Elias Rodrigues de Oliveira (aviva@africanet.com.br)
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 14:26:43 -0300

Hello, artists

( missing you.... Lily, i still have, and i will, to write to you ,
sorry for the delay )

I did write some text about 'original and copy' last year, and I'd like
to share in this discussion about original in digital art:


Original / copy / artistic value / economic value.

Traditional tools like paint brush, pencil,.. are tools with no
ability to register and repeat their graphical events - as so they
are limited; as well our mind and body - we can reproduce similar
- not identical .
To objects made out using such a technology - we use to call them
:‘originals’ a ‘unique-object’.
If computer, as well , was limited to make just a ‘unique-object’ -
them - this ‘unique-object’ would also be called ‘original’. ok? so
Original in this sense has to do with quantity, not with quality.

But, in fact, computer technology is able to ‘register’ and then
‘represent’ the ‘unique event’ that happens in the mind of the artist
- this creative event is: action, art, unique and the truly ‘original
art work’.

When we make identical representations of that ‘unique event’ - we make
and copies can be made in different means: digitally in floppies
,disk, tape, ram,... graphically ( analogically ) in papers, 3d models,
monitor screen (a temporary copy ), etc..

Our body, with physical movements - arms an hands.. ‘represents’ that
‘unique event’ from our mind, in this way , we are making ‘copies’ from
our mind in ‘real-time’, but unable to register and repeat we are
limited to a ‘single-copy’ edition ( don't call it original - no more!
Now, we can think ‘Monalisa’ as a limited-edition , with just one

So it makes no sense to ask about the ‘original object’ when we make
digital-art-work, for this technology allows to make more then a
single-copy , and Identical objects must have identical names and

Rethinking the meaning of ‘original’ we need to move it from the
outside (unique object of art) to the inside - the
‘experience-during-creative-process’ , the ‘unique event’ that happens
in the artist's existence.

- Original
- Is the unique artist's experience during the creative process.
- has a value for it is art , a sense of beauty and love.
- is not a physical object - so money can't buy. "Money can’t buy
me love "

- ‘Unique-Object’ or ‘single-copy’
- a one-copy, limited edition, like ‘Monalisa’, but represents a
artistic value
- artistic importance for this copy enable us to share with others,
our "Original" experience.
- high economic value for is a single copy.

-Copies - limited edition - prints
- a not-so-free actitude from artist, and art-market still tied
to the idea of ‘Unique-Object’ , their desire is
to be ‘many’ using technology possibilities ,they should fell
like a sinner for not being the ‘unique’ lover.
- artistic importance for this copy enable us to share with others,
our "Original" experience.
- low economic value per copy - Limiting edition has element of
elitism in a marketing strategy .

Copies - Unlimited-edition - variety of means ( midia )
- Bytes fly away every where.. free from matter and reappear
digitally and graphically - screens an prints.
- artistic importance for interactively enable us to share our
"Original" experience.
- no economic value per copy = no copy , online enjoyment..