Media Art, Commons and Artificial Scarcity
Venue:Stockholm School of Economics
Media Art, Commons and Artificial Scarcity In a market-oriented art, the role of artists and art works is to operate in speculative environments where artists hope that with the help of institutional art and independent financiers their art works would enter the spiral of financial speculation and potentially elevate the prices of it. In the realm of reproductive art this speculation was difficult task since the very fact that there is an abundance automatically diminished exchange value. Therefore whole legal system reoriented itself towards creation of artificial scarcity, both in culture industry but also in different niches of contemporary art. During the 80s, in the West, it was normal that video artists limit the number of available copies in order to keep the price relatively high. This model (called limited editions) continues to exist until today, but in the network social conditions, this model appears to be highly controversial, because it is based on limitation of resources instead of sharing of resources, an imperative of network society. How can we avoid artificial scarcity and prohibition of access in the network society and in the same time organize new economies of the commons so that authors are still being rewarded for their work? If everything is free and in abundance, what would be the motivation for production? The paper will present several models of these relations with several historical and contemporary examples in art that are dealing with the dilemmas of abundance and scarcity. Special focus will be on differences between the West and the East (East meaning ex-socialist and post-socialist Europe) in this context.
Kristian Lukić (Bratislava/Novi Sad) is writer, artist and curator. He is cofounder of Institute for Flexible Cultures and Technologies – Napon in Novi Sad, Serbia. He teaches Theories of Network Cultures at Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. Lukić was program editor in New Media Center_kuda.org from Novi Sad and curator for media practice in Museum for Contemporary Art Vojvodina in Novi Sad. He is also founder of Eastwood – Real Time Strategy Group that is dealing with the cultures and politics of digital games. Recently Lukić is being involved in the researches about machinic autonomies, and the realities and mythologies about contemporary machine agency. This is also done through a serious of events called “Autonomies”, which Institute Napon is organizing in the framework of Techno-ecologies EU Culture project.