Arebyte Gallery

1: Tell us a little about your Gallery and the works you represent.

Arebyte is a space dedicated to New Media and Performance Arts. We relocated to Hackney Wick in 2013 after a year on Old Street. We work with artists who look at the way digital technologies are changing the world and offer new ways to critically look at the relationship between technology & art.

So far we have been working as a commissioning gallery, inviting artists to take part in our yearly thematic programme, and create new works, both on-site and online. The projects usually take the form of gallery-residencies, where the artist uses the gallery space as a studio, whilst being open to the public. During this period the artist is expected to develop an idea, along with creating ways to communicate it to the general public. After this period, the artist would continue to develop the project into a solo show.

Through this format we allow the audience to better understand the artistic and creative process, as well as participating in the process (when and where suitable).

This format, focusing on the artistic process also allows the artists to experiment and make room for errors, which for me is at the heart of the practice. We rarely invite artists with finished work to exhibit, as this does not leave any space to contemplate and question, for both the artist and the audience.

2: How do you find the artists you represent?

Each programme follows a specific theme, but that does not necessarily mean that we invite artists who work along these lines, but rather those that we find interesting in general. We want the artists to allow themselves to explore the theme, and create their own (and sometimes new) interpretation of that idea.

Image: by Gretchen Andrew - HowToHowToHowTo

3: What advice would you give to an emerging artist, looking to be represented?

That is a tough one without a specific set of instructions. Usually it is via conversations with those who run the space. I would say, that best way to meet is in person, either at an opening or just visiting the space and understand what they are interested in. Often we get emails from figurative painters, which clearly did not do any research - this is very annoying!

Essentially be open, explore and experiment without fear!

4: How would you describe your relationship with your artists?

Interesting and mostly fun! The process usually takes about a year of meetings and conversations. These conversations usually start without any specific outcome and somewhere in the middle we understand what can be done and where there is the mutual interest. We try to offer as much as we can to the artists, but mostly we have to be realistic as our funds are very limited.

Nevertheless, it is important that we always strive for the highest quality work and we deliver that, one way or another. DIY is very much part of how we do things and we try doing most of it ourselves.

Image: Autonomous Times by Nelmarie Du Preez​

5: What roles do Art Fairs play? How heavily to you invest your time participating?

We have never participated in an art fair, although toying with the idea, I am not sure why. As a non-commercial space, our work at fairs would be very different, most immaterial and temporal; hence nothing can be purchased (the idea everything is for sale, is what drives the fairs and I am not sure we play that game). Art fairs are an interesting phenomena, very similar to the biennale in the sense that it is being used for specific reasons, and mostly not purely artistic. Fairs are not for the art but for the collectors and the galleries. But as I have never taken part, I cannot say much. This is just my observation!

6: Have you noticed any interesting trends when it comes to buyers?

I don’t know too many buyers.

7: How much is the Digital Age affecting the Art World?

The "Digital Age" is not new and it changes many aspects of the art world, similar to everything outside of art. The "Digital Age" changes the way we experience the world, communicate with one another and allows our imagination to become real (almost). Everyone uses it one way or another, and how it affects us (physiologically, mentally etc.) we would only know in the years to come.

For the time being, new forms of 'art' are coming to life (virtual reality, augmented reality, online etc.) which pushes the boundaries of what art is and can be, but that’s not new - it always (at least since the 20th century, but also before) happened and will keep happening.

8: What do you think of the Art Industry in London?

As an industry, I think it’s tough, a very crowded space, with limited opportunities but the beauty of art and a good artist is one who keeps reinventing oneself. The word“industry”implies a specific economy and I feel that art to a degree should have (or is) a separate system.

Arebyte Gallery