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Subject:

Re: one way to own a work of art on the Web

From:

Jon Thomson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jon Thomson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 20 Mar 2010 11:04:29 +0000

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text/plain

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Hi Richard,

I'll try and answer your questions reasonably succinctly:

As you correctly suppose, we limited the work following the rather old world model that photography and video tends to also follow in the market, and while that wasn't explicitly a condition of the sale, it was what naturally emerged as unquestioned terms during the conversation -unquestioned I should add by both us and BCC in this case. 

We agree that the conversation should be opened up in general, and one way we are trying to work now is to make works available on our website in streaming, embedded forms etc that may also have a gallery/installation iteration so that a version of the work is freely available online but another version of the work as installation can be taken up by the art market at large or not as the case may be.  

This also allows our website to be a simple visible archive, something that we value a lot ourselves when we come across it elsewhere (ubuweb etc...) and speaking for a second as a visiting lecturer at art school I can report that the availability and visibility of work in repositories like ubuweb is really changing the way art students are able to access stuff that until then could only be little more than hearsay or historical trace...

The modesty of the price (four not five figures) is for a number of reasons but ostensibly thinking about the extra cost of maintaining the work in the short to medium term (it will have to be remade as technology changes).  I guess we were quite eager as well for BCC to make this acquisition (their first that intrinsically involves the internet) and so we were not focussed on pushing for a maximum sale price in any case.  In general our interest in getting works into collections is not primarily financially motivated (although we obviously need money to live), it's much more about getting work looked after by people/institutions other than ourselves, because we have enough trouble maintaining work while making new work as it is.  

I would expect this is a common enough problem for artists who make works that need ongoing care, and for us it is one of our biggest because we can't really afford to employ assistants to maintain our archive and are not very willing to take on unpaid interns.

best wishes,

Jon 

PS the benjamin anecdote is yet another great example of how history misinterprets so much!!


-->  web
http://www.thomson-craighead.net

--> now:
MyWar, Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool
12 March - 30 May, 2010 (& Touring)

--> now:
http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_date/2010/short_film_about_war

--> coming up:
Several Interruptions, Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York
April 1st 2010 - April 30th 2010




On 19 Mar 2010, at 22:03, Richard Rinehart wrote:

> Jon Thomson,
> 
> Thanks for offering up your sale of a variable media artwork to the British Council as a case study; I think it's fascinating. If we can indeed use this as a case study for our conversation here, then I have a question about your sale, but also about commissioning and collecting variable work in general...
> 
>> what we also did, given that the work itself could be reduced to a series of instructions is make a unique edition (plus artists copy) of archive prints that contain all the information required to remake the work in perpetuity.
> 
> 
> Q. I'm interested in why you chose to make a variable (theoretically infinitely duplicable) work into a fixed unique work? Was it due to pressure from the buyer to hand over something tangible? This is a common strategy for museums currently collecting variable work. They will ask the artist to take a variable/duplicable work and somehow make it fit into the older economic/social model of art (contracts limiting reproduction and guaranteeing exclusivity, or creation of singular objects - even an artist-signed DVD) whereby it becomes a singular object/commodity and then it's easier to deal with. I'll come clean that I have an opinion here; I certainly don't blame the artist who of course must make a living, but I wish that the institutions and the larger art world in general would use this as more of an occasion to open up the conversation (again) and to experiment with new models that didn't subvert the artist's intent of working in open media (as Simon has articulated) and that in fact might open up new cultural practices.
> 
> Recently, I saw this text from an upcoming talk at UC Berkeley:
> "Perhaps nothing has damaged digital art's legitimacy so much as Walter Benjamin's accusation that reproducibility destroys the art work's "aura". If the artwork is multiple or can be multiplied it supposedly is existentially inferior."....
> 
> ....to which I thought that, for Benjamin, that lack of "aura" was not entirely a negative thing! In fact, it opened up new social practices and a new social(ist) role for art (in his case film, but even moreso newer media art).
> 
>> we agreed a (relatively) modest price for it with the understanding that it would require updating and maintenance,
> 
> Q. Do you think you were asked to accept a lower price than you might have gotten because the collector felt it would cost them more to maintain this work? If so, do you felt like that cost should have been passed on to you, the artists, in the form of a lower purchase/commission fee? Or did you feel like the price was modest in part because the work was ephemeral? I don't mean to put words into your mouth, and certainly don't mean to pick on you :) but I'm curious about these implications.
> 
> What do others think? We do have some examples of experimental practices. Are they working out? How many are there in relation to the older models being put into practice?
> 
> 
> Richard Rinehart
> ---------------
> Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
> Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
> bampfa.berkeley.edu
> ---------------
> University of California, Berkeley
> ---------------
> 2625 Durant Ave.
> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
> ph.510.642.5240
> fx.510.642.5269
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Mar 18, 2010, at 2:22 AM, Jon Thomson wrote:
> 
>> When we sold a work to the British Council a few years ago -- it was an instruction based work using live data as its material -- we agreed a (relatively) modest price for it with the understanding that it would require updating and maintenance, but what we also did, given that the work itself could be reduced to a series of instructions is make a unique edition (plus artists copy) of archive prints that contain all the information required to remake the work in perpetuity.  The print edition then functions as a work itself to some extent but also accommodates the longer term.  In essence the British Council Collection have entered into ownership of the work but also accept curatorial responsibility institutionally, which itself includes some measure of patronage.
>> 
>> In our opinion, this has been our most successful transaction to date as we believe it contains a trace of the original intention of the work less bound by the contemporary technology used to deliver it just now and with less need for a long term maintenance strategy.  The endowment idea that Jon Ippolito mentions is also a really interesting one, but does require trust and luck to maintain it on an ongoing basis, but at least a bunch of archive prints in an archive box can be lost in a store room and then unearthed at a future date within two or three generations or so.
>> 
>> best wishes,
>> 
>> Jon & Alison
>> 
>> ->  web
>> http://www.thomson-craighead.net
>> 
>> --> now:
>> MyWar, Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool
>> 12 March - 30 May, 2010 (& Touring)
>> 
>> --> now:
>> http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_date/2010/short_film_about_war
>> 
>> --> coming up:
>> Several Interruptions, Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York
>> April 1st 2010 - April 30th 2010
>> 
>> On 17 Mar 2010, at 19:08, Marcia Tanner wrote:
>> 
>>> Hi Simon,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I agree that if your artistic practice is to make work deliberately intended" "in part to subvert how value is traditionally ascribed to artefacts by ensuring
>>> it was infinitely reproducible and universally accessible," that the notion of selling it IS silly. I'm aware that this ideological
>>> impetus informs the practice of many artists making work for the Internet and applaud you and them for it.  In your case, I can only imagine that you've
>>> sold your work precisely in order to demonstrate the absurdity of that exchange. Otherwise, since you could easily foresee that
>>> the "issues" you mention would arise and that engaging in a sale would be a self-fulfilling prophecy with predictable consequences, why bother?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> The artists I engage with do not necessarily have university positions to support themselves, do not work exclusively on the Internet,
>>> and need to make a living from their work. So do I.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Best regards,
>>> Marcia
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Marcia Tanner
>>> Independent Curator / Writer
>>> 176 Alvarado Road
