum for expert commentary on how digital media influences culture and society.
According to Maeda, “Computers let us imagine digitally what we once could only validate by handcraft in physical form – the infinite malleability and reusability of bits have forever changed the creative process. But just as it took Icarus to first imagine human flight by carefully observing how birds can fly, digital tools have relied on many of the original tools and media used by artists in the pre-digital world.” Maeda sees the thread that runs between the tools of physical art making – such as pens, brushes and pigment – and the way new media has co-opted many of the same tools to manipulate bits in digital art. Through the exhibition, he examines the history of linking analog and digital creativity within his own work and the works of others.
The exhibition takes the form of an interactive lecture, with a digital representation of Maeda speaking on a simple stage resembling his office at RISD. Dynamic infographics, video content and audio remarks illustrate Maeda’s talk. Scenes from RISD art studios, including wood, glass, metal, and paper workshops, demonstrate the richness of expression Maeda feels must be captured in digital art’s next chapter.