Art House is the only digital art collection open to the public in the Southwest—and one of very few in the United States. Algorithmic, interactive, and virtual artworks from the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation are on view year-round, rotating seasonally. We are open during our gallery hours and by appointment. There is no admission fee, and school and group tours can be arranged in advance during both regular hours and by appointment.
location & Hours
Wednesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm
231 Delgado St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Collecting Digital Art: Highlights + New Acquisitions
The Thoma Foundation features ongoing seasonal installations of contemporary artworks from the digital art collection and new acquisitions of historic importance, including works by Daniel Canogar, Michal Rovner, Casey Reas, Robert Wilson, Daniel Rozin, Siebren Versteeg, John Gerrard, Josh Tonsfeldt, Ivan Navarro, Guillermo Galindo, Leo Villareal, and others. Our pioneering digital and electronic art collection spans the global history of computer art of the past fifty years, representing artistic innovations in custom-coded software, internet-connected and real-time animation, early computer drawing, interactive technology, video installation, electronic sculpture, and works utilizing LED and LCD displays.
People on the Fly Opening June 14, 5-7pm
Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau’s 2016 digital artwork People on the Fly makes its U.S. debut at Thoma Foundation’s Art House in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In this interactive installation, tPeople on the Flyattracts a virtual swarm of houseflies to a visitor’s captured image using the artists’ custom swarming algorithm. With this algorithm, only bodies in motion will invite the flies.
Insect swarms provide artificial-intelligence researchers with models for understanding how lifeforms make decisions on a particle level, as a swarm thinks cooperatively, without a dominant leader. In this way, a swarm communicates through networked intelligence, a theory called emergence. Software algorithms designed to simulate biological systems can learn from swarm behavior, producing digital data that, in turn, may implicate genetics, social order, and creativity.
Pioneering digital artists Sommerer and Mignonneau are internationally renowned for their custom-coded interactive artworks. Since 1992, they have collaborated on artworks that have helped shape the field of digital art, especially at the intersection of biology and technology. As professors at the University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria, they publish scholarly essays about the “living algorithms” embedded in human, plant, and insect bodies. Their artworks, as interactive simulations, propose that living systems blossom when they come into contact with each other.