Natanael Banegas Jr. Prof. Patrick Aievoli
Internet Art Proposal
The internet has enabled people to communicate with each other at greater scale and a greater speed then in any time in history. Along with this increase communication came new forms of multimedia art work that use internet has a medium to create art and communicate ideas. With the advent of both and internet and the web information and ideas that would not otherwise be able to be expressed in older more controlled forms of media. Many of these ideas for existed for years having limited circulation in print be have been For my net art proposal my would be multifaceted piece dealing with many subjects and ideas that fall under the umbrella term “conspiracy theory” or at least can be connected tangentially to conspiracy. I plan to divide the subject into the different category that at first do not appear to be connected at first but, connections between them will hopefully made more apparent in this artwork. To create this art work I will be referencing many kind of internet art to better explain and more fully develop the concept.
One piece of internet art is Josh On’s ‘They Rule’ created in 2001 deals with the connections of U.S. government, corporations, and other non-government organizations. He does this visually through through graphs of the board members and the various committees they are a part of including the amount of money each of these individual make through lobbying. The way the site has been designed allows for someone to create save and share webs with a wide array of search criteria.. It is for these reason that the website has been used has a research tool by many people providing links for the of sources. How ‘They Rule’ has provided a valuable tool for research is shoe by this video clip:
They Rule video
While Josh On focuses on the the reality of the revolving door between the corporate world and the United States government, the project I proposed will have a much broader scope. Like Josh On’s work I plan to have own internet art piece to highly visual and interactive. Again, the scope of the project is much . My goals in undertaking such a project would to increase exposure of these ideas outside of mainstream media. The site will serve as a tool for research to be used for individuals and groups alike. To make sure this website can be an effective research tool as possible it is necessary to look at the features of other kinds of websites.
Other websites that I would like to reference include websites such as Wikileaks, Cryptome, American Deception, and The Knowledge Files. The common theme between sites is that they are all archive obscure information. Cryptome and the now famous Wikileaks site both websites deal secret government documents. American Deception dot com. The Knowledge Flies is another website that deals with an archives books of occult subject matter including mysticism and secret societies. The reason that I feel it is necessary to have an archival component is that much of this information can be difficult to obtain physically because they are rare,out of print or in the case of government documents classified and of course they can be destroyed. While some these documents make be found on the internet in still takes effort and time to find all the disparate pieces of information, and they can deleted or the sites can be shut dowm. Although it is great there are many places to find all this information if it were all this kind of information gathered in one area in something akin to virtual library.
Some other things that I would like as addition to the website are a historic time lines and the use of a genealogy tree. These additions at first would seem superfluous but, ever single conspiracy that as either been proven to exist or speculated to exist has ties to the past that and supposedly shape present. The use of genealogy tree can be value in establishing connections has powerful financial and political familial dynasties are major subject of important study in alternative media and play heavily into conspiracy theories various has evidenced in a video clip on the English royal family and its to American political elite. Included in the clip is the ties that these powerful families have to different organizations which various conspiracy theories are involved with.
How a time line or genealogy could implemented in an interactive website is provided through via video examples.
‘Interactive Visualization of Genealogical Graphs’
Daily- an interactive timeline covering the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
In order to make this project work I can not do this single-handedly I would need help to from other people. One task that I would need help to start project would be doing the initial research in order find and establish connections that will serve as the back bone of the art piece. It also Since new information from alternative news outlets is being released there for always be a need for continued research and updates to the site, which of course would require me or someone else to act as webmaster for the site. I would also need to hire the help of programmer with the html code since I don’t have the skill with coding or programming and get run the site up and running. Talking again the amount of sheer information the would require the purchase and maintenance of a servers. To really deal with all the information it may be necessary to include more feature or even have multiple interconnected websites for the sake of organization and user friendly experience. These will depends on how much is put on the site initially and on how much added over time.
