How the internet is changing art

I often blog about how the internet is changing how we create and experience art works. I came across an interesting video the other day by PBS Arts: Off Book that takes a look at how three Internet based companies (KickstarterCreative Commons, and The Creators Project) are helping artists fund their project and gain recognition and audience for their work.

The key messages from the video are:

  • Kickstarter is a distinct project that helps artists find funding and build an audience. Projects have gone on to get book deals, be displayed in Whitney Museum, receive Oscar nominations, be selected for the Sundance Festival and SXSW. Work funded on Kickstarter is not just limited to novelty internet creations but work that has gone on to have cultural significance.
  • Creative Commons is a non profit corporation that makes it simple for artists to choose the freedoms that their creativity can carry. In a digital world many are not looking to profit from their work and don’t care about copyright. Creative Commons tries to bridge the gap between copyrighted and public domain so that those that create art for the love of it, can still gain value through attribution.
  • The Creators Project aims to enable artists that create physical art works and art experiences to digitise and share that work online with the internet community. Brining together the original creator’s content with fan submitted images, stories and remixed/inspired work, it allows these art pieces to live on beyond the original event.

(via Laughing Squid)

You can visit the featured sites here:

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Everything is a Remix: How Creativity Begins With Copying

I came across this documentary on PetaPixel yesterday and thought I would share it. Everything is a Remix is a short film by Kirby Ferguson that puts forward the idea that most things we celebrate as original and creative are based on previous work by others. Kirby presents a fascinating argument backed up by some convincing evidence and then goes on to describe how the original motivations of intellectual property mixed with human nature have lead us to the litigious world we now live in that stifles creativity.

It is an excellent documentary that is well worth watching.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

If you enjoyed watching that, you can also support Kirby’s next project “This is not a Conspiracy Theory” on Kickstarter.

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A manifesto for creatives, 17 rules that keep you on the path of creativity

All good art movements have had a manifesto, they are normally linked to a small group of artists with a like minded approach to their work.  Manifestos can help to define a genre but more than that they can keep you focused and set constraints that promote creativity.

I was looking for a photographer’s manifesto and came across one that Italian photographer, Sara Lando, recently published on Tracy Zhang’s blog. It is a high level easy to read manifesto which she “wrote down in one of my moleskins in 2005 as a half-joke and crazily enough I still live by them” and “Every time something went wrong for me I can track it back to ignoring one of these points.”. I have published her points below as they really resonate with me and so I have decided to take these on myself.

1. You don’t need to tell the truth in a picture, but you need to be true to yourself when you shoot it.
2. Take pictures because you have something to say and not because you want others to say something to you.
3. Technique is just a tool. Everything that floats the boat is valid.
4. Never publish a picture you’d be ashamed to show your family.
5. Don’t let bad critiques take you down, but be lucid enough to see the truth in them.
6. You are allowed to make mistakes.
7. No bullshit. Dig deeper.
8. Take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that stuff. This doesn’t mean you’re allowed to stop when things get difficult.
9. Learn something new every day.
10. Don’t be scared to start something you don’t know how to do (yet).
11. Don’t sell your work to someone you have no respect for.
12. Stay independent. What you do is meant to keep you sane, not to make you rich.
13. Learn from other people’s work.
14. Have fun. You always find a way, even when you think you won’t.
15. Remember to laugh.
16. Help those who are starting out. Nothing you do is precious enough to be kept hidden: the real value is in the way you do it.
17. Don’t kill yourself. Might look good in a biography, but it’s not very clever.

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When is the right time to exhibit your art online?

“I had a very strong belief — I still do — that the act of going public is a very important decision. Everything you do from the point when you go public is part of the public record and is out there and you cannot get it back. Anything before the time when you go public is nobody’s business, and you don’t have to talk about it, you don’t have to show it, you’re not responsible, you can destroy it all, or whatever.”-Chuck Close

Chuck raises an excellent point here. In this day and age, where sharing our work is not only easy, but practically free, we are encouraged to expose our work while still learning or in art school. Could we actually be stifling our own innovation? It is an interesting point of view to consider. If you gain a little success now, could you be forced to find a personal style too early and in the long run miss out on developing into a greater artist?

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Pinning the tail on Picasso’s donkey. Is it still your art, if someone adapts it?

“It’s like adding a tail onto an animal painted by Picasso. It’s ridiculous”– Sir Anthony Caro

Last week ARTINFO reported that Sir Anthony Caro was caught up in an arguement with auction house bonhams over a sculpture of his, that had been modified by the purchaser but was being sold as his work. Disowning the work, he stated “It’s a very bad thing for artists to know that the work can be destroyed or changed and that they have no recourse. They should be able to say: look, this is not my work.”

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