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‘Accessibility and value no longer need to be at odds’ – Whitney Mallet, a new Foreword for Daata Editions

In Daata, Daata Editions, daataeditions, NY Times, Uncategorized, Whitney Mallett on 02/06/2017 at 1:41 pm

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Accessibility and value no longer need to be at odds

A new Foreword for Daata Editions by Whitney Mallett

Trying to sell video art drove Gerry Schum to suicide. In the early 1970s, the German artist was a pioneer of the limited edition model, selling both limited and unlimited edition moving-image works through his Düsseldorf videogalerie. While it was visionary, the venture only lasted a year and a half. Low demand from institutions and private collectors combined with high overhead costs forced Schum to shutter the gallery in late 1972. He took his life a few months later in March 1973.

Though it doesn’t usually lead to such tragic ends, selling new media work can still be frustrating today. Forty-five years later, it remains true that there is not the same collector base for video works as there is for painting and sculpture. New media works, of course, aren’t as tactile as other art objects, and the market’s growing pains are usually blamed on digital art’s infinite reproducibility. Granted, it’s a simpler proposition to exchange a unique object for an agreed upon sum of money, it’s still not immediately obvious why a Giacometti bronze sculpture should be worth over $100 million dollars just because it’s something you can run your fingers over. Value in the art market is based on a slew of subjective and socially-determined factors. There’s no real reason why digital works can’t accrue the same values as oil paintings, there just needs to be a culture that encourages investing in them and a system that regulates their authorship and ownership, two things Daata Editions is strengthening through their platform.

In this smartphone-saturated world, people are very familiar with screen-based emotional experiences. The premise of communing with an art work based in bits and bytes is not as alien as it might have been a few decades ago. But as content has become ubiquitous online, it’s also been devalued. We started expecting for free the same works we used to pay to read in a magazine or watch in a movie theater, and seduced by the promise of viral fame, we started producing content for likes instead of pay while social media corporations profit from our toil. Understanding this ecosystem, Daata has devised a platform that shares works freely online and gets the artists paid. This is made possible by a tiered system where the work is shared online with a small watermark (there’s an aural equivalent for sound works as well) while collectors purchase the unaltered version.

In another era, video artists had to weigh the advantages of popularity and scarcity. American artist Cheryl Donegan recalls in an interview with The New York Times, “People would say they saw a tape of mine in Berlin, which I didn’t know about, and it freaked me out, but then I thought that sharing my work could also make it more popular.” With the dawn of the web, models of sharing video art like UbuWeb emerged which facilitated a wider viewership of material but through a non-commercial platform, giving digital life to pre-digital video works which were out-of-print. Daata Editions keeps in mind these art-loving audiences who would watch bootleg VHS tapes or peruse UbuWeb for mind-bending fare. All the works are available online at no cost. This decision also suggests a keen understanding of how a work’s popularity can increase its value, benefitting the collectors who have invested in buying a limited edition. Accessibility and value no longer need to be at odds.

Daata Editions model selling limited runs of digital works (video, sound, web, and poetry) through their online platform continues to grow the culture of investing in and appreciating new media art. They are making the purchase of screen-based works attractive to a wider audience of collectors while supporting the artists working in these mediums, making valuable contributions to building a sustainable market.

Whitney Mallett is a writer and filmmaker based in New York. She’s an editor of the digital platform Topical Cream

Daata Editions – A 2016 Round Up

In ArtBasel, Artspace, Artsy, Daata, Daata Editions, David Gryn, Frieze, ICA, New Art Dealers, NY Times, Scott Reeder, Uncategorized, Venice, Zuecca Projects on 19/12/2016 at 12:49 pm

 

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A Great Daata Year in 2016 and Looking Forward to Daata in 2017

2016 certainly has had its ‘quirks’ in the world-at-large, but Daata has had a truly fruitful and eventful year. With the final artwork releases from Season One, the inaugural Independent Brussels, Art for Tomorrow – NY Times Conference in Doha, launch of the Season Two artist commissions at NADA New York, launch of the Daata App, link up with Artsy for their ICA London Party, Gentrification with Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings at the BBar, Bauer Hotel, Venice in collaboration with Zuecca Projects as part of the Venice Architectural Biennale, sound artworks at Chart Art Fair in Copenhagen, a Venice Film Festival project in collaboration with Zuecca Projects, POSTmatter/Wetransfer project with Saya Woolfalk, the Katherine Finerty curation ‘Reuse, remix, recode, new releases at EXPO Chicago, more new releases at Frieze London, launch of New Contemporaries curated artworks, Daata x Artspace Commissions launch with Keren Cytter, Daata on DAD x Apple TV, Virtually Me at Vanity Projects curated by Tiffany Zabludowicz, Legacy Russell’s curated project ‘#WanderingWILDING: Movement as Movement‘, a new look Daata homepage, Keren Cytter screened at Art Basel in Miami Beach and screening at Festive Cultural Traffic.

