Andreas Broeckmann on Wed, 2 Jun 1999 09:57:38 +0100

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Syndicate: competition - CALL FOR PAPER

Date: Wed, 02 Jun 1999 08:24:37 +0200
From: teo <>




[Concept and Background]

In the environment of the relatively young and rapidly evolving cultural
economy of the net, the field is wide open for artistic and critical
interventions in the commercialization of digital communications. Following
the line of investigation of institutional critique developed by
conceptual, performance and installation artists, we seek to encourage art
projects which incorporate critical reflection upon their place within the
art market and the broader cultural economy.

The current competition is an outgrowth of the forum ( ) organized by Teo Spiller for the 5th
International Festival of Computer Arts in Maribor Slovenia in 1999. The
forum consisted of a month-long online discussion of commerce and
negotiations over the sale of Spiller?s recent online artwork "Megatronix"
( ), culminating with a live panel
discussion at the festival in Maribor

During the forum Brian Goldfarb opened a discussion of alternative schemes
for the support of to the sale of discreet art (see below).
Participants in the forum discussed connections between the current dilemma
of collecting and preserving net-based and the problems posed by
the ephemeral art of the past few decades (conceptual art, performance art,
earthworks, etc). An outgrowth of these changes in art has been the
development of new strategies for the support of art which follow models
drawn on the one hand from the service sector of the economy and on the
other hand from advertising and promotion strategies.

The current competition is an effort to facilitate and showcase efforts to
critically engage with the transformation of the art market in the age of
digital distribution. The advent of the new millennium promises to bring
with it an unprecedented and pervasive extension of commodification to all
areas of existence, even those spurious and immaterial spaces that seemed
to evade economics in the pre-digital age. As monolithic as this global
expansion of the principals of western economic and cultural imperialism
appears, it none-the-less contains fissures and internal contradictions
that invite creative and critical intervention that is the essence of art.


Work must incorporate at least one money-earning mechanism, such as the
hosting of a commercial banner or other economic scheme to prostitute their
work. They could for example make their own in the form of a banner
on a commercial site for which they have been commissioned. Or perhaps
their site could be supported by a commercial entity that pays for some
form of affiliation with the artist?s site. In any case, the jury will base
its decision equally upon the aesthetic qualities of the art and the
creative conception of its relation to its commercial prostitution.

The site must be operational throughout the period of the competition.
Documentation of income/revenue generated as well as modification of the
site in reaction to the sponsors will be considered in the judging process.

Aside from the awards for projects demonstrating the best overall
aesthetic/conceptual qualities, additional honors will be given to projects
1) earn the most revenue
2) develop the most innovative scheme for earning income.

Deadline for submissions is November 24, 1999; however, since significant
consideration will be given to the length of time each work has been
functioning economically, early submissions are strongly encouraged.
Applicants will be asked to provide documentation of the project?s revenue
by December 26th. Applicants may submit up to six projects, however
multiple submissions must be spaced at least one month apart. A peer-review
panel composed of an international selection of digital artists, curators,
and political economists will judge the works. Awards will be presented in
Ljubljana in the first few days of the new Millennium.

Brian Boldfarb: new artistic economy

"It seems to me that it may be becoming a bit anachronistic to be
considering the dilemma of selling whole discrete (and
lasting/permanent)objects when talking about The transformation of
the global cultural and broader economy during the latter part of this
century seem to point in the direction of transactions that are fragmented
and fleeting.

The banner ad proposal seems to me more significant at this point that the
attempt to come up with complex terms for preserving and
exhibiting Megatronix into the distant future. The banner advertisement
proposes one of many new positions for artistic creation within the digital
economy. As Dick Serra's early video work "Television Delivers People"
suggests, an economy has evolved around electronic media where the work
becomes a means for selling access to people (audiences). Serra's video
addressed the viewer with statements something like "television sells you."
Following this model creative works become an extension of the medium and
in so far as they are design as a means to get at people.

With the evolution of the net this has increasingly implied a means to get
at a fragment of the population for a fragment of their time.
The value of net.artists to their new patrons might be found in their
unique ability to narrowcast to a specific niche, or to deliver information
back to them about specific thoughts, desires, and motivations of those who
encounter the work.

While there will certainly be collectors and artists who will attempt to
sell discrete works according to the model of durable objects,
there is a whole new apparatus for artistic sponsorship displacing it. As
with conceptual art, there will certainly be attempts to sell
and preserve the work via its artifacts. But I would propose that the real could hardly exist outside of fleeting time. Megatronix
is a good example of this. It is dependent on the life of the net--other
collaborators and a community of users. As computing and
communications evolve, and old formats die--either the work gets updated or
it is preserved in a manner that isolates it form the
global network."


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