The art and technology worlds can often feel locked in competition, each prizing what the other inadvertently seeks to curtail: the art world eager to preserve and appreciate natural beauty, and the technology world determined to seek enlightenment and advancement. But they needn’t be at odds – and the inaugural CODAsummit held across September 20 and 21 at the Center For Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico proved beyond any doubt that technology can be used to explore and discuss environmental issues.
Organized by CODAworx, an art collective that serves as a central facilitator to bring together talent from all backgrounds and walks of life to collaborate, CODAsummit was created to allow the various links in the art commissioning chain – primarily commissioners (designers, architects, etc.), creators (artists), and suppliers (fabricators and manufacturers) – to congregate and pursue opportunities to develop new and creative cooperative projects.
CODAworx is a collective on a mission to push the art commissioning world ahead. It understands the great beauty of this increasingly-interconnected world: that overlapping industries can converge and connect to cooperate and celebrate their mutual interests.
It was in aid of this mission that the CODAworx team organized the inaugural CODAsummit on September 21, describing it as “The Intersection of Art, Technology and Place” — and all those involved are in agreement that it was a massive success.
Six weeks ago in the art-conscious town of Santa Fe, NM, a somewhat eclectic group of technologists, architects, city planners, fabricators and artists of all persuasions got together to talk about the future of art and how it can transform public settings.
Given that southwest city’s affinity for all things creative, perhaps that’s not surprising – except the gathering of about 170 people from around the world revolved around CODAworx, a young Madison company.
Co-founded by serial entrepreneur Toni Sikes, CODAworx is becoming the Amazon of the commissioned art economy. By connecting artists and designers with opportunities that range from private building projects to public works of art to specialty commissions, CODAworx is matching talent and utilizing technology to streamline an often-complicated mating dance.
“I really think this is the most important thing I have ever done in my life,” said Sikes, who built other arts and publication companies in the past. “There has always been commissioned art, but there wasn’t an organized, tech-based way of bringing together the supply with those who had the demand. We’re the hub, the connectors, for all types of people within the industry.”
Madison is far from the capital of the art world. But right here in the capital of Wisconsin is the only company of its kind connecting artists to commissioners of art and to the fabricators and installers needed to bring their masterpieces to light.
CODAworx has been around for only five years yet has gained recognition among artists all over the world and will likely expand to serve international clients next year, says founder and CEO Toni Sikes.
CODA stands for Collaboration of Design + Art and CODAworx provides a website where artists can browse requests from architects, cities, companies and others looking to commission artwork. Artists, architects and installers can also showcase their past works and make connections to get their next commission. This synergy drives CODAworx’s success. “We made a statement from the beginning that in order to create these big projects it requires an ecosystem,” Sikes says.