Artist living and working in New York City, Co-director of Magenta Plains.
RBA: Now more than ever we need ideas that respond to the present and incite a positive future. How or where do these ideas originate? What methods of collaboration and creativity foster the advancement of relevant, notable, and necessary idea generation?
Dorland: Ideas originate out of necessity–one’s desire to solve a given problem whether it be practical or poetic. I find this to be true in any given field.
I’m not sure that I have the answer as to what methods of collaboration are better or more productive than others, but I do think of collaboration, in general, as a productive model. At base, the desire to collaborate is a generous and open minded impulse and often yields new, and often unexpected ideas. Although, just like with ideas themselves, collaborations aren’t created equally. Some collaborations are obviously more dynamic and protean such as artists collaborating with scientists or engineers; and some are less interesting, like Jeff Koons collaborating with big brands like LVMH to create luxury handbags. However, Jeff Koons collaborating with incredibly skilled stone workers has yielded stunning results.
In many ways, the idea of the artist as “lone genius” that has been so crucial to the crafting of the 19th and 20th Century model of “the Artist” is changing and we are beginning to think of the artist, and their role in society, slightly differently and, in my opinion, with more nuance. The artworld in general seems to be moving towards a greater understanding of the importance of collaboration and this is something I view as a fantastic development. It’s a more generative and more accurate way of imagining creativity. I try to embrace the collaborative spirit as much as possible, both as an artist as well as in my role at Magenta Plains.
Independent: The future is moving so quickly, how is visual culture responding? What are some of the more interesting ways of connecting with art, and can we best experience these ideas in galleries and institutions? Talk about some ways in which we can reflect these new paths in what we do (gallery, artist, etc). Question, is there enough room in today’s visual culture for the ideas that artist are asking? How has that changed?
Dorland: I’m old fashioned in the sense that I’m still a firm believer in the vitality of the face to face IRL experience of art. I find it incredibly gratifying and meaningful to come into contact with the singular art object. I love the experience of a well designed gallery show or a well curated museum exhibition. It’s a truly priceless experience: temporary and rare. That said, there is no question that physical exhibitions are no longer the only ways of experiencing art. And that’s equally exciting. New platforms are emerging that are still in their absolute infancy. I have little doubt that as the technology develops, and as artists, galleries and museums learn to use these new tools with more efficiency and creativity; truly incredible new ways of experiencing art awaits us. For instance, I can’t wait to see Daniel Birnbaum’s first VR presentation with Acute Art in NY in May during Frieze this year.
Is there enough room in today’s visual culture for the ideas that artists are asking? I think the answer is yes and no. Artists are continually coming up with amazing ideas. There is no shortage of brilliant, engaging and forward thinking visions. The artist’s job is to dream and I think that is happening at no less a rate than it ever was. When thinking of art and technology, the problem increasingly becomes one of education, production and access. Art schools, for instance, are not currently designed to properly educate the next generation of artists precisely because they are still modeled on a relatively antiquated idea of what an artist is. And I think this goes back to the first question: one of collaboration. If artists are increasingly wanting to think big and outside the confines of relatively simple artisanal art making practices–sculpture, painting, drawing (models that artisans have done for millenia), the problem becomes one of access. Are there enough platforms and means available to assist artists with the goal of thinking on a more complex stage: one that necessitates greater access to cutting edge tools and expensive technologies that can allow them dream and imagine new ways of addressing and articulating the future, the answer is no.