The term Techspressionism was first used by artist Colin Goldberg in 2011 to describe his “intersection of technology and abstraction.” This initial definition was documented in this article by Pat Rogers published in Hamptons Art Hub in September 2011. It was first used as the title of a 2011 solo exhibition of Goldberg’s works at 4 North Main Gallery in Southampton, NY. The term was first used in print in the exhibition catalog, which included a foreword written by critic and curator Helen Harrison, who is now serving as the group’s advisor.
Techspressionism was first referred to as a movement in this WIRED article by Kendra Vaculin. The article includes a link to the first iteration of the Techspressionist Manifesto, published in the same year by Goldberg on Medium. This initial Manifesto included a revised definition of the term Techspressionism, an amalgam of the Oxford Dictionary definitions of Expressionism and technology:
“An artistic style in which technology is utilized as a means to express emotional experience rather than impressions of the external world.”
The article and Manifesto coincided with a retrospective of Goldberg’s work at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller in East Hampton, NY. The exhibition was curated by artist Scott Bluedorn, and a printed catalog including Harrison’s 2011 essay and a curator’s statement by Bluedorn were also published by the bookseller in conjunction with the exhibit. Techspressionism’s relation to Japanese aesthetics was explored in this review of the exhibition by artist and writer Eric Ernst, grandson of the Surrealist painter Max Ernst, and son of Abstract Expressionist artist Jimmy Ernst.
Techspressionism got its first television coverage in a 2015 PBS interview conducted with Goldberg during an artist residency at The Studios of Key West, airing on the PBS Miami show Art Loft. The interview was syndicated to other PBS stations, later airing to the Boston and Baltimore markets.
Artist Oz Van Rosen first utilized the term Techspressionism in conjunction with glitch art to describe her work in this interview published in Beyond Photography, as well as in subsequent exhibition reviews and articles. She used the term independently of Goldberg, and defined it differently in her interview, relating it more specifically to digitally-manipulated photography.
In 2019, Goldberg presented Techspressionism to a live audience at The Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill NY for PechaKucha Hamptons.
August 2020 – Goldberg reached out to Van Rosen to discuss the possibility of formulating a Techspressionist artist group. They decided upon using Instagram as a platform to locate other artists using technology who wished to participate and the @Techspressionism Instagram account was established later that month, initially including a selection of works from Goldberg and Van Rosen.
Later that month, Goldberg met with artist Steve Miller to discuss the viability of Techspressionism as a term of art-historical nomenclature. Goldberg first met Miller in 1993 through an undergraduate internship in which he worked as Miller’s studio assistant. They later collaborated on an early “Net Art” project entitled “Dreaming Brain” in 1999. Goldberg and Miller developed initial language for a launch website and a strategy to propagate the meme via social media and the use of hashtags.
August 22, 2020 – Techspressionism.com launched from the front porch of Steve Miller’s Sagaponack studio.
Shortly thereafter, Goldberg presented the idea to Helen Harrison, who agreed to be the group’s advisor. Harrison suggested the development of an exhibition as a framework for the development of an artist group, and it was decided that a virtual exhibition would make the most sense in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. An account was established on the Kunstmatrix VR exhibition platform to begin initial research and planning for the event, scheduled for 2021.
September 1, 2020 – the first Techspressionist Virtual Salon meetup was conducted via Zoom. The meetup was conceived as a modern counterpart to the Surrealist salons of the 1920’s, in which artists could meet informally to socialize and discuss ideas.
In addition to Goldberg, Miller and Van Rosen, attendees included group advisor Helen Harrison and artist and theorist Patrick Lichty, a colleague of Goldberg’s from graduate school at BGSU, where they both earned their MFA degrees in Computer Art studying under Gregory Little over a decade earlier. Harrison and Van Rosen suggested revisions to Goldberg’s initial definition of the term: Harrison suggested the word “style” be changed to “approach”, and Van Rosen suggested the removal of “impressions of the external world”. The group came to a consensus, leaving us with the current definition :
“An artistic approach in which technology is utilized as a means to express emotional experience.”
With the addition of Lichty, who was teaching in Abu Dhabi at the time, this “core group” effectively became the founders of the movement when they met that afternoon, and came to a consensus on the definition of the term. Shortly after the first Techspressionist Virtual Salon, Lichty drafted v2.0 of the Techspressionist Manifesto, which is the version currently posted to the website.
