Networked Art

Yak Wax (
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 13:08:39 -0700 (PDT)

A few years ago I had an idea for my very own work of art which I have
yet to act on. Commonly the value of art is directly associated with
its rarity. So I propose (assuming I'm not too late) a kind of
"Network Art" which increases in value when it increases in ubiquity
(like all good networks). I propose this as a sort of play on the
popular definition of what makes art "valuable" and a homage to the
network age.

The problem comes with putting this idea into practise. It would be
easy to network over the Internet and/or running it on a computer, but
I would rather it retain some ties with "traditional" works of art.
Even then it would have to work on the principle of some sort of value
adding interaction between each artwork, which is hard to implement.
(Although not impossible, and with it's own hardware and wireless
communications this method could work).

A simpler solution would be some sort of fractal that increases in
complexity with each new print, but I'm not sure that this constitutes
what I'm aiming for. Perhaps an algorithm to make each new artwork an
amalgamation of its ancestors would be coherent with the idea. But
I'm still not sure what "increased value" this would bring.

Possibly the most ambitious idea I've had to date are artworks that
distribute some property from their location to their copies. Perhaps
the resulting artwork could be an amalgamation of video and/or audio
input from all the places that copies are located. Or even more
ambitious could be the use of the physical senses, maybe a robotic
statue with "arms" that can be moved. These could be put in various
locations around the globe but directly linked, so that when a person
in France moves the "arm" in one direction she feels the force of a
person in Australia pushing the "arm" in the opposite direction.
However, I'd really like to make something far cheaper that could take
pride of place in anyone's home.

Has this sort of thing been tried before? Does anyone have any other
ideas of how to do this?

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