The Art Angle Podcast: Kickstarter Founder Perry Chen on Art in the Age of Hypercomplexity
Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Midnight Publishing Group News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join host Andrew Goldstein every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more, with input from our own writers and editors, as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.
It’s no secret that today we live in a world of dizzying, gobsmacking, and ever-intensifying complexity. Everything from the computers we carry in our pockets to the vaccines fighting the pandemic to the global networks that underpin our economies rely on such astonishing labyrinths of complexity that any one element requires a team of experts to really make sense of it—and that’s not even to mention the complexity of our natural universe, which only grows more intricate, not less, the more we learn about it.
One way to deal with this very confusing state of affairs is to pretend it doesn’t exist, or to reach after comforting conspiracy theories, as people have since the birth of religion at the dawn of time. The artist Perry Chen prefers to take this complexity head on—to really get in there and wrassle with it, making art that looks at this epistemological phenomenon from all angles.
He just so happens to be particularly well-versed in the complexity of our digitally networked reality, too, since in addition to being an artist he’s also the founder and now chairman of Kickstarter, the hit crowdfunding company that has given rise to countless new inventions and creative projects, distributing more cultural funding than the NEA.
Now, Perry has a new exhibition of his art that has just opened at the venerable Nature Morte gallery in New Delhi, called “Perpetual Novelty,” and as usual it’s all about complexity. He’s also accompanying the show with a new podcast series on that theme, with the first episode being a conversation with Walter Isaacson, the great biographer of Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci.
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