Excellent post, Melinda; affirming and/or rebutting many of the points
brought up on this list this month.
The gist, if I read it correctly, makes a lot of sense - that it's
misleading to think there is one art/copyright/economic issue that can
be framed and solved with one legal/conceptual/cultural tool. Rather
there are diverse artistic intents and cultural practices and they
deserve a broad range of cultural experimentation by way of solutions.
Hopefully such experimentation will range from small but significant
tweaks to existing systems to bold divergences that leave the art
world models behind entirely. Encouraging both not only recognizes the
diversity of desires and practices, and allows the broadest field for
experimentation, but perhaps also allows artists and cultural
producers to have our cake and eat it too. By way of analogy, I'm
reminded of the gay marriage debate here in California (and much of
the world), where for instance Judith Butler proclaimed that gay folk
should not be bothered with such a corrupt institution as classical
marriage in the first place, and we should rather dismantle those
structures. Good point, but in the intervening 40 years while we do
that, can I get my tax breaks and visitation rights too? I'm both
pragmatist and idealist.
I thought the political tone was appropriate, but lest I get off-
course, I'd like to add that I'm very encouraged by the discussion on
this list, that these experiments are well underway (the idea of
multiple version of an artwork for different purposes came up often,
as well as innovative commissioning vs. buying and re-selling after
the fact) and, of course, we still need more.
Has anyone heard of this crazy notion of crowdsourcing preservation?
When do we start?! :)
Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley
2625 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
On Mar 25, 2010, at 12:03 AM, Melinda Rackham wrote:
> hi Crumblers
> have been following intently.. (thank you all for your experience
> downloads) while watching the bbc series desparate romantics - a
> lovely juxtaposition of 21c concerns with upstart pre-raphaelite art
> of C19.
> Im interested in these divergent approaches in (secondary ?)
> knowledge and wealth creation in the the world of media art. the
> polarization between the nesta/ creative industries approach which
> sees everything as a potential income source, where the art making
> as almost incidental; and the open source /crowd sourceing/
> "information wants to be free" founding principles of reproducible
> distributed media art and networked media; really simplifies the
> issues and divert us from doing the hard work of initiating new
> models while we flay around dissecting dichotomies
> i tend to think there needs to be a myriad of approaches - Jon Is
> posting on the cross cultural partnership is step in that
> direction..and perhaps a 4th and 5th and 6th way exist as well.. I
> think we forget that media and emerging art itself can not be
> lumped together as a whole.. art production has many culturally
> specific goals.. from the capitalist ideal of fame and fortune; as a
> means of political intervention and activism; story telling and
> preserving heritage; it can be therapeutic, practical and
> decorative; entertaining, frightening or confronting.
> Rick side-saddelled on this point earlier- why put yourself into a
> museum collection to become a discrete object behind a hard and soft
> fire wall where your work will be less visible - obviously here the
> select market and the art historical record is the objective, and a
> fine one too as artists need to be recognized and shoulnt have to
> starve. the "nailing down the bits" provides a great overview of
> operating within this scape. -however i dont believe it is the only
> artscape, or that we have to conform and mould media practices into.
> after almost a year outside of the parameters of the institution
> and funding rounds im reclaiming a libertarian perspective that
> utilises non-institutional pathways to produce viable incomes for
> artist, curators and cultural producers.
> not everyone wants their work preserved/ codified/marketed as the
> live, alive, rhythmic cant be reproduced. Every piece of art we look
> at is decontextualized documentation any way - we were talking about
> this issue a few days ago in a forum at the australian national
> portrait gallery -the perfect example being the good old mona lisa-
> a very minor painting which currently brings hordes of admirers to
> look at its now undecipherable codes and its centuraries of
> alteration and tampering with conservation .
> And at the other end of the spectrum, open source/floss is not free
> - doesn't materialize out of the aether - its is supported by
> uncountable hours work subsidized by artists and programmers,
> universities and institutions, etc etc, It operates in an economy
> where knowledge transfer, notoriety, problem solving and cooperation
> are of the highest value rather than the more virtual and ephemeral
> monetary economy.
> Given that the geo political scape is changing rapidly- (of course
> Sotheby's is not going to disappear tomorrow, and collectors wont
> stop acquiring paintings like pork belly futures to store in their
> warehouses, and resell when the market is right ) band-aiding with
> potential ip income seems to be such a short sighted solution to a
> problem of competing markets and shifting global power structures.
> Perhaps these fraught economics can be reordered by commissioning
> and neo-patronage, if commissioners pay artists upfront a decent
> amount for their work, contract for future scenarios, then issues of
> secondary income become irrelavent. This is probably generational-
> as thoes who have grown up with a "free" cultural distribution
> sysetem assume positions of influence, the models will change..
> although the outcome of the networks closing down with filtering ,
> censorship and probably the end of the pretense of net neutrality-
> will have an unpredictable effect on current distribution systems.
> just for the historical record i recall a precedent in the
> commissioning/commercialization of netart which Jon T was refereing
> to, form over a decade ago in a curated commercial online net art
> 'artcart' by Mario Hergueta. http://www.artcart.de/
> documentation: http://mario.hergueta.org/projects/curating/artcart/
> Artists - Lew Baldwin, Blank&Jeron, Natalie Bookchin, Heath Bunting,
> Valéry Grancher,Yael Kanarek, Takuji Kogo, Antonio Mendoza,
> Mouchette, Tina LaPorta, Jan Robert Leegte, Peter Luining, mi_ga, J.
> Niemandsverdriet, PAVU, Melinda Rackham, Erwin Redl, Station Rose,
> Jochem van der Spek, Teo Spiller, Zden.
> We were making works which some of us open sourced, while also
> providing limited /custom editions.. of course it was too early then
> to create a lot of debate.. but it is interesting that a decade
> later we are discussing the same issues. perhaps its an infinite
> circularity - however each time we come past these familiar issues
> again we work on shaping them just a little differently.
> warm regards,
> Melinda Rackham (PhD)
> Emerging Artforms Curator
> Adjunct Professor
> School of Media and Communications
> RMIT University, Melbourne