– All right, welcome back. Like to invite our next
round of panelists up, so if you can start your cameras we're gonna jump right back into the second half of
the lightning rounds. This half is entitled visualizing and preserving
art historical narratives. Starting off will be a panel, so three presenters presenting with a presentation title "The Civic and Creative
Potential of Blockchain Artwork, Artists and Museums." Since they're presenting together we're gonna give them 20 minutes instead of the seven to eight minutes. Presenting will be Nanne Dekking, Amy Whitaker, and Anne Bracegirdle, so I'll turn it over to you. – Thank you. I saw that I was supposed to start. Hi Anne, hi Amy thank you Louisa thank you the Frick it's so good to be back very sad that we're not there but I vividly remember the first time we had
a conference like this already three years ago and I'm happy that we're
going on with this tradition. One thing that really stood out for me for the whole morning sorry I don't wanna insult anyone but the Henry Clay Tinder App resonated and will something I will not likely forget that was actually very funny, so we're here to talk
about blockchain technology and what it can actually do for the arts.
Blockchain technology exists in many other businesses it doesn't necessarily exist already in the art business although the company that I founded a few years called Artory is actually in the registration business in the certification business. We're not selling art but we accumulate credible our information about artwork and we use blockchain technology to make sure that that art that's credible information about artworks becomes immutable and that it gets a timestamp.
For that we always need someone to sign off on the information which is not necessarily how blockchain is used but we firmly believe that when you create
information about artworks you have to make sure who actually signs off on the information. Well, Anne is actually the person who already in 2019 organized in London or was at least the person at Christie's who was the biggest promoter of organizing a conference in London about art and technology.
And I vividly remember that that was one of the first times that in the traditional between brackets "art market" blockchain was being mentioned. Well, so Anne is always grateful that you included me in that conference. And Amy is someone who
approaches blockchain not only but especially from a more let's say educational and how do you say that in English like a scholarly approach which is, which made her to at least for many people but definitely for me as well the guru of the blockchain because she usually pushes these kind of conversations
about blockchain in a very academic atmosphere as well where it also belongs.
So right before we started
the conference today an NFT a Non-Fungible Token called Beeple you all saw it you're all texting now to people about it was sold for 70 million dollar. Okay, good it happened. If I read that if I see that I'm actually a little bit surprised I expected 20 million dollar but the only way I look at it is from my actual field where I'm from and that is the art market.
And I don't wanna discuss
here whether it's art history has taught us that talking about whether art is art when a new art form comes up is useless it's a waste of time. Art is art when people call it art and art has a certain value when people are willing
to pay money for it, so 70 million I don't care. If that's what people wanna pay for it it's worth it apparently it's worth it. Will it be worth the same amount in two years from now I don't know but that we have seen in the past as well.
Now what I like about it is having been a dealer at a very high echelon of
the art market in the past before I started the Artory is that you can actually see that the same principles that add value to a traditional or at least a non-digital artwork established as well, so what is important I was doing the valuation
on artworks often in my work and especially French
So what is important about this NFT? The uniqueness, it's an
absolutely authentic artwork because all the artwork all the information that you wanna know about your artwork is captured in what you
can call a smart contract, so we know everything, we know who made it, we know it's unique there's only one of it. And we know the provenance of the artwork because the provenance started actually at the moment
that the NFT was created, so moving forward we know everything about
the artwork which is nice this is actually an artwork we can track and trace. And we also know that it's scarce we now know the value of the artwork and even the artist who created it has already taken care
of the resale rights when the artwork will be sold again.
When you look at the traditional artwork let's say Monet, big admirer of Monet and I sold many Monets in my
lifetime is you know it's unique if it's unique and you know it for sure you know it will be valuable. And you know that the artwork has been shown in public context usually like in the bigger museums you know exactly which
scholar writes about has written about it artwork and has published about the artwork which me in the days that I was the seller would help me because it was not anymore only what Nanne Dekking
thinks about an artwork it's what does actually the whole scholarly environment,
academic environment, thinks about this artwork. All that information you can actually put in
a smart contract as well and in that case you would create an NFT that's not the artwork as such but it's the smart contract that uniquely relates to a piece of art.
