Chris Jagers: How Technology is Affecting Art

October 10, 2012

11:00 am

Chris Jagers will be a panelist at DCWEEK for “Art in the Digital Age.” He is the CEO of SlideRoom, which helps organizations handle applications, including artists’ multimedia samples. DCWEEK is a week-long festival co-produced by Tech Cocktail and iStrategyLabs. Get your tickets here.

Tech Cocktail: How is SlideRoom helping artists? 

Chris Jagers: When an institution uses SlideRoom to accept submissions, it makes the process very easy for artists to apply for those opportunities online (application forms, letters of reference, and creative materials). Historically, everything was mailed via postal service (35mm slides or CD’s). Of course, that was both expensive for artists and dysfunctional for reviewers.

Here are a few more benefits specific to SlideRoom:

  • Artists can pull in media they already have on sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
  • The system works great across devices, so artists do everything on their iPad or mobile device.
  • The system is fully accessible for impaired artists who rely on keyboard-only use or assistive technologies like screen readers.

Tech Cocktail: Can digital technology really disrupt the art industry? 

Jagers: In regard to traditional gallery or museum spaces, it is a great opportunity to extend programming outward and help the public in. In fact, having such a robust web space recharges the impact physical space has for displaying artwork. At the very least, traditional exhibition spaces are no longer neutral … artists really need to think about the best context for their work.

Tech Cocktail: How is the consumption of art changing? 

Jagers: People’s notion of “art” is changing to be much broader. It includes fine art, but that isn’t really the hallmark of cultural production. Also, I think we are seeing the decline of regionalism. Since the whole world is connected, influence spreads evenly so distinctions between the art of different regions are gone.

Tech Cocktail: Your bio says you “have a passion for transforming difficult tasks into pleasurable experiences by creating beautiful tools that are fun to use.” Tell us more about that.

Jagers: Take a look at any industry. There are so many broken processes that could be transformed into a highly designed experience. For instance, I was just renewing my license at the DMV … horrible. I truly believe that any business process can be transformed into something that people enjoy. So, I spend time thinking about how infrastructure could benefit from the type of thinking we give consumer-facing technology.

Tech Cocktail: What are you most looking forward to at DCWEEK? 

Jagers: I’m really looking forward to meeting technologists that work markets different from my own. DCWEEK seems to bring together so many different types of people, which is fertile ground for getting new ideas.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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