A2P_an online experiment (v2)curated by Casey Reas, Iris Long, and Carol Sabbadini
我们正进行一项名为 a2p 的实验，尝试探索发布与分享数字图像、影片与动画的新方法。参与本实验的艺术家们由以下三位艺术家兼策展人遴选：Casey Reas (洛杉矶)、 Iris Long (北京) 与 Carol Sabbadini (波哥大)。
每一位艺术家都创作了一项新作品，并发行十个版次与一个作者自留版 (artist proof)。我们相隔许多时区，分散在不同的洲，但在选定的一星期里，我们会聚集在共享的线上空间来交换作品。这是一场表演，但也是一种与同侪艺术家们分享作品并且探讨作品发展性的方式。这是一个艺术家间的点对点系统，用于打造及策展一系列作品。
我们对这项计画的定位，是基于市场外艺术家创作的传统。我们的灵感取自于早期的 net.art，以及来自激浪派 (Fluxus) 较深远的观点。我们之中的许多艺术家并没有艺廊可以呈现作品，而具有艺廊的艺术家也往往难以负担作品搜集。这项实验能让我们透过交换创作来搜集系列收藏。
这项实验的不同点，在于我们追踪这些复制版次的出处、持有者以及持有权移转的方式 --- 也就是来源历程。我们透过区块链这项新兴科技，来确保出处信息的准确性。如果我将作品的其中一版交易给 Iris，她不久又交易给 Carol，这项信息将会留存在区块链上，并持续由多个来源确保其真确性。透过这个方法，Carol 是目前该版次的公开拥有者，所有的持有权利也由她享有。
不同于目前既有数字作品的发布方式，这不是一种作品授权或数字版权管理 (DRM, digital rights management)。艺术家并非透过终端使用者授权协定 (EULA, end-user-license-agreement) 将媒体作品授权给他人。所有权是被完全的转移给其他人，并且被记录下来。而媒体作品本身并未由一个中央机构进行加密或监管。它仍然可能被复制与分享，但其拥有者与所有权均透明清楚。
非常感谢 Bitmark 建构并维护我们所使用的区块链，以及所有其他协助这项探索的软体。
— Casey Reas 1 最早的「信息渴望自由」是出自Stewart Brand 1984 年的论述，「一方面来说，信息渴望昂贵，因为它很有价值。适当的信息在适当的时机，足以改变您的生命。另一方面，信息渴望自由，因为生产它的成本愈来愈低。所以，这两件事互相冲击。」与其从价值的角度来看，我更支持「自由」的相反概念是隐私或控管。例如，我的健康信息是否应让任何人都能取得？或是从我的身体搜集信息的健康监测软体是否将资料回传到私有公司，而他们拥有这些信息权利？我宁愿自己拥有这些资料，声明这些资料是我的。我想要选择谁能知情这些信息。而这样的情况正与目前科技公司们能够取得我们私人信息的运作系统相左。
We are running an experiment called a2p. It’s a speculative exploration into new ways of distributing and sharing digital images, videos, and animations. We’re a group of artists selected by three artists/curators: myself (Los Angeles), Iris Long (Beijing), and Carol Sabbadini (Bogotá).
Each of us has created a new artwork and has released it as an edition of ten along with one artist proof. We’re across many time zones and continents, but for one week, we’ll occupy a shared online space where we’ll trade work. It’s a performance, but also a way of sharing our work with fellow artists and a way to think about what happens to the work after it’s made. It’s an artist-to-artist system to build and curate a collection of work.
We all have different points of view on these topics. Some of us are “all in” with the experiment and others are skeptical. We don’t know what will happen, but we’re open to the process.
We place this project in the tradition of artists working outside of the market. We take direct inspiration from early net.art and with a longer view, from Fluxus. Many of us don’t have a gallery that represents our work and for those of us that do, we often can’t afford to collect that work. This experiment is a way for us to trade works to create a collection.
As a group, we create digital media. Perfect copies of these works can be distributed with almost no cost. The last two decades are the first time in the history of art where a work can be created and identical copies can be distributed almost instantly across the globe. Digital media has no “original;” each “copy” is identical.
The difference in our experiment is the way we keep track of the editions, the owner of each edition, and the transfer of ownership — the provenance. We’re using a blockchain, an emerging technology, to ensure the accuracy of this information. If I trade one of my editions to Iris and she later trades it to Carol, that information is stored in the blockchain and that is verified continuously by multiple sources to ensure its veracity. Through this method, Carol is now the public owner of the edition and all of the rights of ownership are held by her.
In contrast to current methods of distributing digital work, this isn’t a license and there’s no digital rights management (DRM). The media is not licensed from one artist to another with an end-user-license-agreement (EULA), the full rights of ownership are transferred and recorded. The media isn’t encrypted or policed by a central authority. The media can still be copied and shared, but the ownership and the rights of ownership are clear.
This experiment is based on the idea that some “information wants to be free,” but some information wants to be controlled1. This decades-old argument about “free” information remains vital today. This experiment might precariously embody a contradiction, or it might find a balance. The system we’ve built isn’t meant to conclude this discussion, but it’s my hope that it will present a new perspective.
Many of us have been making digital work for decades and how this work fits into the larger systems of the visual arts (collections, markets, conservation, ownership) and how artists can survive by making digital work remains completely open and confusing. We hope this artist-driven experiment might lead to some conclusions or at least to new explorations.
At the end of this week, our editions will have changed owners, hopefully through thoughtful and sometimes vigorous trading. The individual works and transactions will remain archived here. I hope it will be interesting and some unexpected things will happen.
I’m grateful to Bitmark for constructing and maintaining the blockchain we’re using as well as all of the other software that operates this exploration.
— Casey Reas 1 The original “information wants to be free” remark is attributed to Stewart Brand in 1984, “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So you have these two fighting against each other.” Rather than thinking about “expense,” I prefer to think the opposite of “free” is privacy or control. For example, should my health information be available to anyone who wants access? Further, should data about my body collected by health-monitoring software be directly sent to a private corporation and owned by them? I would prefer to own that data myself, to claim that data as mine. I want to choose who has access to it. This is the opposite of how the system is organized now for all of our personal data acquired by technology companies.