>>> Berkeley, CA 94705
>>> 510.848.0769 [h]
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Sent: Wed, Mar 17, 2010 4:56 am
>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] one way to own a work of art on the Web
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Hi all
>>> 
>>> Hi Ken, Richard. Hope all is well in SF.
>>> 
>>> The description you have given of how Ken’s piece was collected is pretty
>>> clear. It is a model that has also been applied to my work and similarly it
>>> only worked, in the first insatnce, because the collectors in question were
>>> driven more by an altruistic desire to support the work than to own it.
>>> Nevertheless, even in this instance, I still have issues. One is that the
>>> work was made in part to subvert how value is traditionally ascribed to
>>> artefacts by ensuring it was infinitely reproducible and universally
>>> accessible. Buying and selling such work is therefore not only rather silly
>>> but also at odds with the intent of the work. Secondly, and the more
>>> significant, is the issue of the secondary market. There are works of mine
>>> that have entered that market and which are exchanged at highly inflated
>>> values. This is an even sillier situation as the same works remain freely
>>> reproducible or cheaply available in large editions in the public domain and
>>> it adds injury to insult as others profit from work that I did and put into
>>> the public realm either for free or at or even below the cost of production.
>>> I’d argue that is a form of theft  from me and from all those who have
>>> exchanged such work freely. If I ate cornflakes I would choke on them...
>>> 
>>> Best
>>> 
>>> Simon
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Simon Biggs
>>> 
>>> [log in to unmask]  [log in to unmask]  Skype: simonbiggsuk
>>> http://www.littlepig.org.uk/
>>> Research Professor  edinburgh college of art  http://www.eca.ac.uk/
>>> Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
>>> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
>>> Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice
>>> http://www.elmcip.net/
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 19:00:32 -0400
>>> To: Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Cc: <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>,
>>> <[log in to unmask]>, <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Subject: one way to own a work of art on the Web
>>> 
>>> Hello Simon:
>>> 
>>> Thanks for your email touching on your dissatisfaction, as a digital artist,
>>> with the various models of ownership you've experienced with your work.  I'm
>>> not really equipped to "detail" the ownership model that the gallerist
>>> Catharine (Katie) Clark developed for a specific piece -- "memento mori" --
>>> in consultation with the artist, Ken Goldberg and the collector, Theo
>>> Armour. You should ask Katie herself; she has lectured on the arrangement
>>> often, including at the art and law class offered by Prof. John Merryman in
>>> the Law School at Stanford University.
>>> 
>>> Here's a link to the press release for a panel discussion on this topic at
>>> the gallery.  Rick Rinehart was on the panel.
>>> 
>>> www.cclarkgallery.com/Press_Release_Sanchez-Goldberg_2009.pdf
>>> 
>>> As the work is time-based and continually evolving yet self-contained (i.e.,
>>> it can't be modified online by human intervention; it responds in real time
>>> to seismic activity around the SF Bay Area and translates that activity
>>> algorithmically into an ever-changing sound composition) what the collector
>>> gets is a CD that records the sounds produced on a specific day for a
>>> specific duration, and a certificate of ownership. I believe Theo is listed
>>> as the owner of the piece on its website but it's a conceptual kind of
>>> ownership that to me is more like patronage. Not every collector would be
>>> satisfied by this but Theo is a generous, imaginative man and he is happy
>>> with it. Ken seems pretty happy with it too. You should ask Ken if he feels
>>> the piece has been compromised aesthetically as a result.
>>> 
>>> The account above may be inaccurate so I urge you to go to the sources.
>>> I've copied them on this email so you'll have their contact information. I
>>> hope this is helpful but it may not be generalizable to the kind of work you
>>> make, or to the collectors who seek to "own" it.
>>> 
>>> Best,
>>> Marcia
>>> 
>>> Marcia Tanner
>>> Independent Curator / Writer
>>> 176 Alvarado Road
>>> Berkeley, CA 94705
>>> 510.848.0769 [h]
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Simon Biggs <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> Sent: Tue, Mar 16, 2010 4:35 am
>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] OPEN MUSEUMS
>>> 
>>> Hi Marcia
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Do you want to detail this a bit more? I am an artist who works with digital
>>> 
>>> media and my work has been collected in various forms and under various
>>> 
>>> models of ownership. To date, whilst these solutions have apparently
>>> 
>>> sufficed for the collector they have never been satisfying from an artistic
>>> 
>>> point of view. In fact, they have left a bad taste in the mouth as such
>>> 
>>> models fail to comprehend the ontology of the work/process; once the work is
>>> 
>>> out there it comes to be exploited in quite an unethical manner which
>>> 
>>> distorts its intended value (I know, why should the artistıs opinion count
>>> 
>>> for anything  but we are very critical when an indigenous artistıs work is
>>> 
>>> appropriated inappropriately).
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Best
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Simon
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Simon Biggs
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> [log in to unmask]  [log in to unmask]  Skype: simonbiggsuk
>>> 
>>> http://www.littlepig.org.uk/
>>> 
>>> Research Professor  edinburgh college of art  http://www.eca.ac.uk/
>>> 
>>> Creative Interdisciplinary Research into CoLlaborative Environments
>>> 
>>> http://www.eca.ac.uk/circle/
>>> 
>>> Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice
>>> 
>>> http://www.elmcip.net/
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: Marcia Tanner <[log in to unmask]>
>>> 
>>> Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> 
>>> Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 22:22:17 -0400
>>> 
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> 
