AFHstudioBK at 269 Powers St. is proceeding apace! I'm mostly focusing on mid-size pieces in 3-4' range on the big easel plus Topos and 1-2' sizes on the small easel. The second 4D VyNIL series is titled WorkNet and the latest piece begins to clarify the shift from Network. Here's a sampler of work finished in the new space so far:
On the virtual art marketing front, I launched the AFH Vango store. I uploaded a couple dozen 4D VyNIL pieces and eventually will add the remainder. I wanted to gauge any initial push/bump/run effect via the Netflix-like UI for collectors. So far, nada, which was a little disappointing. You can be certain I will be monitoring all the action at Vango, because I'm pretty jazzed about the platform. It's certainly easy to navigate, on the back-end, with a great array of powerful tools built-in. First impressions: Vango provides a software-based intermediation between artist and client. We have researched all the major platforms and chose Vango to try first. I was an early adopter/user of Ebay, Saatchi, Etsy and did not find any of those marketplaces to be particularly humane models for the exchange of art. Vango does make the effort to appeal to the artist-user on some outreach tools. The focus is on selling and the diagnostics are cool. The start-up vibe is still in the Vango system. As opposed to the present-day Saatchi, which I think is the big mover in the field. The variances among the stores are notable, and comparing the divergent approaches is helpful. Artsy, UGallery, Fine Art America - and there are plenty of others - either orient to artist or collector, and every market sets sights on a niche, appeals to its clientele via price point and message. The range is pretty much still open. No one (Saatchi and others wanted to initially) has cornered the online art market, because "ART" is hard to corner. The vertical and horizontal measures of the art world propel a vortex of confusing counter-positions, especially if you add the Internet into the mix. High- and low-, scarcity, de-skilling, provenance, aesthetics and on and on ~ LULZ! Anyway, the AFH blitz is just getting started...
I joined Monegraph yesterday. I will begin building a catalog of digital art there later this month. Excited! I have known the CEO Kevin McCoy (and his wife/collaborator Jennifer) since 2006 or -7, when they were visiting artists at CGU. Great people! Amazing artists! I plan to migrate digital art sales to this pioneering platform, which utilizes blockchain technology to establish provenance for the artz. Kevin was recently featured on ArtFCity podcast Explain Me covering art, blockchain, bitcoin + Monegraph & more. I somehow missed that Kevin was involved when the company launched a few years ago, pursuant to a Rhizome 7 on 7 presentation at New Museum. I'd followed Monegraph since then but hadn't Kevin & the project together - maybe because my profile for him was strictly artsy. Stay tuned!
Later in May we will launch a parallel platform to serve primarily as the AFH dedicated marketplace, a clearinghouse of sorts, the site you can visit to get a better perspective on how the virtual and actual business of selling artwork and projects fold into the rest of our program here. As this iteration of AFH progresses the components will show more and cleaner integration and their scales of value(s) and meaning will clarify. The operations of the network are built to have an all-directional facet. The models in this post illustrate the conceptual design.
I'm posting regularly to AFH Medium, to AFH Facebook, to AFH Twitter, Google+ (which is becoming a links page), Instagram (@valubl), and less frequently to YouTube, Pinterest, the Tumblrs and other soc.med vehicles. I am hoping to do more with the Tumblrs, reactivating a half-dozen in earnest by mid-May/early-June. These include Real.Pure.Digital, No Art in Hell, Transthesis, Not-Artists, and maybe the Occupational Art School. I reached out to the AFH FB to discover whether there might be interest in a 4D+ course for May-June. I will decide yea/nay on the project in the next week or so. Though it won't be an OAS joint, it will be in the vein of OAS. FYI: SmugMug has acquired Flickr, and I have until May 25 to decide whether I will stay with Flickr/SmugMug or liquidate that (huge) AFH archive, which now contains almost 125,000 images. Wow. A lot has changed over the past several years. It is peculiar to be re-entering the field of the virtual social at the moment it hits a wall of scrutiny, and to witness the major players, but more importantly, the business model, crash through the wall with nary a scratch, aside from a bit of temporary stock volatility. I find it telling that the business of data, communications, media, content, etc., survives huge and consistent hacks, discovery of links to a burgeoning international surveillance state, exposure of its most egregious exploitation/extraction schemes, etc., and yet barely flinches. Serious Power props up the status quo, no doubt. I am practicing restraint, limiting my commentary to a minimum, because real change will require a wholesale revamping of the OS. A move like that requires deep and abiding motivation. Opposition to Big Change will be severe, most likely. Practically speaking, as a matter of speculation, all the action required is putting the Grid to OFF mode. Ask Puerto Rico. Wouldn't it be great, if We (the People) chose a less convulsive and devastating route?