1.On, Josh ‘They Rule’ 2011 Web. 10 Dec. 2011. http://www.theyrule.net/
2.’Knowledge Files’ 2011 Web 10 Dec, 2011. http://knowledgefiles.com/
3. John Young and Deborah Natsios .’Cryptome’ Web 10 Dec, 2011 http://cryptome.org/
4. Assange, Julian. ‘WikiLeaks’ Web. 10 Dec, 2011. http://wikileaks.org
5 . ‘American Deception’ Web. 10 Dec. 2011. http://www.americandeception.com
9. Balakrishnan, Ravin “ Interactive Visualization of Genealogical Graphs ” Youtube. YouTube Aug 1, 2009 Web. 15 Dec. 2011
Natanael Banegas jr
Prof. Patrick Aievoli Art85
Determining the Value of Art in an Age of Mass Reproduction
When thinking about art there is always questions of to measure the qualities of an art work to help determine the value of art. There are many variables that make an particular pieces of artwork that make some artworks more valuable then others. However, there are difficulties in trying to compare pieces of artwork, this is especially true when comparing radically different pieces of artwork. Whether it is medium that a piece, the techniques used, the visual style and design, the reputation of artist or other factors that give artwork value in terms of cultural, emotional, spiritual value and as a commodity .A major factor that effects the value in the modern world is the ability to reproduce works of art has changed the way we value art and has accelerated with the introduction of digital reproduction. The main question that confronts people who study art is how does one determine value of an artwork when it is one longer a rare one of a kind item to a mass produced object. The propose of this paper is to determine how the value of art is determined when it can be reproduced, by examining German artist Albrecht Durer’s lithograph prints. To do this two different theories of value will be used, the first is the is Walter Benjamin Marxist thinker and critical theorist. On the other side are the scholars and supporters of the free market of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Albrecht Durer was born in Normandy in 1472 was man of many talents working has a painter, draftsman and a print maker. His influence on the developments in the arts and in particular advancements in the print making technique of engraving to the extent he ‘revolutionized printmaking, elevating it to the level of an independent art form.” (Wisse)While lithographs where a major advance in the means of reproduction they were not the first as William Benjamin states in his paper “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” mechanical reproduction was known in the times of ancient Greece.“The Greeks knew only two procedures of technically reproducing works of art: founding and stamping. Bronzes, terra cottas, and coins were the only art works which they could produce in quantity. “ However, with the introduction woodcuts and then with engraving such as Druer lithographs a change it occurred in the way the reproduction of art was seen. The question that needs to be asked is whether a piece of art is still valuable when it is no longer unique such as Durer lithographs. According to Benjamin what gives an art work part of its value is something he calls an artwork’s of ‘aura’ that which he characterizes as : “its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. This unique existence of the work of art determined the history to which it was subject throughout the time of its existence.” (Benjamin Sec2)
With art forms and artworks that necessitate mass reproduction is this quality still important and does the fact that they are not unique hurt their value?
To find the answer one just as to look at price people for other reproducible works even something mundane like comic books. Despite being, easily and cheap comic books are considered highly valuable by people in certain circles. One such example is the sale of comic books made in 2010 by one of the comic being sold was an original press run of Batman issue number one. When it was originally printed it sold for the cover price of fifty cents this has changed has those first copies dwindled in number over the years. With now less then three hundred know the price of the comic has seen a massive increase. At the time of the sale it was expected to sell for around $40,000. If the price of vintage
comic increase so too could the lithographs that Durer print when was alive. This means that a reproducible work can have an aura around it much like a unique piece. Since the ability of mass production of art is not the deciding factor in the value of art other factors need to be taken into account.
Before the big question of what makes something valuable can be thoroughly answered is important to explore the ideas f how value is assigned in both monetary and non-monetary terms. Although Walter Benjamin does not does elaborate his theory for determining value in his paper it is important to understand it . Known as the Labor Theory or Cost Theory of value this argues that that value of something is related to the amount of work that when in to creating it. This is understandable as any business needs to make a profit to stay afloat. The variant known as the Labor Theory of value places the cost and by extension the value of something on the amount of labor used it’s production. It is according this theory that Benjamin asserts that mass reproduction of art work hurts it’s value. To a certain extent this is true the ability to art reproduce visual art there mechanical has reduced the value of artwork in terms of price. However, the cost theory has many flaws one of the being that it doesn’t explain all the factors the influences price. If one were to try apply cost theory to parts involved in creating a finish product it would not necessary reflect the final price, after all costs are prices too as Robert P. Murphy explains in the price of goods according to cost theory. “To ‘explain’ the price of a $10,000 car by reference to the prices of the engine, tires, glass, and so on, doesn’t really explain market prices per se. At best, it pushes back the explanation one step: Why does the engine have a price of $5,000 “ (Murphy) Additionally this theory by itself cannot explain changes in prices from moment to moment which influenced by other factors then cost.
