Avant-garde methods to blur the borderline between original and copy seem to have grown obsolete now that lossless duplication of data material is possible at the flick of a switch. Omnipresent copying techniques in a whole host of different forms confirm that this phenomenon has become established as an artistic practice and within everyday culture. Its modes of functioning and the logic shaping it however frequently remain concealed and are growing increasingly immaterial, giving rise to a pressing need to investigate this phenomenon. The “originalcopy” issue explores the question of how the formerly value-laden distinction between original and copy begins to disintegrate in the process of copying, and looks at how these changes—which also emerge in a broader context beyond the digital realm—are inscribed in artistic production processes. A key question is the tension between the purported immateriality of digital technologies and the material forms in which these technologies are manifested. The essays in this issue open up the question of the dichotomy between original and copy for reconsideration from a post-digital perspective.
Date of publication: 16th April 2018
The art business has long split into a host of parallel branches, each with their own institutional universe, markets and illusions. Even once hegemonic large-scale events like documenta or the biennials in Venice, São Paulo, Istanbul or New York no longer succeed in creating an enduring, coherent narrative. What still holds contemporary art together as an institution? Is it solely projections of potential success on global markets, or is it the hope of finding, at least briefly—beyond the itinerant logic driving one’s own circle—a reflection of purportedly universal value in large-scale events, which appear to offer refuge from everyday routines of local rivalry and representational conflicts? Issue 3/2018 asks artists from various generations about the figures, aesthetic attitudes, biographical experiences and, last but not least, the works and projects that have accompanied their practice as models for reflection, resistance or success. In the process, it poses the question of the nature of production. What is the logic that drives production? Are artists, the work, the project even still the facets perceived? Or is it perhaps more the case that a different conception has long become established in contemporary regimes of exchange, designating the institution of “art” as a space within which one lives and thinks?
Date of publication: 15th July 2018