So that's my business
certification processes are being captured, so I'm in the in the
certification business and we capture that information and put it in blockchain and we make sure that people understand and we have also let's
say technical resources that you can make sure that it relates to a unique piece that's actually an existing artwork a non-digital artwork, a traditional artwork I start to call it. Well just to make a small step to the museum world there are companies there's a company in
Holland for example RT Fund and there are other companies as well that are actually specifically looking at the museum world and how could you help the
museum world in raising money.
I've written a piece myself for TEFAF when I was still the chairman
of the board of TEFAF how actually tokenization could also help the art to help museums to raise money without actually having
to sell the artworks. So the way it works the moment you deal with blockchain you make sure that there's information that cannot be changed that it creates a mutable record but you can also make sure that people who you want to look at the information that's in that smart contract all the important information can actually see the information you can give permission. And that's actually the starting point that you can say we now have an artwork which as such is already
a credible artwork we don't have to do anything because it's an artwork from the Frick making up the Frick most likely Louisa is choking up and she hears this but let's say a Monet
from The Frick Collection.
That artwork The Frick would never sell they cannot sell that's already part of
a contract that exists between the people who donated the piece to The Frick or who started the
foundation of The Frick. So now you have an artwork that can never sell but what you potentially could do you can say we're gonna fractionalize the ownership of the artwork, we're gonna tokenize the artwork and we make sure through a
smart contract that everything that The Frick is already
committed to to the artwork custodian in perpetuity the condition that needs
to be shown etcetera becomes smart of the,
part of the smart contract and you can say we now have tokenized an
artwork from The Frick and 51% I'm making the percentage up but if I were The Frick I would make sure it's
a majority percentage of that artwork will remain with The Frick and the rest could actually be sold could be traded.
And I would call these kind
of tokens legacy tokens because the artwork will never sell but it's actually very
interesting concept, right? What you could do you could now become the
owner of a legacy token and you would own a certain percentage of an artwork of The Frick you make sure that what we all know is the value of these artworks will most likely go up, so you can put a monetary
value on that artwork.
And if for example your children were to own your tokens on that artwork that was that's actually
owned by The Frick or the majority shares
are owned by The Frick you can the children could say, well, I have my father has actually helped The Frick by buying these tokens, so part of the smart contract now also has to be it has been a donation to The Frick, it's like a charitable
donation to The Frick.
And if the artwork has gone up in value the children will have
a higher tax write-off as one of the benefits that such a tokenization
model could give you. Technically spoken it's all possible, contractually spoken it's already existing we're just fooling, we're just following current due diligence processes and contracted agreements, so there is there are reasons there are possibilities that you could do this. I'm not saying there are no problems most likely a museum doesn't necessarily always wanna associate a monetary value to an artwork for
reasons of theft etcetera on the other hand everyone knows that an artwork at The
Frick is extremely valuable but I just wanna give it as a concept. And if you talk about the NFT business we now saw that there is
actually interest in NFTs and maybe the 70 million was an exception but we can also see that
these CryptoPunks etcetera are now selling for a lot of money.
And I remember I bought a CryptoPunk maybe two years ago for 4,500 four and a half thousand dollars and the value of these NFTs have gone up. But you can also say an NFT which is apparently a tradable object that we know for sure after today can be associated with an
artwork from the museum and rather than making it a singular piece you can also say we're creating 5,000 NFTs that are associated to a
certain artwork in a museum and that is tradable and tradable for a good reason.
You can say we're trading these NFTs to benefit the museum, so maybe people think this is all a crazy idea but when things happen in different industries already why not look at the art market. If I think about blockchain technology and the art market in the art world I think the key is that we that we are really trying to do this as good as we can by making sure that the information that we put on the blockchain is credible information and that we find credible institutions such as The Frick or credible scholars or credible independent
appraising firms etcetera or even the people who
have sold the artwork by making sure that you can hold them
accountable in the future to create non-changeable records, non-alterable records of the statements they have created in the life cycle of that artwork and that if you do that in the right way it can ultimately create credibility which could actually help museums.
