The Push to Include an “Art” Category on Apple’s App Store
+ArtApp wants to make art a prominent category in the application market as finding art-related apps currently takes much digging
Shopping. Lifestyle. Education. These are some of the categories that you can browse when searching for something new on Apple’s App Store. But two artists and a gallerist want to add one more category to the mix: Art. +ArtApp—created by Paulina Bebecka, Seth Indigo Carnes and Serkan Ozkaya—is a petition and website that hopes to add the Art category to the App Store.
As the creators explain, most of the apps related to art or museums usually get classified into the Education and Lifestyle categories. Without an official Art category, finding art-related apps takes a little digging.
This lack of categorization, the group argues, affects not only art establishments but also artists creating work. Art apps are not something you can see in a museum—but if you were searching for them in the App Store, you might not know where to look either.
In 2014, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art hosted Poetic Codings, an exhibition which included an iPad station where visitors could browse art apps. Technology continues to serve as an fruitful medium for many artists.
“Contemporary artists are able to create work merging culture and technology, that translates the present and looks to the future,” the group wrote via email. “With app art, artists generate software that propagates worldwide, in a dynamic interaction, where the artist, artwork and public merge in a living creative experience.”
Carnes created an app called “Poetics,” a visual poetry app that allows users to play with photography and text. Ozkaya’s “My Moon” lets users take their own photographs and juxtapose these with an image of the moon.
Apps can serve as a medium for art but also as a tool for helping people experience art in real life. Publications like the Wall Street Journal have recently praised the benefits of museum apps in enhancing the art-viewing experience.
Yet museum apps allow for a variety of experiences. Art destinations like the Musée du Louvre and the J. Paul Getty Museum use apps for everything from helping visitors navigate the space to allowing them to browse collections before—or after— their visit. An Art category could make these tools easier to use.
“In this situation, any change in categorizing and naming a group of arts-centered apps will affect the ability to discover and appreciate them for millions of citizens worldwide,” the group wrote.
Photos: Seth Indigo Carnes