FRAMED Immerses Viewers In Digital Artwork

FRAMED seeks to stretch the boundaries of digital art and take it beyond the confines of computer screen. The full-HD IPS display itself is gorgeous, with a walnut frame, but it’s more than just an attractive monitor. It also allows viewers to interact with artwork through motion and sound sensors.

Created by Japanese startup FRM, FRAMED has far surpassed its funding goal of $75,000 on Kickstarter (it is currently at almost $262,000, with the campaign set to end on August 20) and is scheduled to ship in March 2015. Money raised will be used to cover tooling and finalize fixtures for FRAMED.

FRM was founded in 2011 by Yugo Nakamura and William Lai. Nakamura is a well-known Web designer in Japan, where his clients have included Uniqlo, Muji, and Sony, and Lai is a producer and founder of Tokyo record label TempleATS.

FRAMED2FRM worked on FRAMED for three years before launching its Kickstarter campaign and is working with digital art publication Creative Applications to find artists for FRM’s open marketplace, which currently represents 32 artists. The marketplace has already been open for three years, offering artwork through a subscription model, but Lai hopes that FRAMED will extend possibilities for digital its artists.

“That’s why we wanted to get people interested in Framed. With motion sensors and sound recognition, artists have a lot more tools to play with and we think that there will be a lot more visualization than can be done with traditional art,” says Lai.

Artists currently represented on FRM’s marketplace (and whose work can be displayed in FRAMED) include Aaron Koblin, a San Francisco-based artist who uses data visualizations to comment on social and cultural trends, and studio Universal Everything, which created Tai Chi by capturing movements by a tai chi master and then translating them into different materials like wood, water, and concrete.


Other potential artwork for FRAMED include a “mirror” which displays an image of the viewer with visualizations gleaned from their fitness data.

“We’re working on ways to incorporate data, working on different motion sensors, to create a mirror that shows a reflection of yourself but that adds input of your fitness data, such as sleeping habits, and visualizes it into an ‘aura’,” says Lai.

FRAMED supports a wide range of media, including GIFs, video, Flash, and openFrameworks, and you can use it to display your own images. Monitors currently start at $449 for a 24-inch one or $1,500 for a 40-inch display.

It’s a good time on Kickstarter for people interested in digital art. Another startup, Electric Objects, also has a beautiful digital art display that has blown past its fundraising goal. Called EO1, it costs less than FRAMED, but doesn’t have motion or sound sensors.

For more information about FRAMED, visit its Kickstarter.