Another theory for understanding how the value is established is from the Austrian school of economics centered in the in Ludwig von Mises Institute is the subjective theory of value. As the name suggests value is subjective it changes from person to person and is dependent on the conditions of time and place in which that decision of somethings value is being made. This means that hypothetical something that is cheap can jump in price depending the right circumstances.”Lost and adrift on a raft for days, a man might offer his fortune in exchange for a hamburger. Yet, the same person, following a lusty meal, might not offer a penny in exchange, though the hamburger had changed not at all.” (Read) Just has the value of food and by extension the price that person is willing to pay depend on the conditions in present the same is true of art.
Of course the value of art is not limited to the commercial value that is established in the art market, it also includes the other types value that are more intangible. Benjamin’s of art delves somewhat on market values he also speaks of other types of value. One major value that mentions is what Benjamin refers to as ‘cult value’ or the value that a religious group has for an used in ritual. By taking this to a broader level to include the broader society cult value becomes cultural value. Again subjective theory plays a part in the way art plays into a culture but, instead of an Austrian economists it is actually from Walter Benjamin in discussing changes in cultural traditions and its effect on the value of art. “An ancient statue of Venus, for example, stood in a different traditional context with the Greeks, who made it an object of veneration, than with the clerics of the Middle Ages, who viewed it as an ominous idol. ”(Benjamin Sec 4) The same can be side Durer lithographs there has been a change of in the world for the time that they were first printed to the today. Modern western society has changed over the centuries and with it the understanding of art. As a result what is considered art has increased with new forms art are being created along with new styles and movements of art have developed over the centuries .
The fact that the Durer’s lithographs have a continued impact in contemporary social is a testament to the value that they contain in the eyes of the people that appreciate them. What exactly are the things that people value in the lithographs can be gleamed from studying them. His work like much of the European art in middle ages and early Renaissance dealt with Christian imagery. One such famous is Durer’s engraving of the Four Housemen of the Apocalypse which is a part of his Apocalypse woodcut book. With all four horsemen galloping forward crushing a group of men under foot as an angel travels down from heaven. Such an image spoke to the people how lived in time as it does today. “Durer Apocalypse has an unprecedented emotional power and graphic expressiveness. Volume and depth, light and shadow, texture and surface are created black ink on white paper, which becomes a metaphor for a light in a turbulent world of awesome power” (Meggs pg89) The value of this religious artwork has a greater impact on those who are who faithful, but this only on aspect of his art. Besides religious art Durer used subject matter from everyday life has evidence by his lithographs depicting moments of everyday life. His prints of a German peasant couple dancing and of Three Peasants are examples of how the content of art expanded the during the . Another thing that can be discerned is the
techniques used in woodcut printmaking became more advanced and refined with the introduction of lithographic printing. There is greater range of gradation in these later lithographic prints allow for more realistic and detailed representations people. These prints along with the whole of lithographic work serves as artifacts of history in both a in general sense and in art history in particular. They capture a not only the development of printmaking but also the how depth and proportion were being better utilized in art. Broadening of subject matter from the religious to humanistic by using to capture the common is another aspect that can be found in the lithographs which historic and cultural significance for willing to study it. Though these factors might validate the value the people find looking at Lithograph or some other type of print work by Alberth Durer they did not explain how. vale is determined for art work as a whole To really understand how the subjective theory of value and how it means for the value of artwork it is not an enough to look at the older artwork it is necessary to look at the dynamics of the current art market.