>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] OPEN MUSEUMS
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Hi Rick, Roger, Bronac, Oliver et. al.,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> As someone transitioning from curating new media art to art consulting,
>>> 
>>> specializing in helping private collectors acquire new media work, I find
>>> 
>>> this discussion germane. But I wonder how strategies designed for museum
>>> 
>>> collections might also apply to individual collectors?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> The San Francisco gallerist Catharine Clark (of Catharine Clark Gallery) has
>>> 
>>> for instance worked out a legal and viable strategy for a collector  >> to
>>> 
>>> acquire an artist's work that exists only on the Internet, so that he (the
>>> 
>>> collector) does actually own the work but it is is still available to anyone
>>> 
>>> to access online. It's complicated and the collector is exceptionally
>>> 
>>> altruistic so this may not be a universal solution. Also, I'm not sure how
>>> 
>>> this particular strategy will function if/when the Internet becomes obsolete
>>> 
>>> and the piece either disappears or must be translated into a different
>>> 
>>> form/medium. There are also questions of appraisal -- how is value assessed
>>> 
>>> for works like this?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> The point is: the challenges of collecting new media art are not just for
>>> 
>>> museums any more. Any thoughts?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Marcia Tanner
>>> 
>>> Independent Curator / Writer
>>> 
>>> 176 Alvarado Road
>>> 
>>> Berkeley, CA 94705
>>> 
>>> 415.314.5087 [m]
>>> 
>>> 510.848.0769 [h]
>>> 
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> 
>>> From: Richard Rinehart <[log in to unmask]>
>>> 
>>> To: [log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>> Sent: Mon, Mar 15, 2010 1:40 pm
>>> 
>>> Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] OPEN MUSEUMS
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Hi Roger, Oliver, Bronac, et al,
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Yes indeed, interesting discussion and hopefully seed of
>>> 
>>> action/collaboration! Roger, that a truly "open museum" may take 30 years is
>>> 
>>> either a disheartening prospect or a supreme challenge (guess which I
>>> 
>>> choose?)
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Oliver, you could not be more right of course in that so many of the early
>>> 
>>> efforts to document/preserve/provide access to new media art forms have
>>> 
>>> fallen by the wayside and the entire genre is in danger of being lost to
>>> 
>>> history. I also agree that the big funders that could help turn this around
>>> 
>>> so far seem disinterested or unaware (despite my repeated advances; ahem!
>>> 
>>> :). Many government funders are still focussing on preservation/access
>>> 
>>> projects around *representations* of traditional art collections (image
>>> 
>>> banks of paintings, etc.) and most museums with mixed collections are
>>> 
>>> similarly focussed. To be fair, this is in part because the overwhelming
>>> 
>>> majority of cultural collections (and research) is still comprised of these
>>> 
>>> collections.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> However, as Oliver points out, new media art is in danger of being utterly
>>> 
>>> eclipsed and this period of history and ongoing artistic practice made
>>> 
>>> unavailable to research (which will only compound the problem). There are
>>> 
>>> more museums dealing with new media art in their regular operations, but
>>> 
>>> usually without any special collaborative effort and thus it gets subsumed
>>> 
>>> into traditional practices or treated as any other multimedia objects. There
>>> 
>>> are valiant efforts, and Roger, you described many of them from libraries
>>> 
>>> and elsewhere focussed on access to new born-digital culture, and many of
>>> 
>>> them are focussed on the broader realm of "digital culture and knowledge"
>>> 
>>> where often new media art in particular gets lost in the shuffle. New media
>>> 
>>> art is certainly part of the bigger puzzle, but it also has its special
>>> 
>>> needs.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> To that end, and toward performing my duties as one of our invited
>>> 
>>> discussants this month on commissions - let me ask you all; how might
>>> 
>>> commissions help this situation? Beryl has brought up the Lab model; how is
>>> 
>>> this model different? Back in the day at the Guggenheim, Jon Ippolito was
>>> 
>>> thinking of how to build in preservation and access as part of the
>>> 
>>> commission/purchase/exhibition of new media art (Jon smartly knew where
>>> 
>>> museums place their efforts). Jon, do you want to describe that model for
>>> 
>>> us? At BAM, we were similarly able to slip in even the tiniest notion of an
>>> 
>>> open museum inside a curatorial/exhibition program.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Do others know of innovative commissioning models that also have the
>>> 
>>> long-term in mind?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Richard Rinehart
>>> 
>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>> Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
>>> 
>>> Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
>>> 
>>> bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>> 
>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>> University of California, Berkeley
>>> 
>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>> 2625 Durant Ave.
>>> 
>>> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>> 
>>> ph.510.642.5240
>>> 
>>> fx.510.642.5269
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Mar 14, 2010, at 4:09 AM, Bronac Ferran wrote:
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> Hallo everyone- thanks, this is an interesting discussion.
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> Roger said: many of these issues were discussed at the CODE > conference some
>>> 
>>>> years
>>> 
>>>> back. Good news: there is still a webcast of the conference available
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/CODE/
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> In terms of some of the other points I recently wrote an essay > commissioned
>>> 
>>>> by Arts Council England called Rethinking Ownership and in this I > suggest
>>> 
