Tuesday, April 11, 2000

A new space for an established foundation

The Markle Foundation's new office space party on Tuesday, April 11, brought out a Who's Who of digital artists and Industry influencers alike. The first person I saw was Carl Goodman, curator of Digital Media for the American Museum of the Moving Image. He showed me some of the new digital art installations on display in the airy, modern, efficient and luxuriously simple offices at 10 Rockefeller Center.

While most of the works were displayed on high-rez flat screens, there was one that was in a table-like form that revealed a video capture image of yourself after you wiped the screen with your hand. In another room, digital web artist Isabel Chang, "mixed" Web sites ala Dee-Jay style. I was also struck with Camille Utterback's work, which recalled Pointelism or Impressionism with its bits and bytes imagery broken down from full video capture into letters or words you program into at text file. All the artists wrote their own programs to manipulate the art displayed, and John Simon, whose art opened in a gallery showing at the Sandra Gering Gallery in Soho and in the Whitney Bienniel, created the display his art showcased on (14" Apple G3 Powerbooks) and the frames around them.

Nancy Evans, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, and Hannah Pingree, Election 2000 producer, of iVillage, arrived in style. Near Jeremy Blake's work (which reminded me of a Mondrian) was Geraldine Laybourne of Oxygen. Jeremy's work was also in the Whitney Biennial, and with him was Theresa Duncon of children's CD-rom and digital filmmaking fame. I chatted for a while with Douglas Rushkoff and Marc Weiss of WebLab and the first Silicon Alley Talent Show. John and Jackie Pavlik, of Columbia University's Journalism School's Center for New Media and Engineering School, respectively, came to show support. Oxygen/Markle Pulse Board member, writer and professor at Yale Margaret Scarf, who introduced me to Zoe Baird, president of the Markle Foundation and Karen Byers, Markle Foundation's CFO. Zoe introduced Alice Kahn, who just joined the Markle Foundation from the Children's Television Workshop. She said she is excited about the opportunities present and inherent with working with such an organization.

The fine Chardonnay, elegant and tasty hors d'oeuvres, and views of a private patio garden on another Rock Center building entertained the guests, old and young. Gordon Gould of UPOC, Sarah Holloway of MOUSE, Melissa Dalrymple of KPE (the firm who did markle.org), Tom Gardner, managing director of the Media Education Foundation, and legendary Silicon Alley nurturer of talent NYU's ITP's Red Burns, were all also there, showing support for the new digital directions the Markle Foundation is taking to help children and technology.