The subjective theory of value is becomes more apparent when addressing the more contemporary avaunt-grade artworks. In recent news Martin Kippenberger’s sculpture ‘When it Starts Dripping From The Ceiling’ valued at 1.1 million was damaged while on display an Ostwall museum in Dortmund Germany. The damage occurred when “one overzealous cleaning women scrubbed away a patina intended to look like a dried rain puddle” (Eddy) When one gets a look at sculpture it is understandable way someone might damage it by accident being
comprised of a tower of wooden slats, a rubber through and a patina. It is not something that an average person considers as a great work of art at first glance or in general. This does not mean the piece does not have value attached to it there is a reason some 1.1 million dollars for it. A factor in favor of the sculpture price is the fact theMartin Kippenberger has reputation for being something of trouble maker in the art world making bold conceptual art “once buying a gas station in Brazil and naming it after himself “ for example (Judkis ) . The other reason would be the fact the artist has died is another is other contributing factor to the to commercial value of the sculpture although it is always open to debate . Like the value of the sculpture it’s self the cost of the damages is some what open ended with the owner of the piece being left for the owner to decide. While the sculpture is is unique one of a kind item with plenty of history attached to it still provides an example of subjective value theory at work in the art world.
Instead of being constant and immutable the worth of a resources and goods are subject to change . This economic theory applies to the marketplace of the art world has it does to any other market “In regard to works of art, we often hear people say they are ‘undervalued,’ ‘underappreciated,’ “hyped,” or “overvalued.” These are subjective evaluations and no one can measure by how much a work is ‘undervalued’ or ‘hyped.’ ” (Kim) This summarizes how subjective theory is applied when dealing with how value is decided for art. Though Durer lithographs works can reproduced rapidly through mass print or digitally at near zero cost only affects the value of the reproductions for people’s willing to buy them, but not affect the not the value of the original prints. In terms of the non-commercial value of artwork which covers wide range of cultural, historic, technical, and aesthetic aspects of a piece of is unique to an individual viewing it. The varying value judgment of many people do however, effect the way an artwork is perceived by society and affects it’s price in the market. The fact the people still study and purchased the works Albrecht Durer after hundreds is a testament the his skill, impact his work, the mass reproduction only makes his work more accessible to people who value it.
1. Megg, Philp B. “A History of Graphic Design” . New York: John Wiley & Son, Inc. 1998 print
2. Benjamin, Walter “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” ULCA School of Theater,Flim and Television. marxists.org Feb 2005 Web 29 Oct 2011
3.Murphy, Robert P. “ Problems with the Cost Theory of Value” .mises.org .Lugwig von Mises Institute 23 May,2011 Web 1 Nov,2011
4. Read, Leonard .The Rap against Unearned Riches . mises.org .Lugwig von Mises 10 Nov, 2011 Web 10 Nov, 2011
5. Kim, Yumi . Artwork and the Subjective Theory of Value .mises.org .Lugwig von Mises Institute 19 Sept, 2006 Web 1 Nov, 2011
6. Eddy, Melissa “Germany: Cleaning woman damages sculpture” chron.com. The Associated Press 5 Nov, 2011 Web 6 Nov, 2011
7. Judakis, Maura “$1.1 million sculpture damaged by cleaning woman in German museum” .washingtonpost.com The Washington Post. 7 Nov,2011 Web 8, 2011
8. Wessie, Jacob Heilburnn Timeline of History 1471-1528 .metmuseum.org The Metropolitan Museum of Art october 2005 Web 5 Nov 2011
9. Kehe, Majorie Major .Batman No. 1: a rare comic book goes up for sale. csmonitor.com. The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Aug, 2011 Web 7 Nov, 2011
While many of the best known books created during the medieval ages are illuminated religious texts there were a collection of books dealing with the problems of physical violence and warfare that was a reality of daily life. They also provided advice for judicial duels which were a common method for members of the upper castes to solve legal disputes These combat manuals dealt with principles and techniques in the use weapons such as swords, pole-arms, knives, by on foot, horse back and in combination with standing grappling. Many of these texts were lost or forgotten with the advent gunpowder in Europe, beginning the of age of firearms. People today are using these manuals to study, understand and recreate these forgotten European systems of self-defense. Here’s one such manual translated from the original German into English: Medieval Combat, A 15th C Illustrated Manual of Sword Fighting and Close-Quarter Combat – Hans Talhoffer
There are study groups and organization devoted to the Medieval/Renaissance martial arts of course have an online presence and can be found sites such as these:
The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript that has controversy and unanswered questions surrounding it. With in the circle of art historians there is debate as to when and where the book was original written. Some argue it was first written in 800 AD in the monastery of Iona and then moved to Ireland possible to the town of Kells from which the book takes its name. Other theories propose that the book was written later completely within Ireland. Part of the reason for the uncertainty behind the Book of Kells is that is incomplete with to two unfinished pages and an unknown amount of missing pages out of a manuscript that has three hundred thirty plus pages of which that are known. In the realms of both art and design another question regarding the Book of Kells that can asked is whether it should be considered as purposeful design, as a work of art or both. To answer this question it necessary to bear in mind the historical context that the book written in when referring to scholarly opinions to determine whether the should be considered art or design.
