THE WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL REPRODUCTION
More in today’s New York Times that’s worth noting: Alice Pfeiffer’s piece on how the art world is dealing with digital art creation and sales. Again, much of the most interesting thought about these issues is happening outside of the film world.
The speed of change in electronic technology, the disconnect between data storage and display and the virtual nature of digital imagery raise difficult questions: how to tell genuine from fake or copy; how to create and protect uniqueness; and how to protect a work against technological obsolescence.
Video art, for example, is typically sold as a limited-edition DVD, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. This, he said, “gives the buyer a sense of purchasing an unfinished piece,” since display requires the installation of a DVD player and a screen.
One solution is to incorporate the display technology into the artwork, as in “Holiday Movies” by the French artist duo Kolkoz, in which 3-D films inspired by home-made vacation movies are installed in a replica of a TV set that acts as a viewing station. The film plays in a loop and can be paused by the viewer using a remote control, like a regular film.
The involvement of the gallery is itself a significant element in reassuring buyers. “We sell digital prints and videos through the same time-tested way dealers have sold anything new — by standing behind the work and putting our reputation on the line in declaring it worth purchasing,” [gallerist Edward Winkleman] said.