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This vending machine sells pixels, not Pepsis, to help digital artists

It seems like just about every aspect of our lives has adapted to technology, and now even art is morphing into a more digital form to become more accessible to artists and art seekers alike. 

To capitalize on the digital art world, artist Danner Milliken came up with the idea for a digital art vending machine, marrying technology and art into one device that not only serves as a product, but as an art exhibition in and of itself. 

Milliken came up unNETceptional, a digital art vending machine, to help popularize digital art in a world where physical and tangible art pieces are still people’s only idea of art. 

“This original meaning of the word is what this whole art project is about, normalizing the collecting of digital art in digital formats — such as JPEGs, GIFs, PNGs — and getting the people to view these formats by digital art screens, projectors, VR headsets, and so on,” Miliken explains in the campaign’s Kickstarter. (As always, be wary of the risks of crowdfunding before committing your hard-earned money.)

He’s hoping to raise $168,000 to get the vending machine manufactured and running by summer 2020. Once it’s created, people will be able to walk up and purchase digital art in the form of USBs from the vending machine, which will be located on a New York City street. Milliken has chosen six different contemporary artists to showcase in the first vending machine. 

Image used with permission by copyright holder

In the future, Milliken hopes that his digital art vending machine will be of use to places like museums and art galleries, where people can have better access to quality art in the digital form. 

“Thinking outside the box is essential and will push digital art more and make it more respectable,” Milliken told Digital Trends. “Sometimes, it can get a bad look just because it’s got the word digital in it, but there’s a lot of really great, interesting stuff people can collect.”

He added that in the realm of augmented or virtual reality, digital art really has its own space in both the art world and the tech world. 

“What better way though to ‘normalize’ collecting digital art than setting up a vending machine on the sidewalk for the public to come across,” he said. 

Milliken is confident that the art world will open up to new digital horizons. 

“People can take technology and find something inside that maybe we haven’t ever seen, and it just opens up new doors for everyone,” Milliken said. 

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Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
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