Well, that was what I wanted to add to the conversation today. – I'll jump in I think I'm next in the lineup for our section– – Yes of course. – And thank you for your warm and generous introduction Nanne and I'm honored to be part of this event and also to speak with very esteemed colleague friends. And what I wanna add Nanne has done such a beautiful job kind of setting up these
larger themes of blockchain with regard to trust and originality. I would like to offer some thoughts about equity and artists. And when I say artists I actually extend that to a broader notion of citizen or participant in our ecosystem. And so as as Nanne says an NFT a Non-Fungible Token or a blockchain record of an artwork has this registrarial character of being kind of accepted to be true of being a provenance that can be publicly agreed upon and it has these aspects of what might be a David
or an Ingres painting or something we might
come across in The Frick.
It also has the aspects of a salute or a conceptual work that travels with a
certificate of authenticity and one of the main things that a non-fungible token does is it allows a digital work to function as an original and that has many as Nanne has wonderfully elucidated for us that has a lot of
applications to the market. What I wanna talk about is underneath this bright
shiny sunburst of spectacle of things like the Beeple sale what does this mean for
structural work for artists for economic sustainability for artists and for ways of including
artists and the public in the life of objects. So some of the research that I do is on this question and I'll start briefly with
the non-blockchain part in order to ramp into a couple of ideas to share about some really amazing work I think is happening on the artist side. So I have a research question of what would happen if artists retained equity in their work when it was first sold.
There's this problem of artists selling work early on and then the work sells for a lot of money in markets later and artists do not share in this benefit and this is a conversation around resale royalties in many jurisdictions. And in studying archival records for Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and for the Green and
Betty Parsons gallery I with a collaborator Roman Crazel have found that if Jasper Johns or Robert
Rauschenberg retained equity when their work was first sold they would have outperformed
U.S. equities markets the S&P 500 by up to a thousand times or gained a 20 to 40% return every year from the late 1950s early '60s to 2005.
So I do not mean this as a profit-seeking market argument but as a question of
participation in value and in conversations
around value in the arts and what does it mean for artists to have an autonomy
and dignity orientation to participate in markets for their work. So we're seeing a lot of really exciting
experimentation in blockchain on both the bitcoin blockchain and the ethereum blockchain these different protocols. And the most important thing to keep in mind when I say this is just that blockchain is a it's a registrarial technology, it's a way of trusting what is true about the past or about information from sales to provenance to art historical data and because we have a
decentralized database that happens to be incentivized to be maintained by the
presence of cryptocurrencies but it's really shares a lot of affinities to the concerns of museums and being registrarial and being concerned with our understanding and knowledge around things that we value as a culture.
So following from some experimental work that artists did in the
late '60s and early 1970s around what's called the artist contract or the Siegelaub Projansky agreement there are ways that people sell art where a percentage of the proceeds go back to the artist contractually. And this contract was only
really used speculatively by people like Hans Haacke but it has become used in blockchain companies in order to share proceeds with artists, so for example the early
blockchain company Monograph used the terms directly
from the artist contract so that if work was resold artists would receive a
percentage of the proceeds. Companies like SuperRare which sell non-fungible tokens or digital art on blockchain broadly they also use these terms so that a percentage of proceeds are shared back to artists. To give two really current examples in the past couple of weeks the artist Sarah Ludy who is represented by Bitform's gallery announced that when she sells digital work 35% of the proceeds go to her gallery but they don't go entirely to her gallery or to the owner that 35% is split into five shares, so one of those 7% shares goes to the gallery owner and the others go to the individual people who are art workers in the gallery, so the artist has chosen to create an economic
redistribution tool around the work.
And the second example and this is an image
that's behind me as I speak and the artist Casey Reese who's well known for developing or co-developing the computer processing, the computer programming
language Processing which has included a much broader kind of representative
audiences BIPOC artists and women artists to develop digital works and has started something
called Feral File which is being launched now for an exhibition March 19th. And they are also using these tools to include artists equitably in the financial structure they're listing the sale using the Bitmark blockchain which is a very early
stage blockchain company, I and Casey are both advisors to it and I don't mean to speak with a conflict of interest.
But I think what they're doing is really interesting work to center artists structurally in these conversations and I think just to close by kind of looping back one
thread of what Nanne said when we think about artists
participating in their work there's a conversation around
democratizing participation and structural support of artists and you can think about that in the museum context too where you can absolutely develop these kind of asset tokens in the financial nature of
works of art and museums and that conversation is very activated in the United States by changes in de-accessioning rules as led by the Association
of Art Museum Directors.
