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David Gryn, Sound and Technology Curator, about If So, What?

In Art Basel, Art Fair, Curator, Daata, Daata Editions, daataeditions, David Gryn, If So, What ?, ifsowhat, San Jose, Silicon Valley, Sound, Technology, Uncategorized on 06/12/2017 at 8:54 am

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David Gryn, Sound and Technology Curator, about If So, What?

By Abby Margulies

“I think about audience as much as I think about how to support artists.” Says David Gryn, who is speaking with me in the lead up to the opening of Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) about curating film programs, his thoughts on the upcoming fair in Miami, and his new role as Technology and Sound Curator for If So, What?. Gryn, who is Director of Daata Editions and Artprojx, is also going into his 7th year as curator for film and sound for ABMB, and is a renowned expert in the field of film, digital media, and sound curation.

Right now, Gryn is hard at work for ABMB, which opens this week. This year’s program takes as its theme the universal language of dance, and explores the relationship between music and movement. The program will include three films by artists Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Jen DeNike and Tin Ojeda, as well as a series of short films presented by the Chicago Film Archive in collaboration with Chicago-based gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey.

“The goal,” said Gryn, who has dedicated his career to elevating and creating a platform for film and digital art, “is to encourage galleries to show the mediums that they don’t really bring to art fairs or find easy to sell. And the result is that it often raises the profile of the work and the medium.”

For the sound component of the program, Gryn is working with artist Hans Berg to program surround sound in the 160 speakers in SoundScape park, part of New World symphony. The sound element was a component that Gryn introduced into ABMB a few years ago, and which runs each evening before the film programming begins.

One of Gryn’s favorite aspects of the program is that the film and sound portion of the fair is open and accessible to everyone. “At the screenings there’s a big mix of huge art collectors, homeless people, and families from Miami,” said Gryn. “They are all equal to me; that mix is interesting to me. I’m trying to be accessible to as many people as possible.”

Gryn is in the business of empowering and providing a platform for artists. He is the Director of Daata Editions, a platform that he developed with art collector Anita Zabludowicz. Daata Editions commissions artists’ video, sound, poetry, and web-based works, and makes them available for purchase by museums, fairs, hotel brands, and private collectors, among others. But as a curator, and someone who ultimately wants to see these artists make a living, he is also in the business of audience engagement.

“When I view an audience I am always looking at how they are engaging with the work. I think if I’m not doing the right thing it’s not always good for the artwork.”

For Gryn, his commitment to curating film and creating a platform for artists working in video and digital mediums to present their work serves a larger mission. “I am trying to empower a medium, to make sure there is a marketplace connectivity,” said Gryn.

Working with If So, What? is a natural fit for Gryn, who said that he is very excited to be working with and supporting an innovative new art event. “We have a mutual belief in supporting the artists, in being honest, truthful, and diligent about how we operate with artists.”

In addition, Gryn sees Silicon Valley as an interesting new frontier. “I think there is a change going on and a growing interest in art. It was hitherto dominated by the dot com sensation, but I think that has moved on and people are becoming interested in other ways of being,” said Gryn. “The art gold rush is starting to take place, and people think there is more opportunity on the West Coast to gain traction. Being supportive of a new art fair model excites me.”

With regards to his plans for If So, What, Gryn is still holding his cards close. He is planning to work with some of the artists that he has commissioned for Daata Editions, as well as to collaborate with artists and designers that he has been interested in partnering with, some of whom are working in virtual reality, and others who are experimenting with new and unconventional surfaces on which to display video work. He is also interested in drawing on themes relevant to the Bay Area, from the South Bay’s long connection to the tech industry, to San Francisco’s history as a hub for LGBTQ communities.

Part of Gryn’s mission is to help communicate the medium of film as an artwork, which an event like If So, What? provides a perfect opportunity to do. “I’m trying to delineate that this is an artwork more than anything,” says Gryn. “Boundaries are becoming ever more blurred and I’m trying to make sure that the boundaries are at least acknowledged. The function of art is itself. It is not a marketing tool to sell something. It is nothing other than to be itself.”

Ultimately though, it is always about the artists, and Gryn is committed to helping them along – by elevating their medium and creating a perfect forum for audiences to engage with their work.

“Artists are leaders of cultural thought, of intellectual thought, and they are often undervalued and under-looked. Even at art fairs things get forgotten, which is why I’m excited by a new fair that thinks about artists in a different way.”


Daata Editions Launches Online Today

In artnet, Artnewspaper, Artprojx, Artspace, Bowery, Daata Editions, Frieze, Frieze Art Fair, makingitrain, NADA, New Art Dealers, New York, ratio3 on 14/05/2015 at 2:15 pm
Takeshi Murata OM Making it rain

Still: Om Making it rain by Takeshi Murata 2015

Daata Editions

Artists video, sound and web

Launches online today at 3pm

May 14, 2015



Daata Editions Season One artists:

Ilit Azoulay, Helen Benigson, David Blandy, Matt Copson, Ed Fornieles, Leo Gabin, Daniel Keller & Martti Kalliala, Lina Lapelyte, Rachel Maclean, Florian Meisenberg, Takeshi Murata, Hannah Perry, Jon Rafman, Charles Richardson, Amalia Ulman, Stephen Vitiello, and Chloe Wise.

