OpenEndedGroup currently comprises two digital artists, Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser.
Their pioneering approach to digital art frequently combines three signature elements: non-photorealistic 3D rendering; the incorporation of body movement by motion-capture and other means; and the autonomy of artworks directed or assisted by artificial intelligence. Always in collaboration and always crossing disciplinary boundaries, they enter and exit fields without permission from, and without deference to, established disciplinary structures, finding new ways to conceive the world. Over the last two decades they (and, until 2014, their former partner Shelley Eshkar) have worked in the broadest variety of media and venues: making art for façade, gallery, dance, stage and cinema. Their works respond to an ever-expanding range of materials — drawing, film, motion capture, photography, music, and architecture.
In the field of dance, they have worked together or separately with Merce Cunningham (Hand-drawn Spaces 1998; BIPED 1999; Loops 2001-10; and Loops VR 2019), with Bill T. Jones (Ghostcatching 1999 and 22 2005), Trisha Brown (how long does the subject linger on the edge of the volume 2005), Wayne McGregor (Stairwell 2010 and Becoming 2013).
Their public artworks include Pedestrian (multiple sites, 2002), Enlightenment and Breath (Lincoln Center, 2006 and 2007), Recovered Light (York Minster 2007), Crossings (Nuit Blanche/Royal Ontario Museum 2010), and All Day (Barclay Center 2013).
OpenEndedGroup has created new approaches to 3D projection, which have resulted in works of digital cinema such as Upending (2010), All sides of the road (2012), Knight’s Rest (2013), Saccades (2014), Ulysses in the Subway (with Ken and Flo Jacobs, 2016), and Innermost (2019-21); the shorter installations After Ghostcatching (with Bill T. Jones, 2010), Stairwell (with Wayne McGregor, 2010), plant (2011), Maenads & Satyrs (2018), and America Afterimaged (2019); the interactive installations Into the Forest (2011) and Drawn Together (2012); and the chamber opera Twice through the heart (with Mark Anthony Turnage and Wayne McGregor, 2011).
Detroit Transect (2013-14) is a suite of five 3D films that forge a new form of “optical documentary.” This work and three others were the first digital 3D films to be acquired by MoMA for its permanent collection.
Recently, OpenEndedGroup has also explored the further realms of 3D in such virtual reality artworks as Pockets of Space (2018), Loops VR (2019), and the forthcoming Word on the Street and Museum of Interiority.
Among the prizes they have won individually or collectively are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Cage Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a Media Arts Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation, and a Bessie award for the BIPED decor.
They have presented their work at Lincoln Center, MoMA, the New York Film Festival, the Barbican Center, the Hayward Gallery, ICA Boston, Sadler’s Wells, the Festival d’Automne, the Pompidou Center, the Sundance Film Festival, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Rome Film Festival, the Museum of the Moving Image, SITE Santa Fe, EMPAC, MASS MoCA, the MIT Media Lab, ICA London, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, the Centre for Contemporary Art (Glasgow), the Kiasma museum, and many other venues.
OpenEndedGroup has had artists’ residencies at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, EMPAC, Le Fresnoy: studio national des arts contemporains, Georgia Tech, Arizona State University, Harvard University, Columbia University, the MIT Media Lab, the Brooklyn Academy of Music/Bell Labs, and UC: Irvine.