Don Archer Takes On Brooklyn

Nov. 9, 2011: I asked Don Archer,  one of digital art's main impresarios, to tell me how his Brooklyn gallery was going. This is his report on : MOCA: Museum of Computer Art / Brooklyn:

"MOCA was a virtual museum since its founding in 1993. As director, I craved a physical space. Money being tight in the digital realm, I scoured the New York real estate market for a suitably inexpensive location to house the museum. Manhattan was prohibitively priced, so I turned to the next best option,  the borough of Brooklyn, where indeed art communities had sprouted and prospered. Finally, I located a new space on the edge of Park Slope, a gentrifying area, reasonable in size and space. I installed handsome track lighting,  modern furniture, and two large output monitors for slideshows and videos.

Over three years I sponsored some 18 shows, solicited art from around the world, printed it at a local shop, framed and mounted it against the fresh white walls. It was all very proper and elegant. We held opening parties for each show. We were showing art from some of the world's most distinguished digital artists. I managed almost everything myself, with the help of one or two volunteers. Everybody loved the space, including myself.

Alas, sales were slim. The rent escalated.  Expenses multiplied. After three years, I gave up the ghost, fearful that I was endangering the virtual art site, which was the germ after all of the physical idea. Hubris? Perhaps. If I had the time and money, I would try it again. Digital art deserves it. As of now, we're entirely virtual, and thriving. We're very much alive at: http://moca.virtual.museum "