ScreenSaverGallery presents: The First and Only Retrospective of Artistic Computer Screensavers

Posted on: April 18th, 2021 by Mary Meixner No Comments

 

April–September 2021

It has been eight years since the ScreenSaverGallery started exploring the waters of the computer screensaver as an artistic medium. The research not only happens during exhibitions in the gallery itself, but it has also taken on a more academic dimension.

The culmination of this research is the publication The Art of Screensaver (published by BUT & PAF), which will be distributed internationally in 2021,[1] and two extensive exhibitions we have prepared for this year.

 

The first is titled “The First and Only Retrospective of Artistic Computer Screensavers”, and is scheduled for autumn 2021. It will consist of a selection of artistic screensavers from all over the world that were created between 2010 and 2020. The retrospective will provide around one hundred screensavers, most of which were shown in the past in the ScreenSaverGallery. However, their retrospective-like recontextualisation creates new, important juxtapositions, and enables us to discover repeated patterns in themes, techniques and the forms that screen saver authors have been interested in over the years. It helps us to appreciate just how much the understanding of the computer screen saver context has changed in this short period of time.

Anthony Antonellis, Blue Brightness. ScreenSaverGallery, May 25–July 17, 2013. Curated by Mary Meixner. Photo (c) Barbora Trnková.

New perspectives will also be provided through thematic scholarly probes carried out by several independent researchers who will concentrate on recurring themes in the production of the artistic screensavers (or scravers, if we dare to come up with an entirely new term here) shown in the ScreenSaverGallery so far, such as performances for the camera and interactivity.

These texts will be published one at a time over the duration of the exhibition (April–September 2021): However, the first is a historic text on the ScreenSaverGallery itself, written by one of its curators, Mary Meixner. It will be published on the ScreenSaverGallery website in April.

 

Krist Wood, Vulv. ScreenSaverGallery, November 15, 2017–January 17, 2018. Curated by &. Photo: Installation at PAF Olomouc – Festival of Film Animation and Contemporary Art, Czech Republic, December 7–10, 2017. Photo (c) Barbora Trnková.

As the exhibition starts with just a few works at the beginning of April, more scravers will be gradually added to The First and Only Retrospective of Artistic Computer Screensavers screensaver collection in the following weeks and months, thus widening the range of options for a random selection of a work that will appear on your screen as soon as your computer becomes idle.

By the end of September you will be able to encounter almost anything from the total of more than one hundred screensavers, all served in interesting and unpredictable relationships.

Importantly, every screensaver is equipped with a caption, providing the name of its author and the screensaver title. Based on this information, using the search bar in the upper right corner on our website http://screensaver.gallery/, you can easily find metadata on each screensaver’s former presentation in ScreenSaverGallery, including curatorial texts and interviews, as well as documentation in most cases.

 

Inhuman Art,. ScreenSaverGallery, December 12, 2018 – May 6, 2019. Curated by &. Photo (c) Barbora Trnková

 

After September 2021, the second extensive exhibition of this year will start; it will be a look back at even more historic and iconic screensavers. Dozens of works will be introduced, most of which would not be possible to install or see today without the necessary archival and restoration work, which was financially supported by the statutory city of Brno.

 

At the end of the process we might discover that screensaver may indeed be a unique and shocking art form.

 

Financially supported by the statutory city of Brno.

[1] We will provide you with some details soon, however it can be pre-ordered at shop@pifpaf.cz for the early bird price of 20 EUR + postage.

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