Jerry Gray: Digital daydreamWritten by Jerry Gray | | email@example.com
Sitting here and thinking about why I have to postpone my article and listing of art studios in Toledo till next week … and debating how to best utilize a new digital projector at Bozarts … I’m stopped dead in my tracks. Digi Gal comes to mind. Within a minute and a half of blips and whirs, synaptic pops and split second daydreams I realize a rare original thought, I think.
The idea is … A digital gallery with flat screens and projectors, weekly/daily art exhibitions synchronized with prints and perhaps originals on hand or available by order. Archival limited editions produced on a variety of materials chosen either by the artist or by the patrons. With a good lawyer, a savvy online presence, industrious marketing, good music, a great sound guy, awesome art and a sincere stance, boom, there it is. The possibilities are endless once you get over the little hump of start-up. I mean, it would probably cost about 50,000 smacks to throw the whole thing together, even if you have a group of good friends who would know how to assemble such a mess of ideas.
With the Internet and the ease of file sharing, representation “could” become relatively easy to acquire with artists, offering them solo digital shows, group shows, archiving, limited edition printing and all sorts of marketing and sales opportunities without them having to even give up the original image. A total commission for a digital file and specified printing and distributing rights.
Photography, film, print making and digital media, would be the obvious choices to focus on, painting and sculpture both typically have a more tactile aesthetic to them, even if you don’t touch them. Not to mention the music, in the same way (digitally) could be shared and distributed with rights of use negotiated, but not costing anybody anything accept a patron bringing in a flash drive and a gallery kiosk of some sort. Compilation DVDs of artists could be produced for all those wall mounted flat screens out there in the world. The music could be marketed on the same Web and social sites as the images and POW, patrons can simply buy digital files with hard contracts on use of the files, or not depending on the artist’s desires. If set up correctly, even buy copies of the live music performance they just saw that night.
So many ideas and possibilities come to mind as these thoughts come over me. I remember a similar idea from a couple years ago about a digital cultural archive and museum, local or not? A terabyte external drive is about a $100; 20 or 30 of them would be a good start. Then begin cataloging files, even marketing it as a service to artists along with slide and print worthy photo documentation which helps to support the existence of such a place. Digital media is so prevalent and easy to access, this could be an extremely comfortable and multifunctional method for patrons to purchase music and images.
OK, quick question: how much would you pay for a digital file of a symphony or rock show you just attended or perhaps for a digital image of your favorite painting at the museum or a gallery exhibition where you couldn’t afford what you wanted? You would be able to use the image on all kinds of digital devices, your phone, laptop, desktop, television, digital picture frames or perhaps print them yourself. If there is anything that I learned from Andy Warhol, it’s the simple fact, the more popular an image is the more valuable the original(s) become. Somebody will want it and both the business/organization and the artist win. So do it … or give me the money and I’ll do it, and name it after you, like Fifth Third Field. Cheers!
Jerry Gray is an artist, writer, vocalist, bartender, gallery owner and advocate of the Toledo Potential, including the retaining and featuring of
artistic talent and culture in our city.