Blackdove digital art

Blackdove

technology profile - digital art


Blackdove


A curator of digital art which can easily be viewed on any display, including big screen TVs and mobile devices.


By Douglas Weinstein


Blackdove
 

THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE, TREADING NEW GROUND – GIVING PEOPLE FREE REIN to their creativity and surpassing everything that has come before. This encapsulates Blackdove’s tireless striving for perfection, creating a landmark in the world of digital art for today’s most progressive performance homes.

The brainchild of Marc Billings, Blackdove is a curator of digital art which can easily be viewed on any display, including big screen TVs and mobile devices. Blackdove’s imaginative approach to digital art opens up the nature and the emotional inner life of a work and celebrates the most intimate aspects of the artist’s vision. On large digital canvases the art propels you into a different universe, a world of pure vision. And you alone decide where the journey should go.

For architects and interior designers, digital canvasses — large-scale video displays — open up a new world of expression, creating opportunities to artistically expand room interiors and propel the visions behind decorative interiors that bring three-dimensional aspects to any décor.

I recently caught up with Marc Billings and two artists whose work is featured at Blackdove, Jonathan McCabe and Jamie Scott.

 
Blackdove founder Mark Billings
“As displays get ever larger, hiding them is painful. So we like to say, ‘don’t hide it, highlight it’. We have over 100 artists represented on the Blackdove platform, so there is really something for everyone.”Mark Billings
 

DOUG: Take us back to the formation of Blackdove.

MARC: I fell in love with digital art about 15 years ago when I was walking the halls of Art Basel, which happens here in Miami every December. As a technology entrepreneur over my career, it immediately struck me as an amazing opportunity to be able to share art on a global level which would be very unique. I am a big believer that art in itself is an asset class — a creative asset class — that brilliant artists like Jamie and Jonathan are creating, and that their artwork should be shared and viewed.

The more that I looked at the opportunity, the more I looked at the medium, the more I fell in love with it. Around every corner there was a magical moment waiting to be discovered. The initial design of the business was that I built a platform for myself. It was a very rudimentary piece of software that I used to hang a digital canvas in my home to display art. And immediately it was so popular with all of my friends and family that everybody was asking me for one of them. And that really launched our journey into building Blackdove as a commercial opportunity.

And the more we dug into it, we realized that the art form is highly complementary to a very positive mindset. When you have works from artists like Jonathan and Jamie around you, there is a certain level of connectivity that you have in this digital world, and with the art moving it creates a curiosity around what’s coming next. Unlike traditional art which is a single frame, digital art encompasses multiple frames, and we found it intrigued viewers.

 
Blackdove digital art over couch
 

DOUG: How did you define your customer market?

MARC: The first few years of Blackdove we focused on taking any type of customer who was interested in our technology in order to learn who was out there and who could be interested in this. And over the recent few years we have
found that really substantial installations create an incredible artistic platform; in fact the larger the installation, the better.

Digital art adds this meditative quality to the spaces it occupies, and the movement of the artwork creates an enhanced digital world for our clients to experience. Most of us are barraged daily with what I’ll call terrible data – think about all of the things you see on the internet for example — and what we see effects what we’re doing every day in our lives. It gets cluttered. So our clients have told us that our curated works of art bring a sense of curiosity and a sense of wellness to their lives. It gives you the feeling that you are living a modern life with modern tools, in an unbelievable positive environment.

 
Scott - bug's eye view
Jamie Scott

"BUG'S EYE VIEW' - JAMIE SCOTT

 

DOUG: Jamie, give us a background of your life as an artist and how you’ve evolved your time-lapse photography.

JAMIE: I studied Media Production at Bournemouth University and majored in 3D animation. My first job out of university was at The Mill London where I got an amazing unofficial apprenticeship. I went from runner to lead Flame Artist in four years. I worked on many award-winning commercials and music videos with some of the biggest names in the industry including Frank Budgen, Chris Cunningham and Rupert Sanders.

In 2003 I moved to The Mill New York. In 2004 I was nominated for an MTV VMA for my work on Michel Gondry's “Walkie
Talkie Man” video. In 2006 I joined Mass Market/Psyop New York where I continued to work on award-winning projects such as Nike Human Chain (Clio, Cannes Lion) and Audi Synchronized (Clio). In 2012 I moved to Method Studios in Los Angeles. I've been freelancing since 2013 which has given me the opportunity to work with many other great companies including Framestore and MPC as well as giving me the freedom to explore other avenues outside of advertising.

I started doing time-lapse photography in 2011 as a hobby. Two of my films, Fall and Spring were awarded Staff Pick on Vimeo. In April 2018 my Spring time-lapse was selected to play in Times Square as part of their Midnight Moment series. It played on 21 screens (one of which is tied for first place as the biggest outdoor screen in the world) for the month of April. In 2018 I created time-lapse pieces for Dell, Spotify and Florence and the Machine.

 
Jonathan McCabe

JONATHAN McCABE - RELIEF SERIES C NUMBER 5

Mccabe relief series c number 5
 

DOUG: Jonathan, tell us about your own unique interpretation of art.

JONATHAN: I consider myself a generative artist, particularly in theories of natural pattern formation and their application to art and design. I specialize in the use of diffusion equations by legendary British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing to create rich textural morphologies and dense landscape works.

I remember seeing this article about the Mandelbrot set in Scientific American in the mid-80s and becoming really excited about computer graphics. That led me to study at the ANU Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology. I then work at the ANU Supercomputer Facility for about a decade. I think there is something addictive about creating art with computer programming. It’s a bit like gambling – I just keep adjusting and tweaking the program to see what happen don’t guide the production of any particular image: the program runs from start to finish without input, allowing the software to produce different results. The trick is to try to make a system that generates interesting output by itself.

 
Blackdove Biz Museum
 

DOUG: How are you working with design-build professionals and the homeowner who are interested in acquiring digital artworks from Blackdove?

MARC: As displays get ever larger, hiding them is painful. So we like to say, ‘don’t hide it, highlight it’. We have over 100 artists represented on the Blackdove platform, so there is really something for everyone. And certain artists, Jonathan for instance, can customize pieces of art according to color palates or whatever the visions of the designer and homeowner
are.

As we meet with clients, we begin with a technical discussion and then the art comes into play. It is a curation process. We send out a questionnaire and with the responses we get back, we develop a curatorial program for the owner and by the time we get to the end of that there is usually a selection process and the owner finds works they wish to purchase. Designers and architects also have works they believe will enhance their designs, so it is a collaborative process.


final thoughts

Blackdove is on a mission to connect the world in a shared art experience. Artists are the pulse of humanity and their creations deserve to be seen by the world, not locked up in storage. Digital art provides this opportunity uniquely. Visit Blackdove.com and see for yourself how you can enhance and expand any interior design.