Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Life Bytes as a gallery

Life Bytes has recently been described as an internet access resource. It can't really be an internet cafe as there is no coffee. There is a cafe next door though.

Now in a new phase there is a gallery aspect. During the time of the Exeter Autumn Festival there will be a display of inkjet prints by Jo Gedrich. The images will also be on the screens on Thursday evening as well as some short animations featuring the same characters appearing in the stills. Some of the compositions may appear to be based on photographs but are all created on the computer.

Over the last couple of year I have made various attempts to persuade Jo to visit Spacex and other galleries. I wondered what he would make of the Tim Brennan exhibit on "The North" for example. Spacex displayed the images as if watercolours though they started on a mobile phone digital camera. My question is about the distribution of digital art. The approach of a limited number of instances in a gallery seems to me to be from a different technology. Actually I have three questions about the effect of digital technology. How is the creative process changing? How is the promotion of events changing, for example what is given away online? And is there a business model? I do realise that just giving stuff away may not work out too well.

There seem to be two parts to the Jo Gedrych business model. Some prints are cheap, under £20 and available in unlimited quantities. There is inkjet kit at LifeBytes and production is not a problem. Another series is priced over £100 however, and these are unique. The inkjet applies each ink in a different run and although the elements of the image could be used again, the Photoshop file is destroyed after each completed print. Apparently Jo believes this contributes to "artistic validity". This is something I hope to discuss with him and others over the next few weeks. (I am on holiday during the Autumn festival but I think something will continue.) It appears that the computer file is the original. It can be viewed on a screen with light behind it in RGB. The CMYK print is not the original. So how can destroying the file enhance the value of the print? My guess is that the change in the business model for galleries may have further to go.

The model for volume sales of prints is based on Vladimir Tretchikoff. Prints are still available from the website at reasonable prices. Tretchikoff never got much credit from the critics but the sales of prints were in large volumes. This could be a way forward for digital art.

Some of the images are of an adult nature, "intended to provoke". This one is suitable for a public blog. There was an option of a larger size but only if there had been some words across it to stop piracy. This blog may contain other samples later. If the original is a watercolour I do not think the value of the original would be reduced. All link suggestions welcome.

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