As digital art has become more and more ubiquitous, not just within the insular art market but amongst public institutions and private museums, the need has become apparent for forward-thinking, innovative physical spaces that combine the immersive balm of the internet with the thrill and novelty of a firsthand interaction with art. ARTECHOUSE, launched in 2015 by the entrepreneurial husband and wife duo Tati Pastukhova & Sandro Kereselidze, is a series of interactive art spaces devoted to producing and exhibiting technologically innovative creations. Most recently, their New York exhibition Geometric Properties is spotlighting the kaleidoscopic, organic works of Dutch fractal artist Julius Horsthuis.
Crucially, Pastukhova and Kereselidze have self-funded all of the exhibitions they’ve launched so far in order to feed their passion for supporting and fostering artistic talent. The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Observer: When you launched in 2015, what specifically were you trying to create that you hadn’t seen in other art spaces?
Sandro: We really wanted to create the space for the future of art. The space that we didn’t see around us, or anywhere in the world, was a space truly dedicated space to art, science, and technology. The dedicated space for the artists that use technology as their primary medium for storytelling. So we found ourselves in that position, where we got shocked that there’s not really any representation for this type of art in the world…the way that many artists are being showcased are through different installations, and they commission the works, but there’s no dedicated art space.
If you want to experience theater, you go to the theater. If you want to see movies, you go to the movies. If you want to see fine art, or the history of art, you go to museums, and you go to galleries. But if you really want to see 21st century art, the art that has been created by the relevant, 21st century tools of today, there are no spaces. ARTECHOUSE is the house and the type of home for these kind of arts.
You guys must have a lot of thoughts on NFTs. Do you have any NFT-centric exhibitions planned?
Tati: I think the exciting element is the opportunity that NFTs provide to the artist. I think the idea that the artist can see their work being monetized and finally have their work being collected is paramount, and is exciting, especially for us. We’ve been focused on trying to create an ecosystem for digital artists, for light artists, for artists that work with technology, and everything we’ve been doing over the last five years has been done to protect this ecosystem. So that has been really exciting, I think, turning everybody’s attention to digital art, and really seeing it.
It’s exciting to see opportunities for people to collect it, and the next questions are going to be how do we preserve it? Those are paramount things that come into play. We’ve been focused in on trying to work with digital artists; how do we present their work to the public beyond the screens? That takes just as much effort as trying to figure out how someone may collect it or appreciate it or support it, both as NFTs or on other levels.
Have you been strategizing about anything in particular to attract post-pandemic audiences?
Tati: I think for us, it has been a normal operation; we’ve had a lot of people come and be curious about the arts and technology prior to the pandemic, and I think in getting back to that, we’ll see even more. We’ve been fortunate to be really open since late summer/early fall of 2020, and actually deliver the healing aspect of the art, and invite visitors to come to our spaces and find a little bit of a refuge away from everything that’s been going on.
We’re excited for more places to open, and more opportunities. I think as people go out and about, just as they go to our spaces, they will go to concerts and other cultural institutions. I think we’re all here to support each other and really come back together, and you know, we’re excited to bring back our culture.