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The Artbash Store

Forum > Artbash

by John Hurrell
100 Comments
Article of the Month May 2006
ABStore AB, how come you have images of works in your store that are NOT for sale?

Surely they are taking up space you could be earning good money from?

_____

(Note - I moved this to a new thread. John originally wrote it here - AB.)

Comments:
1 to 20 of 100
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Well John,

Let me explain:

Artbash isn't just about making massive amounts of cash.

It's about is providing a service to the art community of New Zealand. As I'm sure you are aware, in the age of the internet, it's vital for any artist who demands respect to have a web-page; not merely to make money, but also to provide easily accessible information about him or herself to the interested public.

At Artbash we want to help artists achieve all of their goals: to sell work, and disseminate information about themselves.

On the other hand, you need to look at the works that are either not for sale or already sold as advertising for the works that are still for sale. As any dealer knows, the big works sell the small ones (unless you're Bill Hammond).

Now that your gallery is defunct, I notice you don't seem to have a website yourself John. Perhaps you should consider setting up a page in the Artbash Store.

It's free, easy to do and takes only minutes!
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
Good reply AB, even if you do sound like Mother Teresa.

The point of websites however is to drag potential buyers into a proper gallery where they can see the work at close hand. Most dealers have websites now, so websites with no dealer involvement somehow miss the point.

Still lots of artists must be delighted with say the Artbash one, though I think such a context lowers the perception of the work. The work might as well be houses or used tractors. I think good art requires a more considered, even reverential, approach. Yup, yawn, I know - I've said all this before.

If you are going to be giving space to artists free but charging others for advertising space, maybe some artists can make artworks that promote their agents. Hey if all you want to do is to circulate information for the artworld why do you make a distinction at all. You don't seem consistent.

Speaking of which, if you are removing potentially offensive swearwords from the discourse, why don't you remove even more offensive images as well? Hence the placement of my original 'rant'.

Personally i think this site is for adults not children -but if Ash, for example, disagrees... well perhaps he is right.

If children want to follow with interest what Artbash participants yabber about that is fantastic. Maybe there is an issue that needs to be resolved.

Populuxe
19 articles & 495 comments since 9 Aug 2005
Oh my!

L-l-l-l-l-l-l-look at the King, look at the King, look at the King, the King, the King!
The King is in the altogether, but altogether the altogether
He's altogether as naked as the day that he was born
The King is in the altogether, but all together the all together
It's all together the very least the King has ever worn
All the courts positioned to call an intermission
His majesty is wide open to ridicule and scorn
The King is in the altogether, but altogether the altogether
He's altogether as naked as the day that he was born
And it's altogether too chilly a morn
R-2006_04_22_803780
Cosmopolitan
3 articles & 21 comments since 22 Apr 2006
Oh my!

The link to the original thread should come with a warning for Ash (& ex-convent girls like myself). *blush*

Mr Hurrell: "Most dealers have websites now, so websites with no dealer involvement somehow miss the point...Still lots of artists must be delighted with say the Artbash one, though I think such a context lowers the perception of the work."

Care to elaborate and support your argument?



John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
Well Cosmo it's old ground, that's all. Take a

squizz at The Absurd Self thread.
David Cauchi
9 articles & 122 comments since 9 May 2006
I must be missing something...

...because I can't see how the old thread John refers to elaborates or supports the argument that:

'The point of websites however is to drag potential buyers into a proper gallery where they can see the work at close hand. Most dealers have websites now, so websites with no dealer involvement somehow miss the point.'

In my experience, sweeping generalisations have no value other than exposing the prejudices of those who make them.

The point of artists' websites is not 'to drag potential buyers into a proper gallery'. I started mine long before I had any involvement with galleries. As Artbasher said in the first place, the point was 'to provide easily accessible information about [my work] to the interested public'.

My site documents my work, which is why it has a chronological format, and is not in any way about advertising commodities, which is why it does not include prices. Conversations I've had with friends who have websites indicate they have similar purposes.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
David I was referring to the last part

about context lowering the perception of the work.

You're right. It is confusing. There are two points there.

I was reluctant to go over old ground with AB as I had been very critical of this site's design and didn't want to overlabour the point.

Okay so there are lot of reasons for having websites. Of course to provide info is a great reason for having one, but the original discussion was focussing on the commercial side of things, and with art most buyers want to see the product at first hand.
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
The New View

John,

The really weighty point here, is that the internet and technology in general are rendering our old forms of expression irrelevant and insufficient. Traditional media are being destroyed. Using the internet as merely a means to access traditional media is incredibly limited and doomed to failure. The key is to create with the new technology and explore it's full potential.

I often view the Artbash store (or even the entire site) as an ironic comment on the paradigm shift we are currently experiencing in media: It still works in a traditional way, (or in the way traditional people think the internet should work) but it's also totally idiotic and irreverent and digital. People like Mark Gunderson have used it well.

But as to the true and deeper potential. . . all shall soon be revealed.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
Excellent stuff AB, but the paradox is

that all the art you present for sale is traditional - none is digital.
The fact there isn't any digital [New Media] art on your site reveals a great deal. If you really had a commitment to that technology you'd rush up here and interview international cyber experts like Sean Cubitt [here in Hamilton] or curators like Mercedes Vicente at the Govett-Brewster - and put some discussion on your site. [Then you could come to opening in 10 days of the new hi-tech show at the G-Bag. 'What sound does a colour make?' should be sensational.]

Like PPLX you are an unabashed old fogie - the AB site still promotes a retro technology in the art it espouses.

Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Uh, sorry?

John, to labour my point.

