Artist David Lindsay’s Popwalk App Comes Into Its Own During the Pandemic

by Glasstire October 25, 2020
Texas Tech Professor and artist David Lindsay's Popwalk art location app.

Artist David Lindsay’s Popwalk art location app.

As previously reported in Glasstire, the geo-specific art-viewing phone app Popwalk, from artist David Chapman Lindsay, uses the GPS information on smartphones for exhibiting “site-specific digital works of art.” These include performance, music, dance, video, animation, or other time-based media. Artists download works to the Popwalk website, along with geo-location information. Similar to Pokémon Go, users open a map on the phone app that shows the locations of the artworks. When the viewer arrives at the location of the work, the phone ‘unlocks’ the work, allowing it to be viewed, but only in its specific location.

The app offers opportunities for exhibiting artwork, delivering educational content, updateable mapping, sharing research, and gathering statistics on visitations and reactions to artworks. Popwalk does have publishing standards and reserves the right to refuse work, and those are outlined here.

Glasstire had the opportunity to ask Lindsay about the app recently.

“First, when Covid started, I curated an exhibit of artists in Salt Lake City to make works about social distancing,” says Lindsey. “I am currently a fellow with Granary Arts in Ephraim, Utah, [where] we have a number of organizations (including the National Parks) that are funding the creation of a Popwalk tour through Sanpete Valley (scheduled to open in May 2021). I see a lot of potential in Popwalk right now. It is an exhibition format that is not affected by Covid in the way that museums or galleries are and has facilitated cultural exploration and discovery even through social distancing. And many artists have used it to connect with audiences in thoughtful and innovative ways. I’m very excited to be doing this right now.

Lindsay’s other current projects include work with Brigham Young University students, the Springville Museum of Art partnership, and an upcoming collaboration with Art in Odd Places. As Lindsay’s app continues to grow locations, artists have the option to not only submit individual works, but may apply to jury or curate an exhibition.

More about the submission of digital works:

“Artists wanting to submit works to Popwalk should register as a user here, and then follow the link under the artist tab for submitting artwork. The work displayed on Popwalk must first be stored on YouTube. The YouTube link is then included in the submission.”

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