These Tech Innovations Are Works of Art. Literally.
We're now firmly in the 21st century and art has broken out of the usual marble and canvas conventions. I mean, I love a risque John Singer Sargent painting as much as the next person, but with Instagram shaking up the art world there's more out there to experience. Whether it's a subscription service to bring multimedia installations into your living room or a way to create prints from your own DNA, here's a look at some of the best ways to combine modern technology with good old-fashioned home decor.
Electric Objects EO1
Pulling up family photos on your flatscreen TV is one thing, but for actually displaying digital art you need something a little more purpose-built. The Electric Objects EO1 is a 23-inch 1080p display with a matte finish and wide viewing angles. There are no cumbersome dongles or software to deal with—you control the EO1 from your smartphone and it can show off any static or moving image you can find on the Web. I mean, sure, it doesn't play sound and it's basically a high-end version of the digital picture frame you got grandma for her birthday, but if you're looking for something like this (and plenty of people are), the EO1 is top of the line. You'll have to be patient for now, though: The EO1 is only available for preorder and won't start shipping until September. $499
Imagine if you could 3D-print a song. Reify can. The company uses a proprietary technology to record and then model sounds in three-dimensional space before using a collection of 3D printers to produce small desktop sculptures capturing them in plastic. A simple app uses your phone's camera to "read" the sculptures, playing them back on your phone. Think of it as the vinyl of the slightly quirky future. These aren't pieces of on-demand artwork (yet), and the sculptures shown here are of experimental sounds, not the latest Beyoncé single. It's early days, but it's hard not to get excited about staring your favorite song right in the face. Prices vary
Soundwall Art Speaker
Hiding behind each of these paintings is a fully functioning wireless speaker that can play behind-the-scenes interviews with the artist, tracks chosen by the artist, or whatever tunes you want to listen to while admiring your new gallery. It's about experiencing art and music together, and this time Drake isn't making all the choices. If you're more of a DIYer, you can also get blank chalkboard or canvas Soundwalls and change your look with your mood (or your grocery list). From $400
I don't often endorse products that ask you to take a swab of the inside of your mouth before ordering, but DNA11 can take that gross little sample of DNA and turn it into a piece of art. Basically they take your saliva-y cheek cells, extract your DNA, and subject it to a process called electrophoresis that separates out the various components in a gel. (Yes, there will be a quiz at the bottom of this story.) The resulting pattern is then colored to your request and printed on a canvas for you to hang where you wish. All the technology is in the process, and a designy little kit they send, so just looking at the canvas on your wall, guests might not realize they're gazing at what makes you you. If DNA is too much, you can also opt for kiss print or fingerprint portraits as well, other biological markers unique to each of us. Any way you go, it's like high school biology class, but way more swank. From $199
DAD Digital Art Device
Once you get past the unfortunate name, the DAD (Digital Art Device) is a pretty fantastic option for bringing a proper video art installation into your living room. It's a combination of dedicated hardware (either a self-contained 42-inch screen or a special drive that plugs into an existing TV/display) and a subscription service that gives you access to rotating exhibitions of multimedia art. A subscription comes with bimonthly collections, each of which comes with a printed catalog to match. Unlike the EO1, there is sound, and because everything is downloaded and then played, you don't have to worry about rough resolution should the signal cut out. No word yet on who the artists will be, but if DAD can score Sedition-level names like Damien Hirst without all the pretension, they might be on to something. From $975
- For the best in travel, food, drinks, fashion, cars, and life, sign up for the Pursuits newsletter. Delivered weekly.