To understand whether an illuminated manuscript such the the book of Kells should be consider more as a work of art or as functional design differentiating standards for art should be utilized to avoid confusion. Both are sides represented enlightenment thinkers David Hume and Immanuel Kant each consider what is aesthetically pleasing in different ways. The empiricist philosopher David Hume thoughts on art as summarized has the need to establish a standard of quality for comparing works and measuring tastes. Kant’s ideas on the other hand are less focused on creating a standard and more about the more the feelings joy and pleasure an artwork beings to the person viewing it. In order for an art to be beautiful the ascetics the defining factor regardless of the of the ideas, subject matter or elements of the art work. Both of these of ideas can be used in determining the Book of Kells lends itself more to design or art.
The Book of Kells is one of the best surviving examples of a religious illuminated manuscript of the medieval period and of a unique visual created during that period in time. Within the Book of Kells there is are many visual elements including the calligraphic script and the illuminated illustrations that belong to a unique type of art style that distinguishes the book and others like it to certain time and place. The art style know as the Insular style originating in the Ireland and to illuminated manuscripts by the Celtic monks. The Insular style as described by Philp B. Meggs “is abstract and extremely complex ; geometric linear patterns weave, twist, and fill a space with thick visual textures and bright, pure colors are used in close juxtaposition.” (Meggs 41) Other aspects of the of Insular art include the use of zoomorphic or anthropomorphic imagery in the depiction religious figures. As demonstrated in the page of the four Evangelists were they not depicted as men but, as supernatural figures based on their symbols. Matthew is shown as an angel, Mark as a winged lion, Luke as a wing ox, and John as an eagle.
This manuscript happens to provide the finest surviving of Insular artwork to within found with in any of manuscript of it’s day. To barrow the words of art historian Robert G. Calkins “The Book of Kells manifests the most complex from of Insular ornament to survive.” He goes to elaborate on this point further by stating the book the of Kells as being “the fullest development of Insular tradition of illumination.” (Calikns 78)The art work was not limited to the illustrations but was incorporated to the text of the book as well. Containing “over 2,100 ornate capitals make every page of visual delight. Here and there through the course of its 339 leaves, a sentence blooms into full page illumination” (Meggs 43) . The effect that the this complex art work had on a person viewing them is the same has was in the middle ages evidenced by the words of Giraldus Cambrensis who traveled to Ireland 1185 commenting on the manuscript he saw which may have been the Book of Kells.
‘Fine Craftsmanship is all about you, but you might not notice it. Look keenly at it and you will penetrate to the very shine of art. You will make out intricacies, so delicate and subtle, so exact and compact, so full of knots and links, with colours so fresh and vivid, that you might say all this was the work of an angel, and not of a man.’ (Calkins 78)
From this statement it easy to see that artwork of the Book of Kells had a strong spiritual and emotional effect on people that can be described as Kant what considered a ‘finer feeling’ then what of that time people accustomed to, despite being connected to religious faith. This of course to would help strengthen and Christian faith which was purpose of creating such a manuscript.Although the extensive amount of ornament and illustrations was effective grab the attention of people who saw or hear of it did come with a trade off in terms of the readability of the text.
