Is digital art really art? Will there be a museum dedicated to the Information Age? A new exhibiti opening Saturday at the Figge examines these questions.

Message from Our Planet: Digital Art from the Thoma Collection, curated by the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation, brings together 20 unique software, video, and light-technology artworks created by a diverse group of international artists working at the forefront of digital and electronic art, according to a Figge Art Museum release.

The new exhibition proposes that media technologies — from vintage devices to cutting-edge digital algorithms — offer distinct ways for artists to communicate with future generations.

One of the pieces in the new exhibit is by Robert Wilson, LADY GAGA: Mademoiselle Caroline Rivière, 2013, high-definition video on plasma monitor, music by Michael Galasso, © Robert Wilson, photo by RW Work LTD / Julian Mommert

“The theme for this exhibition came to me while I was thinking about time capsules, especially the need for humans to be remembered through our objects and our actions,” said Curator Jason Foumberg. “Artists want to feel seen, heard, and have a legacy.”

The exhibit, organized like a time capsule, proposes that artworks may, in theory, be reconstituted from their digital code by future generations and reflect the artifacts and ambitions of contemporary society, the Figge release said.

Included in the exhibit are works by artists Brian Bress, Lia Chaia, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Hong Hao, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Claudia Hart, Jenny Holzer, Eduardo Kac, Lee Nam Lee, Christian Marclay, Paul Pfeiffer, Tabita Rezaire, Michal Rovner, Jason Salavon, Elias Sime, Skawennati, Penelope Umbrico, United Visual Artists, and Robert Wilson.

“The Figge presents over 18 exhibitions annually, but this exhibition will be our first opportunity in the museum’s history to feature a group of works by such pioneering and cutting-edge artists,” said Director of Collections and Exhibitions Andrew Wallace. “Many of these works are time based digital video, film, and animation works so we encourage visitors to spend time with each to observe the fascinating and dynamic stories they have to tell.”

Thoma Foundation Director Holly Harrison added, “The exhibition’s theme and international checklist touches on aspects of culture and human achievement that unite communities across the globe.”

The Figge Art Museum is at 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport.

Message from our Planet is locally sponsored by supporting sponsor American Bank & Trust and contributing sponsor Carolyn Levine & Leonard Kallio Trust. It will be on view through Dec. 31, 2022 in the Figge’s fourth-floor gallery.

Curator Jason Foumberg will give a free talk on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Foumberg is the Thoma Foundation Curator of Digital & Media Art. Since 2014, he has curated annual exhibitions at the Foundation’s public spaces in Santa Fe and Chicago, as well as touring exhibits of digital art with U.S. museum partners.

For more information on the Figge, click HERE