>>>> that if a national collection of digital art was to be created it > should not
>>> 
>>>> be a selected one (such as the ACE Film and Video, Poetry and Visual > Arts
>>> 
>>>> collections which were spawned some decades ago) but it could be > created in
>>> 
>>>> another way which for eg could see funded works (and initiatives > such as
>>> 
>>>> CODE which took place in 2001) and many earlier seminal works from > the mid
>>> 
>>>> 90s onwards elected by the generators of the projects to be included > in a
>>> 
>>>> distributed collection where the key thing is that the learning and
>>> 
>>>> documentation of process (which is often housed within summary > reports only
>>> 
>>>> seen by the funder then filed) is shared openly and available and > accessible
>>> 
>>>> through an easy mapping process and one might of course add to this > open
>>> 
>>>> sourced code or other redistributable aspects.  So what is preserved > is not
>>> 
>>>> only the work but the context, which is vital for so called new media
>>> 
>>>> projects (and interdisciplinary projects in general)....
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> It was suggested as a provocation in an independent essay but there > may be
>>> 
>>>> the germ of something here worth exploring
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> cheers
>>> 
>>>> Bronc
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On 14 March 2010 10:20, roger malina <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> Oliver
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> I agree with your point:
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> "What is needed in the (Digital) Humanities isan institutional >> support
>>> 
>>>>> equivalent to that in Astronomy, Biology or ClimateResearch, in >> order to
>>> 
>>>>> create enough momentum and adhesion the main fundingorganizations >> like
>>> 
>>>>> NSF, NEH, the European Research Council, DFG, VolkswagenFoundation >> etc.
>>> 
>>>>> have to support on an international level the necessaryresearch
>>> 
>>>>> structure for research in Media Art and the Digital Humanities >> ingeneral
>>> 
>>>>> needed in the 21st century."
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> What broke things open in astronomy was the fact that inter >> governmental
>>> 
>>>>> and institutional agencies created a funding climate that enabled >> virtual
>>> 
>>>>> observatories with public access. Data by itself is usually useless >> unless
>>> 
>>>>> you have the accompanying metadata, analysis software, international
>>> 
>>>>> protocols and standards, middleware etc ( and that means time and >> money).
>>> 
>>>>> Plus the realisation by
>>> 
>>>>> astronomers about the new kinds of science that could be done by  >>>> >> combining
>>> 
>>>>> databases from different
>>> 
>>>>> observatories ( and different time periods)- which is what you are >> arguing
>>> 
>>>>> in the humanities is also the case.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> Some of the new kinds of art scholarship and art that can come out >> of open
>>> 
>>>>> networked
>>> 
>>>>> systems are being discussed at several conferences this spring and >> summer
>>> 
>>>>> including
>>> 
>>>>> the Leonardo Day at the NETSCI 2010 conference in Boston :
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> http://artshumanities.netsci2010.net/
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> and also the the High Throughput Humanities conference in
>>> 
>>>>> Portugal:(deadline
>>> 
>>>>> April 30)
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> http://hth.eccs2010.eu/
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> goal: The High Throughput Humanities satellite event at ECCS'10 >>
>>> 
>>> establishes
>>> 
>>>>> a forum for high throughput approaches in the humanities and social
>>> 
>>>>> sciences, within the framework of complex systems science. The >> symposium
>>> 
>>>>> aims to go beyond massive data aquisition and to present results >> beyond
>>> 
>>>>> what
>>> 
>>>>> can be manually achieved by a single person or a small group. >> Bringing
>>> 
>>>>> together scientists, researchers, and practitioners from relevant >> fields,
>>> 
>>>>> the event will stimulate and facilitate discussion, spark >> collaboration,
>>> 
>>> as
>>> 
>>>>> well as connect approaches, methods, and ideas.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> This makes the strong argument that cross coupling humanities and >> art data
>>> 
>>>>> bases new kinds of research
>>> 
>>>>> and art are enabled.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> There are a number of initiatives that are relevant to >> methodologies
>>> 
>>> coming
>>> 
>>>>> out of the
>>> 
>>>>> cybernetics community- such as for example:
>>> 
>>>>> *Cybernetics: Art, Design, Mathematics < A Meta-Disciplinary >> Conversation
>>> 
>>>>> (C:ADM2010)*
>>> 
>>>>> *http://www.asc-cybernetics.org/2010/*
>>> 
>>>>> *
>>> 
>>>>> *
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> Finally of course HASTAC in the usa has been working hard on many >> of these
>>> 
>>>>> issues:
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> http://www.hastac.org/
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> <http://www.hastac.org/>HASTAC <http://www.hastac.org/%3EHASTAC>
>>> ("haystack") is a network of >> individuals
>>> 
>>>>> and
>>> 
>>>>> institutions inspired by the possibilities that new technologies >> offer us
>>> 
>>>>> for shaping how we learn, teach, communicate, create, and organize >> our
>>> 
>>>>> local
>>> 
>>>>> and global communities.  We are motivated by the conviction that the
>>> 
>>>>> digital
>>> 
>>>>> era provides rich opportunities for informal and formal learning >> and for
>>> 
>>>>> collaborative, networked research that extends across traditional
>>> 
>>>>> disciplines, across the boundaries of academe and community, across >> the
>>> 
>>>>> "two
>>> 
>>>>> cultures" of humanism and technology, across the divide of thinking >> versus
>>> 
>>>>> making, and across social strata and national borders.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> Leonardo and Siggraph are cosponsoring at SIGGRAPH in LA a full day >> on
>>> 
>>>>> 20XX.EDU the future
>>> 
>>>>> of learning in the digital age that builds on the macarthur funded >> report
>>> 
>>>>> on
>>> 
>>>>> the future of learning
>>> 
>>>>> institutions in the digital age=this report make a number of relevant
>>> 
>>>>> points
>>> 
>>>>> to an OPEN MUSEUM movement.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/chapters/Future_of_Learning.pdf
