David Gryn blog

Loreta Lamargese text on Daata Editions

In Art, Art Basel, Art Fair, Chloe Wise, Daata, Digital, Frieze, Gryn, Hammer, NADA, Online, Rafman, Sound, Stoschek, Video, Zabludowicz on 19/10/2015 at 10:54 am
Chloe Wise, should I add an emoji, 2015 (courtesy the artist and Daata Editions)

Chloe Wise, should I add an emoji, 2015 (courtesy the artist and Daata Editions)

Loreta Lamargese on Daata Editions

Daata Editions offers a novel platform to solve a longstanding concern: how to commodify, collect, and distribute intangible and already-networked digital artwork. Probing this question reveals a nested paradox: while we’ve become increasingly reliant upon and enthralled by the digital, artworks that employ new media are thought of as being positioned outside the art market. It is becoming more and more difficult to disentangle ourselves from the digital web and artists – like all those included in the three artwork releases from Daata Editions Season One – are using its medial language to engage with their surroundings. At the same time, it is inane to think that we don’t rely heavily on the market – one that has thus far been thought to absorb only singular and static objects – and that the market isn’t a chief harbinger controlling which artworks and artists receive visibility and clout. And yet, many artists who reject a tradition of trading solely in tangible and discrete art objects, who use digitality as both a site that needs mining and as a material to be manipulated, are visible and powerful contenders in the current contemporary art arena.

What makes Daata Editions particularly significant at our present moment is that it fuses the seeming discord between the market and digital material, organizing artists’ video, sound, and web-based work and having that work available online as editions. In fact, Daata makes clear that these two apparently dissonant entities depend on similar structures, relying on a rapid and seamless transition of information; both are, after all, networked and global. The artists presented in Daata Editions are producing works that operate beyond the sanctified walls of galleries and are experimenting with the fungibility of concepts that fit diverse media and operate on these diverse platforms simultaneously. Similarly, while Daata is primarily stationed online, it does not limit itself to the borderless web, involving additional presentations at art fairs such as a recent collaboration with NADA New York.

Now with its third artwork release, it is safe to say the initial hypothesis that launched the platform is true: that when given an intuitive mode to consume and sell digital artwork – when given the opportunity to purchase new media on indigenous soil- collectors would take ownership. Editions by artists such as Amalia Ulman, Chloe Wise, Ed Fornieles, Jon Rafman, and Leo Gabin made available through Daata Editions are now housed in preeminent international collections including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, The Zabludowicz Collection, London, and The Julia Stoschek Collection in Dusseldorf. And while private collectors and institutions alike fold moving images and sound works into their collections, artists continue to expand the limits of contemporary art practices, renegotiating our reliance on any particular medium or site.

While I’m hesitant to stress the intrinsically utopic qualities of digital art, its malleability with place and material affords it distance from hermeneutic singularity or ontological fixity. The dynamic chain of reformatting that these digital works undergo lends them to active and multifarious meanings and concepts. For example, Chloe Wise’s series created for Daata Editions, Do You Really Think He Fingered Her?, sees the artist subverting the notion of determined and legible identification. In this collection of videos, we find a friend and collaborator of the artist, Robyn Fox, reciting overheard phrases and the Twitter feeds of Art Basel Miami Beach attendees and friends of the artist. Because Fox is costumed in Wise’s clothes and because Wise often uses her own image in her artwork, we are compelled to read Fox as Wise, collapsing barriers of individualization normally fixed to bodies. And why shouldn’t we? If the video itself, as well as the material from social media that Fox recites, proliferates on multiple channels and in different formats at overlapping intervals, then why should identities and meaning be fixed and contained rather than performed and adaptable?

Since its emergence, artists working with video have struggled to monetize their practice while making hefty contributions to the history of art, changing our modes of perceiving and altering our relationship to objects and images. The current generation of young artists working in new media, including those presented in Daata Editions, is widening the net of possibilities under which image creation and circulation can exist. They are entering the conversation at a vital moment, one in which new economic platforms attempt to keep up with them, finding original means to sell and distribute migrant and non-discrete objects. Daata Editions is an early contributor to this new economy, which not only considers but also focuses and exists within the digital realm. Now entering its third artwork release, Daata Editions has tested these murky waters, shedding light on the possibilities of nurturing and distributing artwork that gains dynamism through circulation – through the very media it takes from.

Loreta Lamargese is a curator and researcher based in Montreal, Canada and works at Galerie Division

Galerie Division http://www.galeriedivision.com/montreal/

Daata Editions http://daata-editions.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: