A brick-and-mortar art-auction house is experimenting with a digital block, reports Jennifer Maloney in The Wall Street Journal (9/23/13). Phillips de Pury & Co. is auctioning items including "a website, a YouTube video and digital files that could be displayed on a range of devices at the discretion of the buyer." One item, rgb,d-lay, is a YouTube video that is priced based on its number of views. Another, the website of artist Rafael Rozendaal, is offered with the stipulation that the new owner must keep the site publicly visible and "renew the domain registration annually."
The auction "signals the growing interest of mainstream collectors in digital art," as well as a "bid to capture the attention of young collectors or established ones exploring new media for the first time." "At one point, digital art was sort of niche," says Michael Connor, editor and curator of Rhizome, a "nonprofit organization … which commissions digital artists and archives digital art." Now, says Michael, digital art "is so ubiquitous, it has thoroughly invaded the contemporary art landscape. It is also pushing contemporary art in new directions."
Featured pieces "include works by artists inspired by the inner workings of computers or the internet, as well as those who use the web as a distribution platform. Some of the works are static images, while others morph on their own, or change in response to input from the viewer. Still others are physical objects created or inspired by technology." Some artists have realized exposure through traditional museums or galleries, while "others have built their audiences online through sites such as Tumblr." The auction is set to start on October 10th, with both in-person and online bidding allowed.