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> (yes its available under a creative commons license)
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> I dont think we have any equivalent international efforts of the kind
>>> 
>>>>> oliver
>>> 
>>>>> is suggesting yet.( maybe crumb
>>> 
>>>>> readers know of some) ,and the
>>> 
>>>>> kinds of actions in the museum world that Rick is arguing for have >> been
>>> 
>>>>> generally driven by intellectual property
>>> 
>>>>> control and monetarising issues ( the Louvre in Dubai..) rather than
>>> 
>>>>> enabling new kinds of scholarship and art.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> Rick  Rinehart's call for an OPEN MUSEUM movement that provides:
>>> 
>>>>> "In the Open Museum, the source code and other files
>>> 
>>>>> for  digital artworks from the collection are free for users to >> download,
>>> 
>>>>> study, use, and re-mix into new works " i suspect is at least a >> thirty
>>> 
>>> year
>>> 
>>>>> project
>>> 
>>>>> (thats how long it took in astronomy)
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> roger
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 5:26 PM, Oliver Grau <[log in to unmask]
>>> 
>>>>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Thank youRoger for this. You made a very important point for all >>> of us
>>> 
>>>>>> here and Istrongly like to support your thought by adding my five >>> cents.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Comparablewith natural sciences, digital media and new >>> opportunities of
>>> 
>>>>>> networkedresearch catapult the cultural sciences within reach of >>> new and
>>> 
>>>>>> essentialresearch, like appropriate documentation and preservation >>> of
>>> 
>>>>>> media art, or evenbetter, an entire history of visual media and >>> their
>>> 
>>>>>> human cognition by means ofthousands of sources. These themes >>> express in
>>> 
>>>>>> regard to image revolutioncurrent key questions. In order to push
>>> 
>>>>>> humanities and cultural sciences intheir development, it is >>> necessary to
>>> 
>>>>>> use the new technologies globally and create a research >>> infrastructure
>>> 
>>>>>> which is organisided much more intercontinental than now.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Since the foundation of the pioneering Databaseof Virtual Art >>> anumber of
>>> 
>>>>>> online archives for digitization and documentation arose:
>>> 
>>>>>> LangloisFoundation inMontreal, Netzspannung at the Frauenhofer >>> Institut
>>> 
>>>>>> or MedienKunstNetz at ZKM * most of these projectsterminated, their
>>> 
>>>>>> funding expired, or they lost key researchers like V2 inRotterdam. >>> Even
>>> 
>>>>>> the Boltzmann Institut for Media Art Research in Linz, faced >>> recently
>>> 
>>>>>> itsclose-down after an evaluation. In this way the originated >>> scientific
>>> 
>>>>>> archiveswhich more and more often represent the only remaining image
>>> 
>>>>>> source of the art works,do not only lose step by step their >>> significance
>>> 
>>>>>> for research and preservationbut in the meantime partly disappear >>> from
>>> 
>>>>>> the web. Not only the media artitself, but also its documentation >>> fads
>>> 
>>>>>> that future generations of researchersand public will not be able >>> to get
>>> 
>>>>>> an idea of the past and the art of our time.To put it another way, >>> till
>>> 
>>>>>> now no sustainable strategy exits. What we need isa concentrated and
>>> 
>>>>>> compact expansion of ability. There is/was increasingcollaboration >>> with
>>> 
>>>>>> these projects in a variety of areas and in changingcoalitions. >>> But in
>>> 
>>>>>> the field of documentation projects - real preservationprojects do >>> not
>>> 
>>>>>> exist yet (beside fantastic case studies) - the focus is >>> stilldirected
>>> 
>>>>>> too much towards particularisation, instead of concentrating >>> forces,what
>>> 
>>>>>> is essential strategy in most other fields (as Roger pointed out).
>>> 
>>>>>> Manyindividual projects are definitely innovative but too small and
>>> 
>>>>>> without clearlarger scientific strategy and safe financing, which >>> is not
>>> 
>>>>>> their fault. Someprojects are already expired and not carried >>> further.
>>> 
>>>>>> Lots of competence and culturalwealth, but too much separationism.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Especially the university based researchprojects and partly also  >>>>> the
>>> 
>>>>>> ones which are linked to museums have developedexpertise that >>> needs to
>>> 
>>>>>> be included in cultural circulation, not only in orderto pass it >>> on to
>>> 
>>>>>> future generations of scientists and archivists but also togive it a
>>> 
>>>>>> chance to flow into future university education in the fields of
>>> 
>>>>>> art,engineering, and media history. Clearly, the goal must be to >>> develop
>>> 
>>>>>> a policyand strategy for collecting the art of our latest history >>> under
>>> 
>>>>>> the umbrella ofa strong, letıs say ³Library of Congress like²
>>> 
>>>>>> institution. Ultimately, however, this can onlybe organized by a >>> network
>>> 
>>>>>> of artists, computer and science centers, galleries,technology >>> producers
>>> 
>>>>>> and museums. Those projects which collected culturallyimportant
>>> 
>>>>>> documents in the past and which often expired, were not further
>>> 
>>>>>> supportedor even lost their base must be supported and reanimated. >>> They
>>> 
>>>>>> should beorganized like a corona around an institution which >>> receives
>>> 
>>>>>> the duty ofdocumentation and may be even the collection of >>> contemporary
>>> 
>>>>>> media art, such aninstitution could be in the USA, the Library of
>>> 
>>>>>> Congress; in Europe, besidesthe new European digital libraries >>> database
>>> 
>>>>>> Europeana, it could be the BibliothequeNational, the >>> BritishLibrary, the
>>> 
>>>>>> V&A or in Germany beside the ZKM for example the >>> DeutscheBibliothek or
>>> 
>>>>>> even better a Max Planck Institute.Interestingly the libraries show
>>> 
>>>>>> increasingly interest to archive multimediaworks and their
>>> 
>>>>>> documentation; however, the usually complex cultural andtechnical >>> know
>>> 
>>>>>> how is lacking in order to preserve principal works of the >>> mostimportant
>>> 
>>>>>> media art genres of the last decades. Not only can the
>>> 
>>>>>> internationalstate of Media Art be a hinderance in creating common
>>> 
>>>>>> projects, also the FUNDINGINFRASTRUCTURE of media art >>> documentation so