Artists whom we have released newly commissioned artworks by in 2016: Larry Achiampong, Sofie Alsbo, Thora Dolven Balke, Phoebe Boswell, Jake Chapman, Keren Cytter, Graham Dolphin, Anaïs Duplan, Melanie Eckersley, Casey Jane Ellison, Tracey Emin, Hannah Ford, Ed Fornieles, Jasmine Johnson, Joachim Koester & Stefan A. Pedersen, Sara Ludy. Scott Lyman, Michael Manning, Scott Mason, Jonathan Monaghan, Rashaad Newsome, Tameka Norris, Elise Peterson, Quayola, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Ariana Reines, Jacolby Satterwhite, John Skoog, Daniel Swan, Abri de Swardt, Katie Torn, Artie Vierkant, Saya Woolfalk, Zadie Xa.

Curators selecting for Daata in 2016: bitforms gallery, Gutter Records, New Contemporaries, Katherine Finerty, Legacy Russell.

Foreward texts in 2016: Loreta Lamargese, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Anton Haugen, Lindsay Howard.

Instagram takeovers thanks to Daata artists: Chloe Wise, Matt Copson, Helen Benigson, Stephen Vitiello, Florian Meisenberg, Leo Gabin, Rachel Maclean, Katie Torn, Thora Dolven Balke, Michael Manning, Jonathan Monaghan, Sara Ludy, Saya Woolfalk.

Daata in the News: i-D, Cultured Magazine, FAD Magazine, Artsy, It’s Nice That, sweet, Aston Martin, Elephant, Artspace, NY Times, POSTmatter and more.

Artists soon to be released in 2017: Yung Jake, Jillian Mayer, Camille Norment, Scott Reeder and six artists curated by Zata Banks; Laura Focarazzo, Kate Jessop, C.O. Moed, Julian Scordato, Susanne Wiegner, Antoinette Zwirchmayr. Daata will soon be announcing many other exciting plans, projects, collaborations and commissions.

Special humungous thanks to Anita Z and Danai, John, Richard, Alessandro Possati at Zuecca Projects, Andy Moss at Spike Island, Radovan & Jamie at Studio Scasacia and Sutton PR for all their work and support in 2016 to make Daata happen !!!

And with utmost thanks and huge appreciation to the artists, curators, galleries, art fairs, institutes, collectors, students, collaborators and to you the viewers who all make this possible and worthwhile.

Image: Scott Reeder, Nodes, 2016 (soon to be released on Daata in 2017)

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Daata Editions feature in the International New York Times

In Art Basel, artists, Artprojx, Collection, Collector, Digital, Frieze, Hammer Museum, New York Times, NY Times, Sound, Video, Zabludowicz on 15/10/2015 at 6:10 am

International New York Times, The Art of Collecting, 14 October 2015, p.2 copy

International Arts – The Art of Collecting

Website Gives Stage to New-Media Artists 

By Ginanne Brownell Mitic

International New York Times

This is what a hit looks like in the age of digital art. 

A web video piece called “she’s so talented,” by the Canadian born, New York-based artist Chloe Wise, sold three copies within a day of being posted in May on Daata Editions, a digital art marketplace. 

The video, 1 minute 3 seconds and set in Boca Raton, Fla., features a gender-bending character in a variety of poses: drinking Red Bull in a pink velour zip-up jacket on the beach, sitting on a sofa in a high-rise condo, doing dance moves while dressed in a floral midriff top. The soundtrack includes conversational snippets overheard by the artist at last year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach, including “She’s so talented, she’s a real artist,” and “Listen, if you are on the wait list, that means you are in the liminal zone between being no one and actually being someone.” 

“Miami is a place of excess, of vacation and gluttony, but also the art market, with lots of consumerism going on,” said Ms. Wise, who graduated from art school in Montreal in 2013. “It is a really interesting place to overhear things.” 

