Gallery 9 is the Walker Art Center's online exhibition space. Between 1997 and 2003, under the direction of Steve Dietz, Gallery 9 presented the work of more than 100 artists and became one of the most recognized online venues for the exhibition and contextualization of Internet-based art.
In 1998, Dietz wrote the following introduction to Gallery 9 and the Walker's New Media Initiatives Department, of which he was founding director. In Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire, the digital artists of the late 21st century are no longer hyphenated or hybrids. They are simply artificers. And in Interface Culture, Steven Johnson refers to a similar melding, a kind of vocation: "The artisans of interface culture . . . have become some new fusion of artist and engineer--interfacers, cyberpunks, Web masters--charged with the epic task of representing our digital machines, making sense of information in its raw form."
Gallery 9 is a site for project-driven exploration, through digitally-based media, of all things "cyber." This includes artist commissions, interface experiments, exhibitions, community discussion, a study collection, hyperessays, filtered links, lectures and other guerilla raids into real space, and collaborations with other entities (both internal and external).
In the spirit of artificers and interfacers, we are particularly interested in the potential interaction between the artist-driven agenda of Gallery 9 and the information architecture orientation of smArt: "innovative access to information resources." How can creative projects take advantage of the rigorous efforts and capabilities of the information architects? How can the information architects help to tell interesting stories and ask challenging questions, not just provide access to data?
The current version of Gallery 9 was launched April 2004. The original Gallery 9 is available in the Walker Web Archives.