Julia Kaganskiy has been named director of the New Museum’s Incubator for Art, Technology, and Design. Set to open in the summer of 2014, the incubator will host some 60 full- and part-time members, to be recruited by Kaganskiy. In exchange for a monthly fee, members will receive workspaces and support services; additionally, the incubator will host numerous educational classes and workshops, as well as professional and membership events. Already announced is anchor member Studio-X, a research lab affiliated with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Kaganskiy is well known for her work at the intersection of art and technology. Before joining the New Museum, she founded #ArtsTech in 2008, a Meetup group that aims to bring together professionals in both fields to discuss technology’s effects on the arts. Most recently she served as global editor for the Creators Project, a partnership between VICE Media Group and Intel to showcase artists’ innovative use of technology. Cited by Fast Company and Business Insider as one of the most influential women in technology over the past few years, Kaganskiy was named one of the “Top 140 Best Twitter Feeds” of 2013 by Time magazine.
Reached while strolling to her next Art Basel Miami Beach event, Kaganskiy spoke with A.i.A. this afternoon about her new position and the incubator space.
MATTHEW SHEN GOODMAN Congratulations on the job announcement! Do you think it’ll be a big shift from the Creators Project position?
JULIA KAGANSKIY At the Creators Project, my primary duties were editorial, but I had a hand in organizing events, creating networks of artists, producing video profiles, working on new commissions-generally creating a platform to help produce art at the forefront of technology. I really craved a physical platform as well when I was there, though. I would sketch out possible models for how a space supporting this kind of work might exist, but the question I couldn’t really crack was the startup capital. Thankfully, the New Museum was thinking along the same lines.
SHEN GOODMAN Since you’ll be heading the membership recruitment efforts, do you have ideas as to the composition of the incubator’s community?
KAGANSKIY Ideally, it’d be a diverse mix: tech startups creating platforms for the art world, artists and designers who are working with technology like interaction design or certain interfaces in a more creative way than you might find at an agency or something like that. Hopefully there’ll also be projects like the Lowline that leverage technology in new and interesting ways to create these unique experiences for the public.
There are a host of ways that these worlds collide, and a lot of them don’t have existing support infrastructure to help them build on these ideas. I’m excited that we’ll be able to take those initiatives to the next level.