And, apparently, to get on board with a new way to sell art. Miami is also where Ms. Wise first met David Gryn, a London-based curator who, along with the British collector and philanthropist Anita Zabludowicz, co-created Daata Editions. The website, which debuted during this year’s Frieze Art Fair in New York, combines the growing online art sales scene with the mushrooming market value of new media art. 

Ms. Wise was one of 18 new-media artists invited to be part of the inaugural group to show on the website. The group includes Jon Rafman, Takeshi Murata, Hannah Perry, Ilit Azoulay and Stephen Vitiello

“I have learned to say no to a lot in the art world, as you sense ‘I do not trust this person,”’ said Mr. Vitiello, a Virginia-based sound and visual artist who created sound works for Daata with names like “Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand.” 

“But you try and say yes to those that instinctively feel interesting, and I thought, ‘Why not give this a shot?”’ 

The idea behind Daata is simple. Once a year, 18 video, sound and digital artists will be commissioned to do six pieces of three minutes or less, 15 editions of each piece. The works are available to be purchased and downloaded from the site. 

Daata has a sliding price scale. Sound, web and digital works start at $100 and increase by edition to a top price of $2,800; for video, the starting price is $200, increasing by increments to a top price of $5,600. The price difference, Mr. Gryn said, is linked to the perceived higher market value of video. Daata keeps the revenue and pays each artist a 15 percent royalty on each sale. 

The website got an institutional boost in mid-October with the announcement that two museums had become benefactors. The Julia Stoschek Collection in Düsseldorf, Germany, has purchased the full set of new works, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles has accepted a full edition as a gift. The Hammer’s chief curator, Connie Butler, said in a statement that the pieces would “extend the museum’s history of collecting and displaying new media work.” 

Seed funding for the site came from Ms. Zabludowicz, who remains an adviser. The site is staffed by Mr. Gryn and a producer. Their intention is to break even by 2017. 

The first release took place during the Frieze Art Fair in New York, followed in June by a release during LOOP in Barcelona, Spain. After Frieze London, there will be three more releases during Season One, which will extend into early 2016. 

Mr. Gryn, who curates the outdoor film screenings at Art Basel in Miami Beach, said the idea for Daata grew out of his and Ms. Zabludowicz’s observations that collectors were hesitating to buy new media art and gallerists were struggling with how to show it. That, in turn, led to gallerists’ hesitating to bring new media works to art fairs because they tended not to sell well during such high-stakes, high-profile events. 

“We are all so very used to buying music and film online without having to own physical items we have purchased,” Ms. Zabludowicz wrote in an email. “The art mediums are not very different. There are natural similarities in these immaterial art forms. We are making it very simple to show and collect the works that have been commissioned.” 

The British artist Hannah Perry, who was one of the inaugural 18, acknowledged that the concept of collecting video art was difficult for some people to get their heads around. 

“Once you buy something, how do you display it or how do you share it?” she said. “I had a collector say to me once, ‘Do I put a monitor on the wall during a dinner party? Do I keep the sound down? How do I put the sound in?”’ 

When Ms. Perry sells a video work, she includes in the box not only with the certificate of authenticity but also a small silkscreen print related to the piece that the owner can display. 

The perception that video or sound art is difficult to grasp is something that Mr. Gryn hopes will change with Daata. 

“We are not a gallery — we are not art advisers,” he said. “What we are is a commissioning platform that works with artists who work in those mediums and who promote their art form and nurture awareness. My idea is that you make a self-sustaining business that commissions the next round of artists’ works.” 

By the beginning of September, all the inaugural artists had sold several editions of their works, and there were over 500 downloads of a free Jon Rafman video. By Mr. Gryn’s standards, “that is fantastic,” he wrote in an email, because it means the work is being seen and bought. 

Jessica Witkin, the director of the New York gallery Salon 94, which specializes in new media, drew a parallel with how collectors eventually warmed to photographic art, accepting the idea that more than one edition could be available. 

“I think it is really important what they are doing, supporting artists from the inside,” she said. Ms. Wise agreed, saying that if Daata had not commissioned her Florida videos for the platform, they would not have been made. 

“Basically,” she said, “they are pushing the cycle further and allowing digital to really be appreciated and have acceptability, viewership and be funded.” 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/arts/international/website-gives-stage-to-new-media-artists.html?mwrsm=Facebook&_r=0

http://daata-editions.com