As an artist, I personally find the idea of exhibiting my work in a "spacy"
"soft" "comfy" "funky" space quite intimidating. Every artist wants their work
exhibited in a way that the presentation serves the work and not the other way
around. Funky, cool "lounges" or "bars" might be very compelling and inviting
to sit and hang out in, but tend to overshadow the works. It is difficult to
give an artwork the proper semi neutral environment in a dominating place
over-designed in order to achieve a certain "effect".
An example: Last year I participated in a group exhibition of Israeli
Photographers in Flensburg, Germany. I exhibited photographs (b&w prints on the
wall) and an interactive project which had to be shown on a Mac. I was asked
whether it could be shown on an iMac, and although I love touching and working
with iMacs, I insisted on a regular gray monitor.
Try exhibiting a very cold, b&w work on a strawberry-flavored machine...
It's showing an artwork within an artwork (not such a bad concept when
It's the same with the exhibition space.
When designing a permanent new media exhibition "lounge", this must be taken
into consideration. Most artists will show their work anywhere they are invited
(as long as it's not a total dump). Sometimes, curators tend to forget that
when planning expo spaces with designers and architects (who are usually
artists at their own right). The same questions were discussed regarding
SFMoma's 010101 site design.