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Artists to Apple: Add an "Art" Category to the App Store, Already!

Because, in the words of Mark Tribe, artist and founder of Rhizome, “Duh!”
Seth Carnes' Poetics, a visual poetry app that combines moveable text with photography. Courtesy of the artist

The art community feels misrepresented in the App Store. Museum apps get filed under Education; artist apps are stuck with ill-fitting categories like Lifestyle, Entertainment, or Photos & Video. New York-based artists Seth Carnes and Serkan Ozkaya, along with gallerist Paulina Bebecka, are asking Apple to correct the problem and add an Art category to the App Store. The trio just launched the +ArtApp website, where you can endorse their petition to Apple.


“We believe in the power of human culture, where art plays a central role,” reads the petition. “Please show your support for creativity worldwide.” In anticipation of the launch, Carnes, Ozkaya and Bebecka reached out privately to those they knew in the creative community to drum up support. Early signers include Paul D. Miller, a.k.a., DJ Spooky, Rhizome founder Mark Tribe, interactive media artist Scott Snibbe (whose app album Björk: Biophilia was the first app purchased by MoMA), and Eyebeam director Roddy Schrock. “After all, it’s artists that truly test and expand the boundaries of what Apple’s machines can do,” says Schrock.

Image generated with Serkan Ozkaya's MyMoon, a digital public artwork accessible via the App Store. Courtesy of the artist and Postmasters Gallery

Art-centered apps that would fit in the new category include a host of The Creators Project's favorites like Glitché by Jhovany Quiroz (which allows you to glitch up photos), Snibbe’s pattern- and music-making app Bubble Harp, and Brian Eno’s generative music projects, including Bloom. Museum apps, art buying apps, and apps from art guides like Artsy would also be natural fits.

It’s hard to imagine that Apple won’t honor the request—then again, maybe the tech giant doesn’t want to get into the sticky philosophical business of defining what is and isn’t art.

You can learn more about the initiative and sign the petition here.


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