You can also imagine a kind of audience token in which there's more of a playing card of works of art in the collection and members of the public can adopt works of art as a form of making visible and tangible forms of collective
ownership civic ownership connection of museums to their audience, so I hope that as we all
together explore blockchain and stay centered in these shared values of kind of trust and record keeping around original objects and creative experimentation that these themes of equity can stay on top of mind and what we decide to to build, thank you. – And I'll just very quickly wrap up by hopefully like being an
ambassador for blockchain and just maybe getting everyone excited on the heels of this Beeple sale by sharing a few things I think are super important to remember as with this spectacle that's going on with NFTs. I think it's important to remember that blockchain by its nature provides an opportunity
for any digital asset to have a digital identity, right? So and that's what we
mean when we say token.
So a token means that we
can now create editions for digital works, right? And so for instance when the first time that
I sort of realized that and fell in love personally with the potential of this new technology to give digital artists an opportunity to actually make revenue was when I discovered CryptoPunks which Nanne mentioned earlier who a few of which are behind me. Nanne by the way you bought one for a few thousand dollars you can now really only get one for about $30,000, so CryptoPunks were the first were arguably the first digital art NFT that was created on
the ethereum blockchain that was created by two
brilliant technologists named Matt Hall and John Watkinson they created a collective
called Larva Labs. When they realized after like seeing the rise of Bitcoin that you could create a
digital tradable asset with a little with an image essentially a pixelated image. And the scarcity and rarity of these is determined by their traits, so only say three of
them have an eye patch so those three are
going to trade currently for about a million dollars. And it's entirely its own ecosystem, so they're non-fungible because you can only trade
them with themselves.
And when I learned about this the first thing I thought of this is the first this is like they were again this sort of came to rise in 2017 when few people were talking
about art and blockchain but I immediately thought of Warhol and genuinely believed that this movement is kind of our generation's
pop art in a way, right? If you think about Warhol like just exploring notions of abundance and the rise of consumer culture and the ways that we're consuming via television via advertisement like we think about people
buying NFTs right now and trading them among themselves just consuming digitally, right? Like it just made perfect sense to me that this would be the rise of sort of the next movement within the contemporary art world is the trading of these digital assets. And what's exciting again is that now it also provides an opportunity for artists as Amy said to provide a consistent portion of the sale proceeds because anything you want
to be involved in that trade is written into what Nanne
called the Smart Contract, so anytime a digital asset trades hands you can determine what
goes into that trade.
So as you know someone mentioned in the chat copyright, so anytime a piece of
art is shown somewhere a portion of any single revenue or any any art payment would go directly right
back to the artist. And so those are just a couple of examples of how blockchain can sort of
revolutionize the art world and it's I think it's great that this Beeple sale just brought is making everyone sort of
understand what it means like what is a token because a token again can mean very different things, it can mean what Nanne talked about like tokenizing a physical artwork and then dividing it
among different owners.
And so anyway so I wanted to close by just again hoping that
we've inspired some of you to learn more about the technology and get excited about the ways in which it'll really benefit
everyone in the industry. And hopefully convince you to buy some digital art. – Yeah see it as art that's the beauty of it, right? There is no it's just a new medium for an artist I would say, yeah. – And an art project unto itself. – Exactly. – Someone just asked about
resource of readings, I highly recommend that if you wanna learn anything about this
movement to follow art gnome a gentleman called Jason Bailey who has been a thought
leader in this space since it launched. – Agreed yeah. – Okay, well thank you everyone I appreciate everyone
that is in attendance it's fantastic to be here and thank you to our
hosts for putting this on it's a great seminar.
And my name is Todd Swanson I'm the head of Getty Digital Imaging and I'm here today to talk about a digitization project
that the Getty undertook focused on Ed Ruscha's
streets of Los Angeles archive and so I'm just gonna jump right on in because I know we are
somewhat short on time. In 2012 the Getty Research Institute acquired the streets
of Los Angeles archive which is Ed Ruscha's archive that's focused on his street shoots and it covers a range of
time from 1965 to 2007. The bulk of this material is on 35 millimeter black
and white negative film that is on reel, so it's basically motion picture film that you can see kind of in
those canisters on the right.