>>> 
>>>>>> far, has normally promotedprojects for 2, 3, or more years, >>> neglecting
>>> 
>>>>>> sustainability. A structure whichupdates, extends and contextualizes
>>> 
>>>>>> research * whether in historical orcontemporary contexts is >>> required.
>>> 
>>>>>> The funding and support infrastructureswhich have been built in >>> the end
>>> 
>>>>>> of the last century are not suitable forscientific and cultural >>> tasks in
>>> 
>>>>>> the Humanities of the 21st Century.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> What is needed in the (Digital) Humanities isan institutional >>> support
>>> 
>>>>>> equivalent to that in Astronomy, Biology or ClimateResearch, in >>> order to
>>> 
>>>>>> create enough momentum and adhesion the main fundingorganizations >>> like
>>> 
>>>>>> NSF, NEH, the European Research Council, DFG, VolkswagenFoundation >>> etc.
>>> 
>>>>>> have to support on an international level the necessaryresearch
>>> 
>>>>>> structure for research in Media Art and the Digital Humanities >>> ingeneral
>>> 
>>>>>> needed in the 21st century.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> oliver
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>>>> roger malina  13.03.10 13.45 Uhr >>>
>>> 
>>>>>> Rick
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Look forward to seeing the book. Re the Open Museum discussion,
>>> 
>>>>>> i recently posted my Open Observatory manifesto
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> http://www.leoalmanac.org/index.php/lea/entry/an_open_observatory_manifesto/
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> I am heavily influenced here by my work as an astronomer over the >>> last
>>> 
>>>>>> thirty
>>> 
>>>>>> years. Thirty years ago astronomers viewed the data they took ( in >>> those
>>> 
>>>>>> days
>>> 
>>>>>> photographic plates) as their personal property and their careers >>> hinged
>>> 
>>>>>> on
>>> 
>>>>>> their
>>> 
>>>>>> controlling this data ( and their students careers depended on their
>>> 
>>>>>> access
>>> 
>>>>>> to their
>>> 
>>>>>> professors data). Today NASA and NSF now have a contractual >>> stipulation
>>> 
>>>>>> that
>>> 
>>>>>> all data
>>> 
>>>>>> funded by NASA must be made publically available= its funded by >>> public
>>> 
>>>>>> money
>>> 
>>>>>> so the public has a right to access it. This has led to a scientific
>>> 
>>>>>> revolution in
>>> 
>>>>>> astronomy= more science is now done on the hubble data archive, than
>>> 
>>>>>> with
>>> 
>>>>>> new observations= and more science is done by other people than by >>> the
>>> 
>>>>>> astronomers who took the data. The international virtual observatory
>>> 
>>>>>> movement
>>> 
>>>>>> has generalised this and there are now shared data analysis tools >>> that
>>> 
>>>>>> are
>>> 
>>>>>> open sourced.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> This open data is still not the case in many fields of science even
>>> 
>>>>>> though
>>> 
>>>>>> the data was funded by public monies, but its a growing trend >>> (even in
>>> 
>>>>>> the
>>> 
>>>>>> genome project). And indeed
>>> 
>>>>>> the model is that the scientist is funded up front to take the >>> data, and
>>> 
>>>>>> then
>>> 
>>>>>> its open sourced. In the humanities its still not the case often= >>> and
>>> 
>>>>>> access
>>> 
>>>>>> to collections is tightly controlled ( cf the ongoing debate about >>> the
>>> 
>>>>>> dead
>>> 
>>>>>> sea
>>> 
>>>>>> scrolls..)
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> So a first piece of your open museum proposal could simply be that
>>> 
>>>>>> any work commissioned using public monies must be open sourced
>>> 
>>>>>> on the ideological basis that the public paid for it so they have a
>>> 
>>>>>> right
>>> 
>>>>>> to it. And indeed the artist is paid up front ( just as the >>> scientist is
>>> 
>>>>>> paid
>>> 
>>>>>> up front)
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> This approach obviously ignores the fact that in art ( as opposed to
>>> 
>>>>>> science)
>>> 
>>>>>> a lot of the art economy depends on speculation and that a small >>> tiny
>>> 
>>>>>> fraction
>>> 
>>>>>> of artists get very rich because the intellectual property can be
>>> 
>>>>>> controlled
>>> 
>>>>>> and
>>> 
>>>>>> monetarised in speculation. I guess in science the equivalent is >>> that a
>>> 
>>>>>> few
>>> 
>>>>>> scientists have benefited from very lucrative patents that they have
>>> 
>>>>>> filed-
>>> 
>>>>>> which are not so much speculative but are market driven. Patents >>> that
>>> 
>>>>>> result
>>> 
>>>>>> from government funding are tightly regulated, with the inventor >>> and the
>>> 
>>>>>> institutions
>>> 
>>>>>> getting their share.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> nd in the book edited by Ghosh in the leonardo book series
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> http://leonardo.info/isast/leobooks/books/ghosh.html
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> Open source software is considered by many to be a novelty and the >>> open
>>> 
>>>>>> source movement a revolution. Yet the collaborative creation of
>>> 
>>>>>> knowledge
>>> 
>>>>>> has gone on for as long as humans have been able to communicate. >>> CODE
>>> 
>>>>>> looks
>>> 
>>>>>> at the collaborative model of creativity -- with examples ranging >>> from
>>> 
>>>>>> collective ownership in indigenous societies to free software, >>> academic
>>> 
>>>>>> science, and the human genome project -- and finds it an >>> alternative to
>>> 
>>>>>> proprietary frameworks for creativity based on strong intellectual
>>> 
>>>>>> property
>>> 
>>>>>> rights.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> the museum issue is tangentially addressed
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> roger
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> On Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 11:59 PM, Richard Rinehart wrote:
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> Hello again New-Media-Curating,
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> In addition to the other mischief we like to cause individually, >>>> Jon
>>> 
>>>>>>> Ippolito and I are co-authoring a book for MIT Press, due out >>>> Spring
>>> 
>>>>>> '11 on
>>> 
>>>>>>> collecting and preserving new media art .
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> I include below a brief excerpt from the book relevant to our
>>> 
>>>>>> discussion
>>> 
>>>>>>> this month on commissioning variable media art. In it, I'm >>>> proposing a
