Thursday, June 30, 2005

Altered, Boy!

Speaking of adapting art to suit commodity models inherent in the gallery structure, Carlo Zanni as created Alterboy, essentially a white cube to house (and limit access to) web based works.


The Altarboy Oriana shown at Chelsea Museum in the show Passage of Mirage curated by Christiane Paul and Zhang Ga in the fall of 2004.
While many digital works can be stored and loaded from a CD or DVD, Net works need to stay online. So basically many issues and questions rise from that status the first one being: how can I own something that needs to stay public to ‘exist’?... I wanted to find a neutral and very customable model, something characterized by a ‘primordial asset’. So I came up with the idea to sell a server directly, a small personal server. In this way it is up to the collector to decide when and where to put the work online, allowing the network to start again and viewers to visit/interact with it.
While Zanni states that this new acquisition tool doesn't alter the nature of the work, I disagree. Altarboy changes the work by taking it out of the public realm. These new (anti)Net works can now be sequestered in the collection vaults of galleries and the homes of the wealthy at the expense of artistic information sharing.

It's true that net artists don't have to sell their works to collectors but, as this proprietorship idea advances, prices for the work may well go up and who doesn't want to make money?

Can you imagine? Websites sans web, housed in privately owned repositories, presided over by Art Monks.

25 Comments:

Blogger Devlon said...

It would be like an implosion of what the web has evolved to be.

The only way to access that one site is to see it and touch it but it is a connected object.

That's pretty cool.

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anne,

i disagree with your read on this issue. why can't collectors own the work and the server it is on? i like the idea that the collector can choose to release the work into the public realm.

i think you place too much weight in the notion of democracy on the web. what is the nature of this piece? does it rely on interaction to exist or is it web reliant because it needs a digital interface in order to unfold in a time-based manner of say a video or director piece?

these are some knee-jerk reactions. i'm a little bit surpised.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

hello "anonymous",

my interest is in work that is public and accessible and the idea of owning web based work, to me, is counterintuitive. the web is based on, well, a web of information exchange.

a private server removes the work from the web. therefore, it is no longer a web based project.

my argument is that Alterboy alters the work by removing it from it's original context.

i'm sure that works will now be created specifically for private ownership. this is an instance of adapting the work to suit the gallery structure - something that i have been thinking about in relation to video and vlogging.

i would argue that i am not having a "knee jerk reaction" but am following a direct line of inquiry.

thanks for the comment.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Devlon said...

I thought this piece/concept was 'cool' only from a 'shift' point of view. I found it interesting that as the Internet tries to expand and reach more, there was parts of it that were being viewable by users that were in the same physical location...a direct contridiction to what the Internet has become....it was an interesting concept.

...what I didn't see and was naive to, was the concept of art as a commodity...which is very wrong...not 'cool'. After a few discussions with A (who feels very strongly about this obviously) I see how this restrictive this movement could be/is. Especially after being able to use the Internet as 'public domain'.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anne,

on further consideration i see your point but i still don't totally agree. the privately owned server may be used to release the work onto the web for an unspecified amount of time. it may also be used as a repository of information while the work was 'live'. it creates a slice of the work and highlights the temporal aspect of web based work. it is free to disappear. there is choice. i like that.

open and public works are all well and good but they are not the only model, nor should they be. artworks pass from public to private realms all the time. it is the nature of the business. video and performance artists experienced this problem in the 70s with the documentation of their work becoming the art object for consumption and sale.

side note: in respect to video and vlogging, will the new landscape made possible for artist's video online help to cause the medium to move into a further MTV-like format ie. short snappy pieces that are easily downloaded, streamed and skipped over.

is there any room for longer, durational video pieces on the web. if not, are these pieces limited to the gallery system? and if so, how do you feel about this?

8:46 AM  
Blogger Anne Walk said...

it's the nature of net art to be on the web. Alterboy alters the nature of the work. that is my point. it alters the nature of the work to accomodate the nature of the gallery struture.

there is a difference between something that is created for the web and something that is created for the gallery or other forum. vlogs are videos made specifically for the web. they are a new genre of videomaking. i am interested in this new genre.

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