The banana leaves are gently fluttering, as if a light breeze just picked up. It's rather soothing, especially considering that I'm inside at Apartment Therapy HQ, and the plant is digital art. Today, Electric Objects launches EO2, their second generation digital frame, as well as Art Club, a service that brings museum-curated and original commissioned pieces into your home, so you can change art as easily as you change a song.
Digital frames aren't anything new; you probably bought one for your grandma and loaded it with family photos over a decade ago. But lumping those in with EO2 is like comparing a Pinto to a Porsche. EO2 was designed from the ground up to showcase art: the 23-inch matte screen has 1080p resolution, an automatic dimmer to adjust to ambient light, and built-in wifi. There are also four snap-on frames available: Maple, walnut, black, and white.
When I asked founder Jake Levine why he created EO, he tells me he grew up listening to a lot of Dave Matthews and Phish. "I went to concerts, but I mostly listened to their music at home. Art can move you the same way music can. We wanted to create a way to take the experience of seeing art at a museum and bring that into your home."
With the launch of Art Club, EO is bringing those museum works, commissioned pieces, collections from curation partners, and even live art shows right to your wall. Even without joining the $9.99 per month service, there are still over 20,000 pieces of art to browse, favorite, and add to playlists for free on the web and mobile apps—plus, you can upload and display your own work.
What I find most arresting about EO2 is the subtle cinemagraph and GIF art collections that make me feel like I'm a Harry Potter character reading the Daily Prophet. These pieces aren't often found in a traditional gallery setting, so having a way for those artists to reach people's walls is pretty cool, and even a bit magical.
EO2 is available today for $299.