SELLING THE GIFT

Two halves make a whole: The project SELLING THE GIFT consists of two interwoven strands of work.

One part called THE GIFT is an opulently visual and visually stunning narrative about the beginnings of the digital capitalist spectacle.
The other part SELLING THE NET is a strictly conceptual part, which reflects and thinks further on value, devaluation, speculation and production under digitized production conditions.

THE GIFT

A series of currently 9 opulent collages, all of which are presented online on their own websites and are available for download.

SELLING THE NET

Conceptual art meets minimal art meets happening meets economy. A kind of artistic game with added value, devaluation and speculation based on digital originals, copies and unique items.

CONFIGURATIONS (FORMS OF PRESENTATION AND CHARACTERISTICS)

Since there are no originals, the work remains formally open and not limited. Over the years, there were always new variants of the presentation, the so-called configurations.

Ilona Koglin about sellingthe.net in the magazin Page in 09/2008

Original or copy is the crucial question for art collectors – but what happens when digital art is with this categorization? The project Sellingthe.net has made the infinite reproducibility of the digital artwork

When the screen becomes the screen and a pixel to the color, the question arises – at least in the visual art – the question of original and copy. What would the Louvre be without Mona Lisa and what Sotheby’s without the spectacular prices for the originals of Munch, Van Gogh or Monet? What has never been a topic in music or literature, with the Beaux Arts with photography and at the latest with digital art, became an identity crisis: What does a copy in these new genres actually different from a copy?
As long as canvas and brush in the game, the answer is clear: no printing method can give the color intensity, brush swing or the signs of wear of an original one to one again. That makes these works too much valuable pieces. In contrast, digital works of art can be duplicated in original quality in extreme cases, as there are screens on this earth. „The principle of the shortage can be given without loss in this case. It artificial, for example by defined conditions, to introduce again makes from artistic point of view no sense at all – of course, that is different from the economic point of view, „says multimedia artist Florian Kuhlmann.

He himself printed out his digitally created artworks first to present them in galleries and museums. „It became more clearly clearer that the origin of the images from the universal machine computer as an important reference point just belong to the work – that the screen is the screen and the many small figures I collect in the network, the colors,“ said Kuhlmann. So he first went over to exhibit his work on small displays and to open a separate web domain for each artwork, which continued as a digital screen. Then he organized the completely digital exhibition „My Multiple Hybrid Spaces“ in Second Life, whose vernissage was also part of a group exhibition in the Zeche Zollverein group exhibition in the form of a multimedia installation. With the digitization of his work, however, he asked him: what is the original here, so you actually buy: the manufacturing process or the signature?

When the screen becomes the screen and a pixel to the color, the question arises – at least in the visual art – the question of original and copy. What would the Louvre be without Mona Lisa and what Sotheby’s without the spectacular prices for the originals of Munch, Van Gogh or Monet? What has never been a topic in music or literature, with the Beaux Arts with photography and at the latest with digital art, became an identity crisis: What does a copy in these new genres actually different from a copy?
As long as canvas and brush in the game, the answer is clear: no printing method can give the color intensity, brush swing or the signs of wear of an original one to one again. That makes these works too much valuable pieces. In contrast, digital works of art can be duplicated in original quality in extreme cases, as there are screens on this earth. „The principle of the shortage can be given without loss in this case. It artificial, for example by defined conditions, to introduce again makes from artistic point of view no sense at all – of course, that is different from the economic point of view, „says multimedia artist Florian Kuhlmann.

With the art project Sellingthe.net Kuhlmann now addresses the question of original, unique and copy directly. On the one hand, of course, because his website exhibited artworks are basically a remix of works of others and he in turn provides them under the Creative Commen license for free processing. „That’s basically a game with the infinite reproducibility of material from the Internet,“ he explains. Thus, he first records the discussion that is rebed with the web around the copyrights of images, music pieces, films and texts and closes the so-called copyleft movement. This – shortened – said – an open deal with copyright rights, by waiving musicians, photographers, artists and authors under certain conditions for part of their rights (see also de.creativecommons.org).

On the other hand, Kuhlmann deals with Sellingthe.net also the art market mechanisms and its speculation, which is based on the myth of the original artwork. Because who is on a unique – ie an artificially aknowledged specimen of a limited series – has to pay: and the product from the underlying (1000) and the factor of two high serial number. „Sellingthe.net is open on one side, because everyone can download and print out the originals for free. On the other hand, it is elitist because it can theoretically lead through the built-in price mechanism to extremely high prices for unique pieces, „explains Kuhlmann.

At the same time, Kuhlmann makes the buyer to the Co-Author: An original becomes unique according to buying regulations, only then when the buyer has determined and signed the artwork. If another unique is sold from the same series, the previous buyer gets his money back. Whether this art savings happening is adopted by the audience is of course questionable. At any rate, Kuhlmann himself does not currently use spectacular profits. „I think that’s similar to the video art: no one does not buy a DVD with a copy of the movie because he then has a unique home – but because he wants to support the artist and his work,“ says Kuhlmann. For many artists, this is likely to be an existential hook. For several art lovers without speculation ambitions perhaps the reassuring idea that digital art is thus the last, almost commercial spot of our yet pretty profitable art world.