By looking a images of the book’s artwork it would be tempting to think that the Book of Kells is piece of medieval religious art without much thought into a practical and effective design for the manuscript has a whole. This is not the case however, all the of the manuscripts including the Book of Kells being a religious works done over many years there would no aspect of the books were over looked, whether it is was the ordering the pages to typography used to write them. Although the illustrations are what immediately grab the attention of the reader just has much work was done to make the writing legible. To better understand the design aspects of the book of Kells it is necessary to compare it to similar work, The Book of Durrow which Calkins states is “the earliest fully designed and ornamented Celtic book” being written in 680 AD provides a means for comparison in design . Starting with the script used in t o write the book called “uncials” has both the size and name were off a Roman inch call a unica. The uncials and half-uncials from early Greeks and Roman illuminated manuscripts was redesigned into what became insular script . Their had a two-fold purpose, first of the all the shape curved of the uncial letter helped to make written quicker and cleaner as it ” reduced the number of strokes required to make letter-forms” (Meggs 41) Second the half-uncial serve as an early from of lower-case and helped to make the words more legible because of the size difference of the letters. There were also other advancements in typography made Celtic monks, involving the layout of the words. A convention of all western written the modern world is the use of spaces in between words. This was not the case during the early middle ages and prior, the use of spaces between was such a drastic change that when it introduced by the insular Gospels like the Book of Kells it is considered “a radical design innovation” to this day according to Meggs.
Aside from using many principles of typography that would be used latter in other manuscripts and written works there were other design techniques to solve unique problems. An especially vexing problem that faced the writers of the Insular gospels was how to fit the large illuminated initials with rest of the text. The solution to this problem was the graphic principle of “diminuendo” invented by the monks. What the use of “diminuendo” entails scaling the text down from the illuminated initials to the end of the line. An example of the diminuendo principle in use is found in the Book of Durrow on the opening of the Gospel of Mark:
“the letters of word ‘Initium’ create large monogram thrusting the down the page. The large double initial is followed in decreasing size by a smaller initial, the last four letters of first word, the two words and the text. This descending scale unites the large initial to the text.” (Meggs 42)
While the Book of Kells includes many elements from previous manuscripts especially the Book of Durrow, including a number of design elements including the Insular script, the spacing between words, and the red dots to create visual unity there is one thing the sets them apart. This is an improvement in the page layout of Book of Kells that was meant to fix a problem that existed in older manuscripts. Having the text heavy pages interrupt by the highly decorative art fulled carpet pages this caused confusion as the one would distraction from the other. To avoid this the gospel summaries, prologues and other writings were put at the beginning and keep separate from the art work. Unfortunately, most these earlier sections of the book are missing so the exact contains are unknown are open to speculation.
When looking at illuminated Insular manuscripts of which the Books of Kells is the most complete and advance surviving manuscript there are many vital details of the book that needs multiply viewings to truly understand and appreciated. At first glance the book is a collection of decorative illustrations and highly stylized text with strong Christen overtones. The visual flare of the books pages can at times obscures the attempts for practical design to communicate to as wide group as possible. Whether it was the illiterate laymen, educated nobility and of course the among monks and other members of the church. Part of the reason that the design is overlook is that is subtle and what design aspects to modern viewer that are easily viewable are often intelligible, in due part to the text being done in uncials script and in an old languages. Another reason the design of the book as gone over looked is because the book it incomplete. Most of the pages of book are missing the exact number of which is unknown with two incomplete incomplete pages. As a result whatever is left seen only reflect part of the book’s art and design. The same applies to works from past such as the monuments and classical statues of ancient Greece and Rome. Despite the fact that the Books of Kells is unfinished and has language barrier there is a lot that can be learned in terms of how both art and design combine to create a better a whole.
1. Calkins, Robert G. “Illuminated Books of Middle Ages” Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 1983 print
2. Gracyk, Theodore “Philosophy of of Art Hume and Kant: Summary and Comparison” mnstate.edu. Minnesota StateUniversity, 2004 Web 19 Sept 2011.
3. Megg, Philp B. “A History of Graphic Design” . New York: John Wiley & Son, Inc. 1998 print
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