Tuesday 2 April 2024

The Illusion of Ownership: Digital Art's Existential Quandary

 You can't buy my art. It doesn't exist.

In a world where physical ownership is often equated with value, the realm of digital art poses a fascinating paradox—it exists, yet doesn't exist in the traditional sense. Schrödinger's art if you will. Unlike tangible artworks that occupy physical space, digital art challenges our notions of ownership and tangibility.

The essence of art lies in its ability to evoke emotions, provoke thoughts, and challenge perceptions. However, digital art blurs the lines between the tangible and the intangible. It resides in the digital ether, accessible with a click, yet elusive in its formlessness.

While we can admire digital art on screens, share it with others, and even purchase digital copies*, the notion of ownership becomes nebulous. Unlike a physical painting or sculpture that we can possess, display, and pass down through generations, digital art exists in a realm where replication is effortless, and originality is often questioned. This is what I so love about it. Art as a commodity is just bollocks.

The concept of scarcity, which underpins the value of many physical artworks, loses its footing in the digital domain. With the ease of duplication and distribution, the scarcity that drives traditional art markets is diluted, challenging the conventional mechanisms of valuation.

Moreover, the intangible nature of digital art raises questions about authenticity and authorship. In a world where digital manipulation is commonplace, distinguishing between an original work and a reproduction becomes increasingly complex.

Yet, despite these challenges, the allure of digital art persists. Its fluidity allows for experimentation, collaboration, and democratisation of artistic expression. Artists can transcend geographical boundaries, reach global audiences, and engage in dynamic interactions with their viewers.

Ultimately, the paradox of digital art lies in its ephemeral nature—it exists in the digital realm, yet its impact transcends screens and pixels. While we may not be able to possess digital art in the traditional sense, its influence on our culture, creativity, and imagination is undeniable.

In embracing digital art, we confront the evolution of artistic expression and redefine our relationship with the intangible. As we navigate this ever-changing landscape, we are reminded that the true essence of art lies not in its physical form, but in the emotions and ideas it inspires. It is the ultimate art!

I actually like the fact that my art does not exist. I like that it can only ever be printed as a copy if, for some reason, a physical copy needs to be displayed. I gave up trying to sell my art quite a while ago. I found the whole process of trying to hawk my wares to be a pain in the arse. Now I just make my art and if people get something out of it then that's good. If not then it doesn't greatly matter. Not being an artmonger is quite liberating.

*I realise that there'll be some knobhead who will probably mention NFTs and all I would say to that is please do fuck off.

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