There's also cut strip film and studio notebooks that document these street shoots. And so when I say street shoot what do I mean? Essentially it's what it sounds like Ed and his team would get in the back of a truck with the camera and they would go down these major boulevards
and avenues of Los Angeles and essentially photograph
every inch of the street you know driving up one way and then back the other way kind of creating the foundation of these like basic
panoramas of the street.
And they would then
revisit those same streets in those same paths over and over and over again over the course of a 50-year period, so what we have here is really an amazing collection of photographs and a really interesting
look at Los Angeles. One of the outputs of this work is kind of a fairly
well-known artist book of ads every building on the sunset strip and it's essentially that he printed out in this artist book kind of stitched together a panorama of every building on sunset strip, so it's kind of this deadpan look at the street Los Angeles.
And when we acquired the collection it was almost immediately identified as a great candidate
for digitization project not only 'cause the
interest in Ed Ruscha's work and its contributions to art history but also because of the
way it looks at Los Angeles kind of the changing landscape
of Los Angeles over time and then also very largely because how inaccessible the material was to scholars patrons and the general public alike, right? So it's 35 millimeter
negative film on reel and it's almost impossible to provide access to that. So the project goals for digitization, obviously were to make
available the collection and to the scholarly community
and the wider public, so it's kind of a two-pronged approach.
Can we provide scholarly access? or access to to support
a scholarly community? as well as the general public alike? we need to provide then access into that digitized content. We wanted to demonstrate
the research potential of this archived art history and other disciplines like I said it's not only Ed
Ruscha's work as an artist but the content of that work focuses on Los Angeles the streets of Los Angeles, urban development and planning, car culture, the music
scene in Los Angeles I think there's a ton that
can be gleaned out of this that isn't simply Ed's art even though it is Ed's art. We want to document workflows for computer-generated metadata and deploying diverse types of metadata like geospatial system in Getty systems. We want to also deepen the understanding of scholarly use of digital resources at the Getty Research Institute, so what does it mean when we make it a project like this for scholarly use.
The timeline for the project began in 2017 as far as the actual
digitization component and finally wrapped up after
web development in October I believe was October of 2020, so just a few months ago the project was finally closed out. And then so in case you're
not familiar with Los Angeles or Sunset Boulevard this is
a map section of Los Angeles. And Sunset Boulevard runs from the pacific coast in Santa Monica all the way through to downtown Los Angeles at union station. And so we focused the digitization project on Sunset Boulevard because
Ed shot Sunset the most also because it ties to the book and it's a really
interesting street as well and so Ed shot this I think it was like 14 times and we digitized 12 of those. And the just some interesting
facts about the street it's 24 miles long, so you can go from one end to the other it's 24 miles Ed would
drive up and down the street overlapping photographs the entire way and then of course back down and then you can multiply that by 12 and you walk away with a lot of images, right? So that that's where part of the project began was on imaging front.
So we had to figure out a way to image this content
in an efficient manner we dedicated one year to imaging, we captured 130,026 frames and that was from 15 different reels and that covered 12 different
years at Sunset Boulevard. We worked with hardware vendors to create a reel the reel system to advance the film through and as well as software
the camera software to enhance the auto cropping obviously there's a large project in a short amount of time and we wanted to be as
efficient as possible.
And then when you walk away with 130,000 images of
these frame the images you have to be able to provide
meaningful access to that you can't expect users to kind of browse through that content in any meaningful way, right? This is just a standard part
of digitization projects. We could link to the finding aid which would get you kind of a narrower chunk
subset of that material. We had the studio the notebooks that had Ed's notes about
the shoots themselves that would document when a shoot when a certain reel would start and stop the streets that they correspond with weather conditions, camera settings, a lot of interesting metadata in there but we knew we needed to kind of get a little more granular or try to look at ways to make the collection
more accessible as a whole.