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and in the news this week:


Art Newspaper

New York Magazine

The Creators Project

The Star


W Magazine


The Digital Revolutionaries – The Shiboogi Version

Salon 94 Bowery – Video Wall 


Daata Editions on Artspace

Strangelove interview with David Gryn and Terry Smith

In ABMB, Art Basel, Artprojx, centralsaintmartins, daataeditions, David Gryn, Film, Terry Smith, Video, Workinprogress on 07/03/2015 at 12:09 pm


An interview with David Gryn (Artprojx) and Terry Smith (workinprogress) about their collaboration on the Strangelove Festival.

How did your involvement with CSM on the Strangelove Festival come about?

DG. Terry and I had an initial meeting with Mark Dunhill where we all expressed our hopes to find ways to empower and unite students from across the disciplines and courses at CSM, as well as shining a light on what happens inside the college for those on the outside.

TS. It was a good basis for a collaboration, Mark was very keen to find a project that brought all of the college together under one umbrella. This made sense for David and I who have been talking about an artist’s film and video festival for a number of years.

I understand that your own practice relates to film and video work – can you tell us a bit about your background in moving image?

DG. For over 20 years I have been engaged with the promotion and curation of artists’ moving image generally in the context of the cinema, working with leading galleries, museums, art fairs and artists worldwide.

TS. Well, I come from the point of view of an artist.
I have been working in moving image since I was a student back in the late 70s but it was only in 1999 that I picked up the medium again. I am currently working on projects that combine moving image with live music and performance. But I don’t see myself as a video artist. I see myself as an artist that trespasses on other territories.

How did you select the artists whose work is included in your curated screening programmes?

DG. The majority of works are by artists I selected for the most recent Film – Art Basel in Miami Beach 2014. The central starting point was for artists’ work that engages with our everyday, static surfing, and obsessive interaction with the natural language and enamour of all things digital and internet, and works that are generally playful.

TS. Although we have given titles and categories to different screening programmes, I want the viewer to treat them with pinch of salt. My choices reflect work that I am curious about, work that has made an impression on me, and work I am jealous of and wish I had made.

Moving image is an important part of virtually every programme area across CSM embracing fashion communication, graphics, animation, screen acting and directing, used in a myriad of ways and not confined to fine art moving image practice. How did that spread impact upon your ideas for the festival?

DG. The festival was intended to show or enable students to take reference from every available source – animation, painting, fashion, dance, performance, sculpture, collage, architecture, online, music, cinema, culture, history, philosophy, language, science and much much more. In essence film is a place where all our learning and experience combines into a powerful collaborative outcome. This was the essence of this festival, to encourage the college to come together to enable greater learning, collaboration, and empowerment via a medium we all use and observe daily in our work, creativity and life.

TS. Yes, I agree

Do you have a must-see event?

DG. Obviously the Armchair Surfers Digital Revolutionaries screening programme – as the digital revolutionaries are all of us as we use, observe, interrogate this ever developing medium that extends, entrances, and baffles us in equal measure. The two films of Jennifer Reeder are a wonderful, engaging, moving and witty insight into the world of post teenage womanhood. The premier of Scott Reeder’s Moon Dust, a feature film that took the artist over 10 years to make. And Beatrice Gibson’s F for Fibonacci, which was premiered during the recent Frieze Art Fair at the Laura Bartlett Gallery. There is also The Music of Regret by Laurie Simmons that I first premiered (with Salon 94 and Performa) in 2006, this features Meryl Streep and the Alvin Ailey II Dance Company. It will be exciting to see this again with different and somewhat older eyes.

TS. I am looking forward to the event on the Monday 16 March, where the screen writer and director Tony Grisoni presents For the Dark. I think this will be a stunning experience and a great way to open the festival. I like the fact that the idea began over a coffee in a cafe in Stoke Newington. I am looking forward also to the Armchair Surfers because a lot of the work is new to me. Of the screenings I chose, I think they are all must see works. We also asked Vassiliki Tzanakou and SHAPE to make their own choices. I worked with SHAPE on the selection and I am looking forward
to seeing the work of Katherine Araniello projected, who is an artist who happens to be disabled. But I guess I personally am looking forward to some of the events that have been generated from staff at CSM.

Strangelove London website – for upcoming and future festival in London and worldwide



STRANGELOVE MOVING IMAGE FESTIVAL 2015 devised and programmed in collaboration with Central St Martin’s 

David Gryn

Artprojx worldwide

Curator, Art Basel in Miami Beach Dec 2015

Daata Editions launching May 2014