An artwork is a peculiar object. It is not a utility and therefore does not have a use value. An artwork traditionally bears the mark of its creator, and so, within it, conveys the spirit of the artist. An artwork, because it is not a utility, has its value derived purely from the enjoyment of others, who recognises the soul of the artist in the work.
If we find this spirit in the artwork to be removed, much like Ancient Roman artworks, whose spirits are long lost, the works become found artifacts. Or, if we discover that an artwork has disingenuous intentions and was created in a cynical fashion, we are also likely to abandon it because it lacks an authentic spirit within which we can connect.
House on a Hill (2017) has been entirely outsourced. y2k.gif has employed people through Fiverr, an online marketplace where freelancers offer tasks and services. The services y2k.gif booked included someone to write a conceptual rationale, a script writer, proof reader, 6 spokespeople, illustrator, graphic designer, animator, business card designer and video editor.
During this process, y2k.gif did not offer any creative input. Besides the initial concept (to create a work via this platform), everything from the conceptual process of the meta-artwork to its execution was conceived of by Fiverr users. However, y2k.gif’s lack of instructions left them confused. With no management and direction, y2k.gif’s employees struggled to understand and create their part of the artwork. The unusual results reverberated and impacted upon the next employee’s task. The resulting artwork is a warped, inoffensive, factory-made product made for your consumption.
During the opening, y2k.gif performed as art consultants, sitting at a desk with business cards and answering any queries about the artwork. Simultaneously, the work was up for silent auction throughout the exhibition. In this way and as inspired by Andrea Fraser’s Museum Highlights (1989), y2k.gif will be embodying their investigation into institutional critique.
y2k.gif is a collaborative project comprised of artists Damiano Dentice and ellen.gif. y2k.gif explores consumerism, post-humanism and digital cultures. Working in a variety of disciplines, the duo create installation works that engage and encourage the audience to participate. This project acts as the official debut of the collective.
House on a Hill was exhibited at Sister Gallery, Adelaide, Australia in 2017.
Images: Amanda Davis