So one of the things we did was we ran OCR I know we've been talking about that a little bit today on these images and I guess the difference here is that this is more of a what I would consider visual media rather than a text-based media and but still there's text on there. And so we ran OCR on these images we could pull out things like signs, addresses,
phone numbers on billboards, anywhere that text was detected was a good hook to pull in. We also ran computer vision, so it's kind of like visual tagging of elements, cars, buildings, trees everything that the computer
vision park could solve we just used kind of the out of box google vision API on this. Another interesting kind of
computer generated metadata was we worked with Stanford's
Geospatial Information Center and their team helped us or helped devise a way
to computationally apply GIS coordinates to each of these images because Ed photographed these streets in such a methodical way that it was easy we were able to apply the GIS information computationally and so with that you could get latitude, longitude coordinates and then camera bearing.
And we can overlay that
on the open street maps, so now we have the position of that particular shot we know which way it's
pointing on the street we can overlay it on the map, so in this case we're looking
at 6360 West Sunset Boulevard. And once we know that address now we can hook into another
interesting piece of data which is the Los Angeles
county's assessor portal, so essentially the tax
assessor information is associated with 6360
West Sunset Boulevard.
And in here you can pull all sorts of interesting information when the building was constructed, when permits came through sales, the times that changed hands, a ton of interesting information there. All of that all these images are served up through IIIF, so we leverage the IIIF presentation API in the image API which then we can leverage those APIs to point out to the two access points we created for the project. First being the research collection viewer and so this is our Getty's kind of long-standing the place that you would go to do research on the collections that have been digitized at the Getty. And then 12 Sunsets which is the interactive
web app that was created and this was focused more towards the general user in public and this essentially
lets you drive through the streets of Los Angeles with the overlaying map you have a car you can navigate through the images move as you drive through the streets you can add in multiple years, so you can see you know how it changed or what it looked like
from 1973 to 1975 to 1985.
You can link back to the
research collection viewer to the you get the geospatial information the IIIF manifest the tax assessor information it's all there and it's a fantastic collection and I would have loved to do a live demo but time isn't permitting, so I will encourage you to go to 12sunsets.getty.edu and explore that project and have fun and if you haven't seen it before yeah have fun. – We'll take just a couple questions before we end today's sessions. There's been a number of
questions that came up regarding the sustainability of using blockchain and NFTs. I wonder if you guys could just speak to that in general? – Amy when you start do you wanna start it off? – I assume that means
environmental sustainability? – Correct.
– Yeah I think that's an
incredibly important question and there's some great
minds thinking about it. One of the core debates in that space is whether we should use proof of work or proof of stake as a way of verifying the blockchain, so proof of work people
solve mathematical puzzles that take a lot of computing power. And so the energy use for proof of work goes up kind of exponentially. Proof-of-stake the energy use goes up in a more linear way but the downside of proof-of-stake is that you have to have money or a stake in the cryptocurrency to be able to participate and so it can be exclusionary. I personally think under the heading that blockchain is an art project that those questions are connected to other systemic questions of blockchain like the management of private keys and I don't mean to punt to say this I really do think some of
the great minds in blockchain are thinking about it.
I think there's a chance that some of the bitcoin
blockchain applications rather than ethereum will be less energy intensive and I also know that
the Haber and Stornetta the gentleman who wrote a 1991 paper on time stamping digital documents that is then cited in the footnotes multiple footnotes of the Satoshi white paper are thinking about it, so I do hope that in the
Avant-garde art story of blockchain and we'll realize that some of these sort of like precursors or thinkers who prototyped it will hopefully kind of help develop these conversations.
Just to acknowledge equity and inclusion kind of at an identity and personal level and environmental impact are some of the biggest challenges in the blockchain space and I appreciate the
question for noting them. – No I agree it's an
incredibly timely question as well of course if you
talk about the environment. The most sophisticated hashing systems are used now as well to make the information as comprised as possible compressed as possible but we're not there yet to Amy's point but there's a lot of research
being done right now.
On the other hand having been the chairman of TEFAF
European Fine Art Fair if you see how physical objects are being transported from all over the world look at the carbon footprint of an actual art fair, so that's no excuse to not look at how you can make blockchain more efficient let's say environmentally efficient but it's definitely also you need to look at it also
in a different context. – Great thank you. It looks like there are some questions coming in on the sustainability which actually refers to preservation. Can you speak to that? Let me see if I can
find the exact question.
