Hello! Get ready for a really weird thread! Ok?
I'm not really fammiliar with a lot of art (painting I mean), and I don't consider myself knowledgable to that area. Still over the past few months I happened to run across a few art galleries in the uk! Some amazing stuff, most of them somewhat cheap (around £500 let's say), and a few which were around £12,000 (double the prices to get $!)
Now, the main difference between the two was that the cheap ones were signed copies (of... 200, or 100, or even 20), while the expensive ones were... originals. I found that rather interesting and... a bit of cheating really.
For me art, by default, has the uniquenes embedded on it. Even if you photograph a painting, the art remains with the painting and not the photograph. If you get the artist to create a number of copies are you not bypassing this very idea?
I imagine that this is done for commercial reasons, purely. A painting worth £10,000 is difficult to get sold, but 20 paintings worth £500 seem quite easier. At least in a utopian world who cares about art, but let's not get into that.
Several of these signed copies, had the same (or very simmilar technique): They got printed on a canvas (inject? Something else? There are printers who do that and I know people who have such printers) and then they added the signature. So... big deal! Some of them, went a more hybrid way and painted on top of the printed canvas to, still, create a unique copy, even if very simmilar to the other... 99 (for example). In the past this has also been done (Dali for example), by various methods, which also defined the technique however and once the prototype was destroyed there would be no more copies...
All the above seem to be borrowing 'values' from music I find. A painting by default holds its value exactly because it remains in a building/house/museum and only those people are able to taste the full glory. On the opposite music is being expressed as much as possible and vinyl/tapes/CDs/DVDs are making it possible for everyone to get the absolutely same feeling (to an extend, ok...). Even scores are almost freely distributed (if you bypass the bastards publishers...) and you can redo the art (music piece) yourself.
So, time for questions...
1. How do you feel with the idea of signed copies?
2. If art is borrowing ideas from music, why not have music get ideas from art then?
1. I find that it is a bit cheating, a bit back stabbing the essense of art, although I see the point in this!
2. I think that this is been done before: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_for_Supermarkets . Jean Michel Jarre created this record to play on a gallery, created a single copy, destroyed the prototypes and sold the one copy (vinyl at that time).
What is most interesting is that JMJ himself, right after selling the album, he went on an AM radio station and played the whole record, starting with the words "pirate me". Now this is quite a unique way of things, since AM stations have awful quality and the copies from that radio station do exist! On torrents! For free! With JMJ blessing! But quality remains awful (I have the album).
My other idea is that music has, by definition, the very same function as art: Concerts!
When you go to a concert you're effectively experiencing something unique! Something that only the people attending the concert will experience. And this experience, no matter the technology cannot be captured. Even a DVD of that concert is nothing compaired to the real thing. So this, by default is providing the uniqueness in music.
But how would one go about creating digital (or analogue) copies which use that uniqueness? Thus giving a different (higher) value to a single piece of music? Bypassing publishers, sponsors, etc, directly to the audience?
Thank you for reading this long thread, I hope it made a bit of sense, and hope this will be a fruitful discussion!