Phillips auction house embraces digital art with “Paddles ON!”, a Tumblr-based auction


posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 12:38 PM EST


Digital art is about to receive a major publicity boost for a medium that struggles with legitimacy. Famed auction house Phillips has teamed up with Tumblr to create Paddles ON!, in one of the first art auctions devoted solely to digital art.

Some 20 different works are up for auction, many of which dramatically push the boundaries of items that are generally put up for auction. After all, how do you sell a website or a YouTube video?

There's a strong link to photography and videography through many of the items up for auction. Mark Tribe's Black Creek is probably the most traditional of the lot, part of this Rare Earth series, which were landscape photographs captured from inside video games. It's a large, archival pigment print, and is expected to fetch $4,500.

Also in the photographic vein is Clement Vella's Postcards from Google Earth, which are captures of impossible geography presented by the mapping of Google Earth.

For fans of video art, Petra Cortright's rgb,d-lay is a 45 second YouTube video, or Molly Soda's eight hour long performance piece, Inbox Full. As for how can you buy a digital video? Well, it seems you'll get a "Webcam video file" out of an edition of five, if you purchase Cortright's work.

The artists themselves will receive 80% of the winning bid, with Phillips waiving its fee, instead donating the rest to Rhizome, a NY non-profit that supports new media and digital art.

This auction does raise some interesting questions about what defines digital art. The Postcards from Google Earth are generated from satellite images stretched over digital geography. So does that mean that any image digitally edited counts as digital art?


(via Cool Hunting)