October 2020 – The Techspressionist Visual Artists Index was established. The index is a curated selection of artists located through their use of the hashtag #techspressionism on Instagram. The first artist to be added to the index was Markos Pechlivanos. He has been followed thereafter by a growing international selection of artists.
October 13, 2020 – The Second Techspressionist Virtual Salon, conducted via Zoom. The Salon had the following indexed artists in attendance: Peter Borges, James Byrne, Bernard Bousquet, Davonte Bradley, Colin Goldberg, Tikoi Kuitenbrouwer, Francene Levinson, Steve Miller , Jan Swinburne, Oz Van Rosen and group advisor Helen Harrison. As of the date of this gathering, there were over 1.8K posts on Instagram using the hashtag #techspressionism and 20 artists from 10 different countries listed in the Techspressionist Visual Artists index.
November 2020 – The first Techspressionist collaborative group project was proposed by member artist Davonte Bradley. A roster of 10 pairs of artists was selected by Bradley and distributed to member artists on December 1, 2020. The concept is that the first artist “starts” the conversation to which the second artist “replies”.
November 11, 2020 – Maryland-based artist ScoJo volunteers to as Techspressionism’s Pinterest Lead.
December 8, 2020 – During the Sixth Techspressionist Salon, a Discord server was established by member artist Davonte Bradley as a platform for community-building and conversation.
On Christmas Eve of 2020, the hundredth artist was added to the Techspressionist Visual Artists index, Nora Gibson from Philadelphia, PA. As of this date, artists from 28 different nations and six continents are represented in the index, and there were 4,941 posts on instagram using the hashtag #techspressionism.
Over 1200 works from 310 international artists working with technology were submitted via the open call for Techspressionism 2021 on CallForEntry.org which closed on December 31, 2020. Techspressionism 2021 will open in November 2021 as an international juried exhibition using the Kunstmatrix 3D exhibition platform, co-curated by Colin Goldberg and Patrick Lichty. At the close of 2020 there were approximately 5700 posts on Instagram using the hashtag #techspressionism.
January 5, 2021 – the Techspressionism YouTube Channel launched, containing recordings of our Techspressionist Salons starting with Salon #8, and a new Techspressionist Artist Interview series, initiated by Roz Dimon.
February 1, 2021 – Techspressionism.com began a strategic technology partnership with German technology firm Kunstmatrix Technologies AG, naming the firm as the site’s official VR platform for all upcoming online exhibitions.
February 12, 2021 – an exhibition proposal for “Techspressionism: Beyond Digital“ received approval from Southampton Arts Center Executive Director Tom Dunn. The exhibition will open at Southampton Arts Center in Southampton, New York in April 2022 and will run through June/July 2022. The exhibition will encompass a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, sculptural and video works as well as an immersive/projection mapped component. It will be the world’s first physical group exhibition of Techspressionist artworks.
April 15, 2021 – Techspressionism Collab #1, the first group exhibition of Techspressionist artworks, opened during Techspressionist Salon #15 , featuring the following artist pairings: Davonte Bradley x Diana de Avila, Gary Hopkins x Diane Marsella, Colin Goldberg x Patrick Lichty, Roz Dimon x Negin Ehtesabian. This ongoing project, initiated and curated by artist Davonte Bradley, was inspired by the idea of notable collaborations like Warhol and Basquiat, as well as the collaborative spirit of the Jazz tradition which Basquiat also drew inspiration. The project involves two artists passing a digital file back and forth to result in a collaborative piece.
May 5, 2021– NFT Now, an international online juried exhibition of NFT works curated by Anne Spalter, opened live on Zoom for public viewing, including an exhibition catalog and curatorial essay by Ms. Spalter. The show was featured in Artnet News as a Frieze Week Editor’s Pick by Senior Editor Sarah Cascone. The opening was recorded live via Zoom and is available for viewing on YouTube.
September 14, 2021 – Techspressionism Collab #2 : A Calling for Utopia curated by Davonte Bradley with installation by Brandon Gellis opened at Salon #26
October 18, 2021 – Canadian artist Renata Janiszewska volunteers to take over as Techspressionism’s Instagram Curator.
October 20, 2021 – The hashtag #techspressionism on Instagram hits 25K posts.
October 22, 2021 – The first Techspressionist node, Techspressionism.IR, launches an Instagram page representing the Techspressionist artists of Iran. It it was established by Negin Ehtesabian and Sahar Moussavi in collaboration with Patrick Lichty.
