Does Digital Art Hold Value?

Are we defining value here is strictly monetary? I think it’s pretty obvious that the value of the music industry in dollars has declined. (but i think digital art is rather new so maybe that’s created a new industry?? I’m honestly not sure)

but I think the net value of digital art is increasing for sure. More people are seeing it, and it’s helping them create higher quality art of their own. it’s “raising the bar” as discussed earlier. And I think that value trumps the monetary aspect… no?

You all might enjoy this:

If you’re in the Minneapolis area, it’s on March 20th. If you aren’t it will be archived afterward (ironically, on the internet available for download…)

Well it is the only way I know of to define value in a quantifiable way.

But that’s what makes this discussion difficult to pin down. Value is subjective and for me is the cruxt of the problem. When it comes to the value of, say, a song online. To the downloaded it is worth a dollarish…+/- a dollarish depending on where you get it. To the label it is worth far more. To the musician it is worth the value of hopes and dreams.

In a word, no.

Digital or any form of digitized art can easily and infinitely be replicated. Those two aspects are prime to establishing value (time spent to reproduce and availablity) of any good. If you have a brilliant digital piece and it’s available for sale for 10k dollars, and I purchase it, I now own the rights to the work as well as the work itself. A single copy I could make is indistinguishable from the original work, so now we have two copies of the work one for free and one for 10k dollars, but the ability to infinitely reproduce this will ultimately drive the value towards zero if there is any demand beyond my own personal preference for the work. If a million other people want the work I can reproduce and sell it to them but somewhere along the line the amount of paid versions will be quickly outnumbered by the free/bootlegged/unpaid versions in the marketplace. Or there is little to no demand and the value in the big scheme of things may as well be zero.

See, paying a dollar for a song only costs you a dollar in that particular forum. There are plenty of places to find the same song in the same format for free (torrents). You’re paying a dollar for what ever self imposed reasons. Several online services (eg. grooveshark) will allow you to stream virtually any song for free. There are free programs that allow you to rip and encode your own stuff from online media too but quality may not be top notch.

With the ubiquity of the internet and various entertainment websites I’m always amazed when I hear someone saying they pay for a song in digital format mp3 mp4 etc… I may still buy CD’s because of the superior quality and to support the artist but that’s a personal choice.

This reminds me of the idea that something isn’t just worth what YOU pay for it. There is no such thing as free, monetarily speaking. Someone always pays. If you get something for free, someone else is paying to host it, provide it, duplicate it, ship it to you, whatever. There is always money changing hands when you acquire a good, so I’d use that as another thing to point to as digital art holding value. But what JOHNFM brought up about the 10k is also important. If you assign something a value, it gets diluted with every copy. So eventually the value of something would drift towards zero in terms of you selling it to others, NOT what it would cost. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it (with respect to the arts) no?

IP, you’re totally right. Value is all about perspective. There are many different types of value. Monetary, Sentimental, and others I’m sure I just can’t think of. So if there are many different types of value, wouldn’t there always be some kind of value any object would have? or is that not nec. true?

Just listened to a documentary on Ben Franklin this morning. His first published works were unpaid poems and editorials when he was 15 years old. The success, even though unpaid, was enough to give him the confidence to strike out on his own. In the long run, money is really less important than experience and satisfaction of a job well done.

On a related note. SFMOMA added two 3 dimensional pieces to the collection last year that where both made from RP processes. In one instance the creator destroyed the digital file. In the second, the creator handed the file over and insisted that if the SLA ever yellowed, another be printed.

To say digital Art has no value is a little broad. There is a lot of traditional art in the world, 99.999% of it has little to no value. Same with pretty much anything. Value is relative and all perception based.

an artist collective that has grown over the last decade doing progressively great digital artwork.
many of their pieces are becoming quite expensive and plenty are finding meaningful design jobs as art directors at a very young age.

That’s really interesting Yo.

In the first case, by destroying the digital file, the artist has created a single instance without means of duplication, (except through 3d scanning or remodeling) Essentially, it’s a one a kind thing with value, done deal. The creation process is fairly modern, but in the end it’s still an object. This situation is analogous to a woodcut artist destroying his blocks after a set edition of prints…

The second case is less about the object, and more about the idea of it always being represented in a “perfect” machine produced 3D representation. SLA is a curious process choice though because everyone knows an SLA model will absolutely warp in dimension and fade and turn yellow…almost like a patina,
yet the artist has chosen to have the work reproduced.

… everyone knows an SLA model will absolutely warp in dimension and fade and turn yellow…almost like a patina,
yet the artist has chosen to have the work reproduced.

Maybe not everyone. He is an artist, after all. … …

Is that autocorrect striking again? hahaah

Ha, yes, fixed it… Thanks.