The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN) announced in late May the four teams of artists and scientists who’ll receive a total of $30,000 in grant money to begin working on cross-disciplinary projects as part of the DNA of Creativity Program. Among the projects, which address global problems such as pollution and disappearing wildlife, is a smart-phone application that will make available to users SDVAN’s comprehensive website of local artists and arts events.
The "Batt App" is named in honor of Dennis Paul Batt, the founder of the San Diego Visual Artists Guild, whose untimely death early in 2012 shook the local art community that he so tirelessly supported. The app will offer a mobile version of the SDVAN site and will be accessible and free for download on iPhone and Android devices in fall of 2013, when all of the DNA projects are scheduled for completion.
So, what’ll make this app sing? GPS technology will connect visual-art seekers with nearby shows and will include search-by-date and -location capabilities; plus, it’ll dip into the realm of augmented reality, which uses the phone’s camera device as a lens to reveal what can’t be seen by the naked eye. An example of what augmented technology is capable of can be applied to street art, which is often temporary. A mural may be photographed, and logged, so that a user can point the camera at a specific location and view on their phone’s display what was once there.
The remaining teams selected for what is hoped to be the first of many rounds of funding in the DNA program include: Changing Oceans, which will explore the impact that climate change and pollution have on fish populations in particular, and the world in general, through art installations and online exhibitions; Urban Succession, which will pair sculptors with scientists whose data will provide blueprints for the homes for wildlife that the sculptors will build; Poly Aesthetic Mapping, which will provide a visual representation of the collaboration process between artists and scientists
Besides creating art work with a scientific edge, each team’s essential function is to document their learning processes with the goal of showing that by pairing artists and scientists, differing perspectives work to fill voids, solve problems and ideally lead to discoveries that enrich people’s lives.
Although the DNA Program teams have already been selected, there’s still a call for participants within each group. If you’re interested, fill out the questionnaire at dnaofc.weebly.com and someone from the program will contact you. Otherwise, you can follow each project’s progress on the website; in the coming months, the teams will reveal their individual online sites.
Correction: The original version of this story said that Dennis Paul Batt founded the San Diego Visual Artists Network. He founded the San Diego Visual Arts Guild; Patricia Frischer is the founder of SDVAN. We apologize for the error.