Calling All New Media Artists: How do you sell something that is impossible to own?

ART & MONEY MATTERS MONDAYS

Media art refers to artworks that depend on a technological component to function. Media artists express their thoughts, ideas and images through platforms related to video, audio, print and digital mediums.  Graphic design, filmmaking, and photography are considered “Traditional” media art while digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, video games, computer robotics and 3D printing represent “New” media art.

Technological advances in television, radio, the Internet, and other digital mediums have popularized new media art so much so that media artists can find relatively lucrative jobs in this field. So much for the starving artist, huh? They serve as art directors, creative directors, and members of the creative team for advertising or commercial firms, magazines and print publications. Media artists also work in movie, television, theater, animation and gaming industries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, jobs that fall within the media arts have a median salary from $44,000 through $90,000 with the higher paying jobs in computer and mobile related roles.

But what about the independent artist?  The Internet allows open access to creative works. You can download and edit an image of many works. How is it possible to sell something that is impossible to own? How does the artist control the dissemination of the work and make it saleable?
new media artMedia/Digital Art = Visual Art Online = Greater accessibility but, at what costs?…Less exclusivity.  Commoditization of Art.

In his article Can Digital Art Make Money?, Kyle Chayka asks and offers examples of how artists are monetizing new media, specifically digital media.
1) The artist moved his Internet art entirely offline and turned it into a “consumable object” by giving the collector complete ownership of the file
2) The artist puts a single piece of his Animated art on a unique Web sites with a single URL.  The collector gains certain rights to the domain name (and therefore the work) and has their name added to the site, while the page remains publicly accessible.
3) The artist created a series of Animated digital art files which are publicly displayed on their site.  Buyers of individual files have their names inscribed under the file like a sponsored plaque.  Scarcity drives the prices up for unsponsored files within a series.

These are all great examples of artists doing what they do best…CREATE! In response to changes in environmental factors, namely technology, artists have created new models for generating income.   There isn’t a single recipe for success among independent new media artists but what is clear is that they continue to make Art available and accessible to the public and, THAT is a beautiful thing!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
Your fellow Creative Entreprenuer and Profitable Artist
Tricia

 

 

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