October 26, 2021 – Techspressionism 2021, the first large-scale survey of Techspressionist artworks opened to the public live on Zoom at Salon #29. The exhibition, curated by Colin Goldberg and Patrick Lichty, includes works from 95 artists spanning 26 countries. The show and associated artist interviews comprise the Techspressionist pavilion at the Wrong Biennale no5.
November 15, 2021 – Canadian artist Jan Swinburne volunteers to take over as Techspressionism’s Twitter Lead.
November 16, 2021 – The Techspressionist Manifesto was updated to V.2.1 with the addition of item #11 suggested by Renata Janiszewska, which reads as follows – “As a social sculpture, Techspressionism aims to embrace and promote gender equality. It is inclusive and is open to all artists, regardless of socio-economic position, gender, and sexual orientation. It seeks to support mental health and transcends borders and political parties.”
November 26, 2021 – The Techspressionism Collection was established as an account on OpenSea using the ENS domain Techspressionism.eth. The Techspressionism Collection is a privately owned collection of artworks curated by Colin Goldberg. It is comprised solely of works by artists included within the Techspressionist Visual Artist Index, with the aim of establishing the collected artists in the secondary market. The collection launched with works by Sue Beyer, Davonte Bradley, ScoJo, Skywaterr, and Giovanna Sun.
December 16, 2021 – Techspressionism Brooklyn was a one-night only popup show curated by Dubwoman aka Giovanna Sun at the Williamsburg Hotel. This show marked the first physical group exhibition of Techspressionist artworks and featured a selection of works from 26 artists included within the Techspressionist Visual Artist Index.
January 4, 2022 – The hashtag #techspressionism on Instagram hits 30K posts.
April 18, 2022 – Techspressionism France, the second Techspressionist node, was established with founders LeChatNoir, Philippe Ormières, and Systaime in collaboration with Steve Miller.
April 19, 2022
- Techspressionism Germany, the third Techspressionist node, was established with founders iKatch and Felix Rothschild.
- Techspressionism Canada, the fourth Techspressionist node, was established with founderRenata Janiszewska, Lee Schnaiberg, and Jan Swinburne.
April 20, 2022
- Techspressionism Brazil, the fifth Techspressionist node, was established with founders Max Dalí / Kamilla Kulova, Tomaz Favilla and Diogo Navarro Naddeo.
April 21, 2022 – Techspressionism: Digital and Beyond opened to the public at 12PM at Southampton Arts Center at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton, New York.
April 23, 2022 – Techspressionism: Digital and Beyond had its opening reception from 6-8PM EDT. Over 300 people attended the opening, including over 30 exhibition artists.
April 27, 2022 – Techspressionism: Digital and Beyond had its international reception from 5:30-7:30PM EDT. The reception was held on Zoom, and was moderated by Davonte Bradley, with a live exhibition walkthrough conducted by artist Roz Dimon. The walkthrough was filmed by her husband James Dawson, and commentary was provided by curator Colin Goldberg. Artists from around the world participated in this event, including live appearances via Zoom from artists from Afghanistan, Canada, India, Iran, Puerto Rico, Russia and the United States.
June 14, 2022 – Techspressionism: Digital and Beyond First Edition was published on Blurb as a 52-page softcover book (ISBN:9798210422613) as well as an eBook in PDF format. The text includes a foreword by Helen A. Harrison, exhibition photography by Jeff Heatley and artist texts by Suzanne Anker, Frank Gillette, Colin Goldberg, Patrick Lichty, Paul D. Miller, Steve Miller, Joseph Nechvatal, Felix Rothschild, Christine Sciulli, and Anne Spalter. The cover image is the “The Imperial Heir” by Renata Janiszewska. Additional installation photos in the book were provided by Tycho Burwell, as well as an exterior photo of Southampton Arts Center by Colin Goldberg. The back cover image was provided by Joanna Steidle/Hamptons Drone Images. When viewed with the Artivive AR app, the back cover transforms into a drone video flythough of the exhibition.
October 3, 2022 – Techspressionism: Curators in Conversation with Christiane Paul and Helen A. Harrison, the first of a series of Roundtable Discussions created by Techspressionist artists, was recorded via Zoom. This conversation is a discussion focusing of Techspressionism as it relates to art-historical movements of the past as well as to digital art at large. Christiane Paul is Professor in the School of Media Studies at The New School, as well as Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Helen A. Harrison, a former New York Times art critic and NPR arts commentator, is the director of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in East Hampton, New York.
October 7, 2022 – The hashtag #techspressionism hit 50k posts on Instagram.
November 16, 2022 – A Wikipedia article was established for Techspressionism.