This week in Downtown Los Angeles, eyewear brand Gentle Monster’s flagship location will host a digital series curated by the director of Daata Editions, David Gryn. Part of Summit LA19, a pop up viewing room will showcase work by Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Zadie Xa, Tabita Rezaire, and Takeshi Murata.
Whitewaller caught up with Gryn to learn more about the immersive video series, as well as his support of artists working in digital mediums.
WHITEWALLER: Daata Editions was founded in 2015 to commission the work of artists working in video, sound, poetry, and web. Can you tell us about your initial vision for the platform?
DAVID GRYN: The initial vision of Daata was to explore ways in which we could empower and support artists who work with digital mediums, give the art market a way of considering sales of artists digital media, and in general try our darndest to make the distribution and exhibition of art via our platform simple and best serve all those who come into contact with it.
Daata derived from my years working with artists moving image, sound and film usually in the context of the cinema, collaborating with emerging, leading artists, international galleries and art fairs. Whilst curating Film for Art Basel in Miami Beach, the project was born, as it really felt necessary to have more voices in the artworld that work to support the artists and mediums that we do.
WW: How has that evolved?
DG: When Daata launched at NADA New York in 2015 we started off with 18 artists and 108 artworks. We now almost 100 artists and over 430 artworks and growing. Our aim is always to commission artists and the company remains firmly committed to the ongoing support of and collaboration with artists.
WW: Can you tell us about what Daata Editions has planned for Summit LA:
DG: Daata has collaborated via Summit with Gentle Monster’s DTLA flagship store to showcase artists from Daata including: Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Zadie Xa, Tabita Rezaire, and Takeshi Murata. Participant audience will view and engage in discourse around these video artworks. The viewing room will rotate between these different artist videos with a built out seating area.
WW: Are you seeing a growing number of artists, working in other mediums, experiment more with digital?
DG: Most artists I come across work with digital one way or another. At the very least, they use digital mediums to store, display, archive, prepare their works and at the other spectrum – they explore and produce is so many varieties of digital mediums, from video and sound, VR, AR, blockchain, gaming and to new processes, as yet unknown.
My interest in support of artists is always in the artwork that is yet to be made. That is what excites me. My interest in digital is only down to my overriding interest in the support of artists and their desire to use digital art mediums.
WW: How are you seeing collectors and patrons react to the concept of digital artwork?
DG: The market for artists digital medium is still an evolving one, the passionate leading contemporary art collectors such as Julia Stoschek, The Kramlichs, Anita Zabludowicz, Dakis Joannou are still the leading lights in the support of this work. But more emerging and younger collectors are getting the buzz and excitement as digital is regarded as a normal artist medium and treated as such.
WW: Daata Editions has partnered with a number of institutions – what was one of the more recent impactful partnerships?
DG: In 2019 we have been partnering with MOCAD in Detroit and Pat Elifritz, the New Media Curator from MOCAD and myself, just commissioned four new artists, Marcellus Armstrong, Oksana Mirzoyan, Bailey Scieszka, and Maya Stovall for Daata and the new MOCAD website, The Daily Rush. To celebrate this we had a joint booth at EXPO CHICAGO, which was very well received.
We also have recently partnered with The Bass Museum in Miami, where I, alongside Leilani Lynch from the Bass, curated a new Instagram project with eight artists from Daata, called Joyous Dystopia band all were commissioned to make a new work. The artists featured are: Rosie McGinn, Elliot Dodd, Anaïs Duplan, Jeremy Couillard, Keren Cytter, Eva Papamargariti, Bob Bicknell-Knight, and Scott Reeder. The new Bass Museum Instagram site is called The Bass2 / @thebasssquared
WW: While in Los Angeles for Summit this fall, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing?
DG: I love LA, and the ever burgeoning art scene there. So excited to see lots of the galleries that I know and love such as Anat Egbi, Moran Moran, Suzanne Vielmetter, Hauser & Wirth, alongside museums such as the Hammer, who have many Daata artworks, MOCA and exploring much that I don’t know.