I'm suggesting that
equipment becomes obsolete and how does that add to or detract from the value of digital art? – Amy do you wanna start again? – Yeah I'll try to be brief because I so enjoyed
everyone else's presentations and I know there are
questions for the whole. That's a real question I hear people talk about Bit rot degradation of code. It's a joke if you hang out with art conservators that if anyone leaves a old-fashioned like tube television by the side of the street immediately a car full of curators will stop and pick it up because the old-fashioned
television technologies are so in demand for early video works. I think if anyone is
interested in this topic my recommendation to you would be to get on the
mailing list for the topics in time-based media
conservation lecture series which is hosted by the institute of fine arts at NYU. They have a really excellent
series of lectures. I've been fortunate to speak in it on the topic of bit of blockchain rather but they also record the lectures it's sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and that would be a great way to plug into a conversation.
I think conservators of time based media are the kind of thought leaders in that conversation. Again, great question
really important topic. – Thank you. Let's see there is a question that came in for sorry let me just find this here they're moving around. Question about how were the comparative artists chosen in the constable study? – Yeah thank you for that question. What we ended up looking at were artists working of course around the time of constable. And we began to kind of
home in on a few criteria one of those criteria were artists who were working in a similar vein which is to say specifically working out
of doors en plein air and so artists who were engaged in that kind of empirical
engagement with clouds. We were increasingly finding that this idea of Constable's kind of really locking on
to those cloud taxonomies that were produced by Luke Howard might be an interesting hinge for us and so we also started to look for artists who were working before they could have had access in 1803 to that information and Valencian is is one of those artists. And then artists who
we can possibly assume did have access to that information, so that kind of clustering around before around that time and a little later.
And then finally we in early preliminary
assessments and research it became very clear that we needed to focus on artists who were working in the same media which is to say oil painting specifically as opposed to working with artists who might be engaged with watercolor. – Thank you. And Todd I'm gonna put a couple questions together and add in my own for you.
It seems very prescient the way that Ruscha's project predated the google street views and I can only assume he had no way to imagine the technology that
would be available today, how involved was he within creating the digital project and did he design that or was that designed
outside of his studio? – Yeah absolutely. Yeah
so Ed was definitely involved with the project with the 12 Sunsets web application, he was involved with the
overall digitization project, I should say Ed and his studio and his brother Paul. And ultimately he had sign off on all of the web application part of it and he was very excited about the whole project that it had this life that it could continue on. He is still working on
photographing those streets, so it's something we think about as kind of like a living
archive that's expanding.
We did work with a company to build out that application stamen, so it was a kind of a Getty digital and Stamen product. So yeah I'm sure he had no idea what was gonna happen but obviously google street views came up. I actually don't know I haven't heard Ed talk about
the comparison of those, so I can't speak to how he feels about the two or if he's amused by it or if it's just kind of. I'm imagining he'd be
amused by it (laughs) but yes he was involved with lots of people and there was a lot of people
involved on this project so. – Great thank you all very much. I'm gonna turn it over to Louisa for closing remarks. – Okay thank you so much to everybody all of you speakers I feel just terrible for having to have
compressed your thoughts into such a very, very short time.
I really, really appreciate it. I'm sure you all could have spoken for hours on your topic, so thank you for putting
up with our format and fitting it all into two hours and thank you for compressing it down and being on time and everything went very smoothly so incredible. There's a ton of people this is the last of four days we've had for this symposium first starting in October, November, January, and now. All of the first three
are on the Frick's website as the videos as will this one be most of the talks not all
the speakers have agreed because some of the the research is so new and hasn't been published, I also want to thank this project has been a very long time in coming and we had an original
organizing committee from two years ago and that included several
people here Paul Messier, Damon Crockett, Nanne
Dekking, Rick Johnson, Mia Mochizuki, Tianna
Uchacz, Jim Coddington, Graham Haber, Claudia Silva, and the library's director
Dr. Stephen Berry, so thank you to all of them for all their input and it transformed obviously from an in-person event at MoMA to this four-part online.
And I would also like to thank the co-organizers Robert, Samantha, Luciano Johnson who organized the the
last two with Robert, Ellen Prokop who has now left the Frick and couldn't be here today although I see she's participating, Sarah Bigler who filled in to in for her and Samantha Deutch you also saw today. So lots of people helped out in this PR team at the Frick and of course David Morneau our web our webinar host who keeps us all on track. Thank you all for coming and be sure to see the videos in the next month..