Firstly, several of my artworks for sale in the Artbash Store are "New Media"

Try: Lee Cunliffe Documentary DVD
or Art School Death Match

In future, please look before commenting. I gather from your reviews you do look at shows before you review them. Perhaps being a critic rather than a consumer has you stymied when you step into a store that is designed with consumers in mind (a virtual one anyway).

Furthermore, I'm rather bored by so called "New Media" in traditional settings. I'm far more turned on by what someone like say, Kevin Bewersdorf is doing on his website than anything I've ever seen in a gallery. What I'm talking about is art that you interact with on your computer, that doesn't need any physical existence whatsoever.

When you say "rush up here" you only further betray you're world view - I wouldn't rush anywhere - I'd send him an email. (Just like I did Kevin when I found out about his website)

To rephrase what I said above, the important way to look at the store is with irony; where you laugh at the attempt to use new media to advertise traditional. It's an expression of the (often pathetic) implementation of them both. That in itself is an artwork (of mine) that sits between and beyond both traditional and New Media.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
I've looked at your works with interest several times, AB

My point however is that unless you are consistent with what the technology of your site promotes [apart from yourself] then you are just mouthing empty rhetoric. Because if you were serious about what you said at 11.25 pm last night you would be extremely interested in New Media and keen to investigate examples of its practices here in NZ.

I think you are very muddled. Like you I don't warm to some New Media, but I do make an effort to follow the discussion around it because it is all part of NZ and global art's evolving history. You are the one claiming to wave the 'digital flag', not I -so it is surprising you do not agree.

You think your site promotes the new technology by itself, but you are dreaming. It only shows you are an extremely skilled technician who is not remotely interested in the ideas that accompany digital methodology.

To be fair, there is a distinction between cyber space and [digital in] gallery space, and so you may not be interested in the latter. but those people I mentioned are. Ultimately I suspect the debate is really about left vs right, and New Media tends to be advocated by the left. You on the other hand, just want to use your technical knowhow to make lots of money. That is the heart of the matter I think.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
My last para. should have said

'interested in the former' not 'latter'. The cyber global world is understandably attracting a huge amount of discussion. Computers are common displays in galleries now, but to many New Media artists that gallery audience is incidental, not a requirement.
Populuxe
19 articles & 495 comments since 9 Aug 2005
Old fogey?

Once again John, your modernist knickers are showing as you seem to have tucked your skirt into them in your rush from the technology toilet. What the net does for art is not to create a big warm fuzzy hugs-n-kisses utopian universal community, but rather allows us to indulge our solipsistic pleasures by creating our own little cultural worldlets where we can be omnipotent - rather like the Christchurch City Council at the Art Gallery.

You seem to have confused Artbsh with a public service.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
I agree with your comments about the net

I was pointing out how half-arsed and deluded AB's rhetoric was.
Like on other occasions, there's an issue of consistency.
Lee-looking-profound-1
Artbasher
137 articles & 705 comments since 12 Feb 2005
Ah, Andrew.

My bastion of clear thought.

"You seem to have confused Artbsh with a public service"

Bingo. I guess the problem with masquerading as a public service is that some people will inevitably actually mistake it for one...

You have to understand that I speak with many and contradictory voices, and I don't always bother to login under a unique identity for each one. I apologise for the confusion this obviously causes. Not that it's causing any, I mean you don't seem confused John, I rather feel, "you don't get it".

"Consistency" is a thing of the past I feel: a modernist thing I dare say Populuxe might call it (with an appropriate frown).

Compare the Experimental People. People didn't get them. Then $aatchi did.
R-2006_05_10_651146
Populuxe
19 articles & 495 comments since 9 Aug 2005
with the modest cough of the minor prophet

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
You guys are wannabe cowboys and it's pitiful.

First of all AB says lets eliminate swearing but gleefully leaves hardcore images of genitalia on the site to shock the unprepared.

Then he says the site is there as a service to help circulate information for the artworld, but he is very picky about who gets to use the site for free.

Then he rants about what a wonderful thing digital technology is [esp when he uses it] yet he is totally dismissive of New Media exhibitions.

So that's okay? Because you decide you despise consistency now? If you really believe that then why don't you both give your AB usernames and passwords to the first strangers you meet on the street and enjoy the mayhem on the site. Let them speak for you.

You don't mind. After all, you 'contain multitudes.'
David Cauchi
9 articles & 122 comments since 9 May 2006
Isn't it funny...

...how often online discussions decline into flame wars, despite the discussion opening up several promising lines of enquiry.

Let's be clear - inconsistency isn't an intellectually respectable position, no matter what year it is and no matter who you quote.

Is technology destroying traditional media, as Artbasher asserted above? Is digital art able to escape the commodity system, as maintained by Julian Stallanbrass and others? These are just a couple of interesting and highly debatable questions that could be developed from this thread, but it appears posturing takes priority.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
That terminology you pointed out is fascinating David,

but none of the above rants are personal. Good to have people like yourself contributing new angles to stop things getting repetitive.

Stallbrass is a vociferous Marxist critic who hammers YBA celebrity culture in the UK. As for his targets, well...I find it amazing to see artists on posters in the tube like film stars or musicians. There is no equivalent here. Personally I think that is a shame. A result of our small population and general disinterest in culture.

It is a mistake though to think digital art bypasses the commodity system. Like VHS tapes previously, dealers can sell limited edition digital cds to collectors who want them.
John Hurrell
122 articles & 1507 comments since 2 Dec 2005
Julian Stallabrass appears, by the way,

on several of the filmed forums in the Tate Modern archives. Worth checking out.
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