>>> 
>>>>>> new
>>> 
>>>>>>> model for an archive of new media art I call "the Open Museum" and
>>> 
>>>>>>> describing perhaps a new way that commissioning could be seen to
>>> 
>>>>>> function in
>>> 
>>>>>>> that.
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> I was originally inspired along these lines by the V2 arts
>>> 
>>>>>> organization in
>>> 
>>>>>>> Rotterdam that had a stipulation in which new media works >>>> commissioned
>>> 
>>>>>> for
>>> 
>>>>>>> their lab space must remain open-source within the lab space for
>>> 
>>>>>> future
>>> 
>>>>>>> commissioned artists. It got me thinking, why not take that great >>>> idea
>>> 
>>>>>> a
>>> 
>>>>>>> couple steps further.....
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> "Students, scholars, and the public can currently access images and
>>> 
>>>>>> records
>>> 
>>>>>>> *representations - of artworks held in museum collections, but they
>>> 
>>>>>> cannot
>>> 
>>>>>>> access the collections themselves. The Open Museum takes >>>> advantage of
>>> 
>>>>>> the
>>> 
>>>>>>> unique property of new media that allows one to share the original
>>> 
>>>>>> without
>>> 
>>>>>>> diminishing it. In the Open Museum, the source code and other files
>>> 
>>>>>> for
>>> 
>>>>>>> digital artworks from the collection are free for users to >>>> download,
>>> 
>>>>>> study,
>>> 
>>>>>>> use, and re-mix into new works. In this way, even the casual >>>> student
>>> 
>>>>>> can
>>> 
>>>>>>> peer under the hood and examine the inner workings of these >>>> artworks
>>> 
>>>>>> in the
>>> 
>>>>>>> way that previously only privileged scholars could with traditional
>>> 
>>>>>> material
>>> 
>>>>>>> collections. .......
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> Intellectual property law was created to balance the private need >>>> with
>>> 
>>>>>> the
>>> 
>>>>>>> public good. It grants authors and artists exclusive rights over >>>> their
>>> 
>>>>>> work
>>> 
>>>>>>> for a limited period (not a short period, sometimes 90 years >>>> after the
>>> 
>>>>>>> artists lifetime) after which the rights in the work move into the
>>> 
>>>>>> public
>>> 
>>>>>>> domain. The artist has time to find ways to earn a livelihood from
>>> 
>>>>>> their
>>> 
>>>>>>> work and this is seen as an incentive to create in the first place.
>>> 
>>>>>> Why
>>> 
>>>>>>> then, could not public museums act as stewards of the public good >>>> and
>>> 
>>>>>>> compensate the artist earlier rather than later by commissioning >>>> works
>>> 
>>>>>> for
>>> 
>>>>>>> the Open Museum, after which they apply Creative Commons licenses >>>> and
>>> 
>>>>>>> release the work to the public. The museum would earn their >>>> renown not
>>> 
>>>>>> for
>>> 
>>>>>>> the quality of art they obtain in exclusivity, but for the art they
>>> 
>>>>>> obtain
>>> 
>>>>>>> and then give away. The artist gets money up front and still owns
>>> 
>>>>>> their
>>> 
>>>>>>> work. And the public is served by waiting months rather than >>>> decades
>>> 
>>>>>> to gain
>>> 
>>>>>>> access and rights to use the work in question."
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> Two more items.
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> Within the Berkeley Art Museum's net art portal, we were able to
>>> 
>>>>>> include
>>> 
>>>>>>> *some* of the function of the Open Museum - an open-source net art
>>> 
>>>>>> archive.
>>> 
>>>>>>> Call it a baby step.
>>> 
>>>>>>> (see http://netart.bampfa.berkeley.edu and scroll down to >>>> NetArtchive)
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> An earlier post to this list (from Leigh I believe; I lost the >>>> email),
>>> 
>>>>>>> outlined how public institutions in Scotland are now using their
>>> 
>>>>>> muscle to
>>> 
>>>>>>> gain IP rights in works they commission. While public art funding >>>> and
>>> 
>>>>>> IP are
>>> 
>>>>>>> quite different between the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere, I >>>> wonder if
>>> 
>>>>>> the
>>> 
>>>>>>> Open Museum provides a more positive spin on how public >>>> institutions
>>> 
>>>>>> could
>>> 
>>>>>>> partner with artists with regard to the disposition of IP in
>>> 
>>>>>> commissioned
>>> 
>>>>>>> works - or - is the Open Museum just another step toward big >>>> brother
>>> 
>>>>>> taking
>>> 
>>>>>>> everything?
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> What do you all think? What are the ways in which commissioning new
>>> 
>>>>>> media
>>> 
>>>>>>> *could* work in addition to how it already works? What are your
>>> 
>>>>>> dreams?
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>>> Richard Rinehart
>>> 
>>>>>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>>>>>> Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
>>> 
>>>>>>> Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
>>> 
>>>>>>> bampfa.berkeley.edu
>>> 
>>>>>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>>>>>> University of California, Berkeley
>>> 
>>>>>>> ---------------
>>> 
>>>>>>> 2625 Durant Ave.
>>> 
>>>>>>> Berkeley, CA, 94720-2250
>>> 
>>>>>>> ph.510.642.5240
>>> 
>>>>>>> fx.510.642.5269
>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> -- 
>>> 
>>>>>> Roger Malina is in France at this time
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> I
>>> 
>>>>>> 011  33 (0) 6 15 79 59 26
>>> 
>>>>>> or         (0) 6 80 45 94 47
>>> 
>>>>>> Roger Malina is acting Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de
>>> 
>>>>>> Marseille Provence and Executive Editor of the Leonardo >>> Publications at
>>> 
>>>>>> MIT
>>> 
>>>>>> Press and member of the steering committee of IMERA the >>> Mediterranean
>>> 
>>>>>> Institute for Advanced Studies.
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>> 
>>>>> Roger Malina is in France at this time
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>>>> I
>>> 
>>>>> 011  33 (0) 6 15 79 59 26
>>> 
>>>>> or         (0) 6 80 45 94 47
>>> 
>>>>> Roger Malina is acting Director of the Observatoire Astronomique de
>>> 
>>>>> Marseille Provence and Executive Editor of the Leonardo >> Publications at
>>> 
>>> MIT
>>> 
>>>>> Press and member of the steering committee of IMERA the Mediterranean
>>> 
>>>>> Institute for Advanced Studies.
>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number
>>> 
>>> SC009201
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number
>>> SC009201
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
> 

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