Valuing digital art; why the challenge?

Digital Art has long been undervalued. It’s intangible nature raises a valid concern surrounding how ‘original’ material can be sourced and reproduced, merely at the touch of a button. Yet the skill and careful consideration in its creation gives cause to question how genuine this lack of validation is, and how it can be changed for the benefit of future digital artists.

The Lumen Gallery Prize currently awards some of the most incredible digital artists from around the world, sourced through competitions and exhibitions. This inspiring organisation completes its work with the aid of charity and sponsorship. Provoking debate and creating publicity around digital art is a huge step forward towards creating a platform for global recognition.

One must wonder, how, 14 years after exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and another in New York in 2001, exploring the changing nature of technology within the field of art; one must still research the true value of digital art.  Digital replication offers the possibility to produce infinite multiplications of a single piece of art, which is a valid concern and understandably where the difficulty lies in this industry. However, the correction of such underestimation is long overdue and  the boundaries of digital art marketing strategies could be extended much further to promote change.

lumen

Torn, 2012, Tommy Ingberg

Similarly to a great deal of physical art supplied worldwide, all things of significant worth will be replicated. This oxymoronic, complementary form of fraud is, to some extent, impossible to avoid. Physical art can be unscrupulously copied and prints created as a result of public exposure, it nevertheless sells fearlessly for large amounts of money. Thus, there must be a way to ensure that a copy of digital art through a legally binding document and digital inscription (watermarking) can ensure that only one file of art is passed on to a trusted commercial source and limited editions are created accordingly, to protect the authenticity of a digital artist’s work. People who truly respect the nature of the work will not fall prey to purchasing fraudulent produce, but buy from the artist or from trusted platforms online. Enabling artists to showcase work in full glory and join a postmodern market of art could truly promote this style of art, in a less enigmatic and more financially promising way than has been seen before.  After all, digital art is beautiful, inspiring and a very significant part of modern life.

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