David Gryn blog

Daata Editions by Courtney Malick

In Art, artists, Daata, Daata Editions, David Gryn, Empower, Freieze, Moving Image, NADA, New York, NYC, Sound, Video on 01/06/2015 at 1:11 pm

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DAATA EDITIONS LAUNCH – A REFLECTION

by Courtney Malick

Perhaps one of the most difficult merges to successfully forge within contemporary art is between the curatorial and the commercial. Often when we seek to place what, from a curatorial perspective, seem to be productive frameworks around a grouping of artists, their work, and the ideas that they share, we lose the quality of broad universalism and “timelessness” that collectors may seek in new acquisitions to the margins of site-specificity and the binds of “context.” What makes malleable and unique projects such as Daata Editions stand out in their attempt at the pairing of these two supposedly adverse spectrums, that of the curatorial and that of the commercial, is its specific interest in artists whose work yields to the diverse but nonetheless pre-framed, non-site of the Internet. Furthermore, as both a curatorial and commercial project that is presenting new and commissioned works in video, new media and sound, Daata Editions is able to set certain guidelines beforehand, which allows visitors to the site and potential collectors of the works available there, a levelled playing field. In this way the sometimes fussy issue of context, from a curatorial standpoint, can be seen as a benefit rather than a constraint, which thus furthers the meaning of the works in question.

This platform is particularly exciting to see emerging right now, as so many younger artists, including all of those whose work appears in the first iteration of Daata Editions that launched at NADA New York in May 2015, are working in ways that resist traditional modes of exhibition, reception and therefore of collecting as well. It is important that while we continue to find new artists whose work pushes the definition of contemporary art, that there are also ever developing formats through which such work can be accessed and best understood. Older, conventional formats often found within the white cube, in which paintings are still hung on white walls and sculptures still meticulously placed on white pedestals, need not be replaced, so long as alternate avenues through which to engage with art and the complex ideas that it generates, continues to expand along with the work itself – such is clearly the admirable aim of Daata Editions. Contrary to the well trodden paths canonized by the white cube, artists such as Ed Fornieles, Jon Rafman, Amalia Ullman and the many others that Daata Editions commissioned work from, all of whom are still in relatively early stages of their practices, are specifically trouble-shooting, so to speak, in order to produce work that operates on other levels that exist in various realms including on the internet, within mobile social media systems, as apps, and generally as circuit-driven pieces of a much larger whole, as opposed to creating singular, physically tangible works that stand on their own or make one digestible statement.

For example, Ullman’s video, White Flag Emoji 1 (2015), utilizes Youtube clips and a security camera system called Dropcam and is set in various Airbnb apartments. In this way, while the work itself manifests as a singular video, its contents are fragmented and reference the online world, in its similarly fractured and link-driven nature. Such complex work still finds itself in galleries and museums, but it is most at home online, where it exists within a broader milieu and where its potential audience and collector-base can continue to grow and grow over time. Daata Editions also allows for a new generation of collectors, by commissioning works that exist within a larger edition range and are thus more affordable than most work of any media that is found and acquired through commercial galleries.

It is clear that Daata Editions allows for many new ways to think about collecting video, sound and new media art, and this exciting turn is also extended with the project’s intermittent interjections into art fairs, such as their recent collaboration with NADA New York. Though Daata Editions home base will remain online, where it has the ability to seep most easily into more and more visual and discursive outlets where its commissioned works can be seen, partnering with other commercial organizations such as NADA and Frieze among others, continues to promote their curatorial agenda and at the same time allows more potential collectors to consider new strategies for collecting editioned and digitized artworks. The more Daata Editions spreads this new methodology both online and through ongoing collaboration with various exhibition and commercially oriented organizations, the more the project’s core model will mirror the nature of the work it presents, which functions on various levels simultaneously. It is this through-line between work and methodology that makes the project especially compelling to watch as it continues to unfold.

Text taken from the Foreward at Daata Editions https://daata-editions.com/info/foreword

Courtney Malick website http://courtneymalick.com/

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