@ Cirrus Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, curated by Art Object Culture
Open Network, part of Once Emerging Now Emerging: a series of exhibitions presenting work from the archive of Cirrus Gallery alongside the work of current emerging artists, will include a physical sampling of projects by Justin Botchek & Chris Collins, and Jeff Baij & Michael Manning, both originally exhibited on http://artobjectculture.net/
ArtObjectCulture is an online site that curates two artists a month to create new art objects from items preexisting in various online stores. All artworks link each material to the store where it is available for purchase to the general public. Each exhibition lists prices based on the accumulated cost of all the materials used to create an artwork, plus an additional 43% for art object tax. Purchasing terms for each object imply the initiative of commerce but also cite its source materials, making it openly accessible and able to be independently recreated. These two acts work in direct opposition to each other. The two projects selected for Open Network address the awkward conflict in attempting to make what is available to everyone for sale as art.
In Chris Collins & Justin Botchek’s project United Character Emporium, the artists depicted on T-shirts several images of familiar cartoon characters drawn from memory. The characters resembled bootleg characters due to their inaccurate and incomplete portrayal. The online store of merchandise that the artists created via http://www.cafepress.com/ was quickly made inaccessible due to copyright issues. Although copyright does not cover ideas themselves, it does cover the manner in which they are expressed. Regardless of the quality or accuracy of portrayal, a sentiment on the impression of a branded character cannot be profited from.