Guest post: Tyson’s midweek knockout
By Laurence Mackin: Artist Keith Tyson and the Guardian caused a bit of a stir this week when Tyson offered 5,000 free downloadable works via the paper’s culture blog. The images are made up of unique combinations of red, black and green (inspired by Tyson’s mild obsession with gambling and roulette), with each person getting a different combination and only one download per IP address. I got mine (above) but only after bouncing between several browsers and clicking furiously like an art-crazed madman (predictably the artist’s web-hosting team were not prepared for the demand and were deluged with demands). Still, the results were enough to calm me down almost immediately.
This, and much of Tyson’s other work, raises plenty of issues about modern art and in particular how artists are handling the web, and the answer would appear to be not very well. Artists are supposed to be perched on the cutting edge but few (unlike Tyson) have embraced the web with much fervour or insight and you can’t help but wonder that if people such as Picasso or Warhol were alive, how would they approach this new medium? Meanwhile, on the Guardian blog, there’s plenty of whingeing that the work is valueless – surely free art is something to be cheered about, though perhaps those doing the whingeing used to work in The City, poor lambs.