Austin Museum of Digital Art

Austin Museum of Digital Art (AMODA), located in Austin, Texas, is the first museum dedicated exclusively to the display of digital art. AMODA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage the public and artists in the creation, understanding, and appreciation of digital art. AMODA was founded in 1997 by Computer Sciences doctoral student Harold Chaput, an influential member of UT’s communications department (University of Texas at Austin) Samantha Krukowski and art history graduate of Trinity University and experienced museum worker Chris Rankin. Soon Rankin and Krukowski were replaced, cause of their own will. AMODA is powered by the hard work of its dedicated crew of volunteers.

AMODA currently has no gallery or office space. All exhibitions and events are held in temporary locations. Therefore, it is not possible to visit its location, unless they have a currently running exhibition or event.

AMODA defines digital art as art that uses digital technology in any of three ways: as the product, as the process, or as the subject. AMODA carries out various kinds of work with digital art:

• Digital Showcase (since 2001). The Digital Showcase is a series of events featuring live electronic music and visual art. The showcases are held at various locations around Austin, including theater spaces, art galleries, bars, and nightclubs. Combining elements of an art opening, a live concert, and a hi-tech lounge, these events create an environment that is both socially and aesthetically engaging. Much of the art and music presented at the Digital Showcases is specifically intended for a social environment. At once abstract and accessible, it straddles the line between high art and pop culture. The visual art presented at these events includes video projections, digital prints, and interactive installation pieces. The live music performance spans a wide range of genres and performance styles, from DJ’s to solo laptop musicians to full bands.

• Exhibition (since 2002). The Exhibition Series should ultimately challenge what museum itself and the public perceive as art, that which is digital art. Museum job is not to legitimize digital art, artists or expression (time will do that) but rather to educate the public, open a dialog and to distinguish digital art from art movements of the past through its product, process, tools and subject matter through exhibition.

• Performance (since 2003). The Performance Series is focused on presenting experimental music and digital performance art in a contemplative setting.

• Screening. The Screening Series provides an in depth look at digital art and culture through the tradition of film, video, and the moving image.

• Social Series. The Social Series is a monthly event dedicated to increasing communication among the local digital art community.

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