THE MANHATTAN MIRROR
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Touch a button on one work of art by an artist who goes by the moniker “Shalom” and it plays back a soundtrack; touch another button and the lighting shifts. Jon Singer has carved images into rollers which, when you push them through paint, create patterns of faces repeated ad infinitum: Dick Gregory, Yuka Honda, Celine Dion. Jacqui Taylor Basker created a gallery/garden as a work of art.
Even as they put up their latest exhibit in the perpetual twilight of Audart, they know the art will come down soon. But theyalso know that when they put their show on the web, which they do regularly, they plan to leave it there indefinitely.
Art and the internet have been moving closer together from the start and more and more the way MTV revolutionized TV, art and technology are revolutionizing the web. Audart, at 60 broad Street., is at the vanguard of a movement today mixing technology and art. Located at the southern tip of Silicon Alley (Mayor Giuliani even made that designation official), Audart presents art, sometimes with a technological tinge, and provides web design, creation and hosting services.
The talk as they prepare a show ranges from T-1 lines to fiber-optics to talk about which artists to show. The technology works its way into the art, with monitors filled with fluid images morphing and remorphing like murals constantly being remade. And the art works itself into technology as they design websites, do live webcasts and do work on commission for companies from communications firms to clubs that want to go on-line.
Audart has something that you absorb the moment that you walk in: Attitude. But in a good way, liberating technology from the cool view of the world. They set up the gallery in what was once the old Dresdner Bank: Its vault remains, housing artwork.
And they push aside efforts to pigeonhole them by comparing them to anything else. “it’s a non-concept,” Regan says. “It’s unto itself.” They’re probably right. At after midnight, despite the projections that Lower Manhattan will be bustling, the neighborhood is quieter than the fabled night before Christmas. At Audart, and Audcom (their sister company that does the webwork), they are very busy.
“This is more like home,” Regan says. “We’re not going out and taking random artists. We’re incorporating all the disciplines. It has to create itself. You have to create fertile ground. This is an open door. Art is the magnet for everything. This neighborhood (Wall Street) needs it.”
They tinker in a space with with a wide airplane control tower like window, a carona of computers, glued to the keyboards and screen at times with the fascination of someone hooked on a drug piping electronic fixes through the open-24-hours-a-day T-1 lines. This is a potion absorbed via the eyes and ears. CONTINUE