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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 11, 2008 @ 10:27 am

    Guest post: Tyson’s midweek knockout

    Fiona McCann


    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. 

    • The aim of the Keith Tyson 5000 project is to co-create a piece of crowd sourced internet art with the community of winners, which can then be gifted back to Keith Tyson.

      Although we’re still defining the Keith Tyson 5000 concept (sorry for the lack of details – more to come!), it was vital that we try to contact as many winners/owners as soon as possible and clarify the details later.

      There has been some discussion about our project on The Guardian blog, so, in case you missed it, we just wanted to clarify a couple of important things:

      - We are not associated with Keith Tyson, just fans of his History Paintings project and keen to foster a community to create some collaborative art

      - We will not do anything with peoples personal details; we are very aware of data protection

      And just so you know a little bit about us…

      Rachael recently completed her Masters with the University of Arts London; she wrote her thesis on Internet art and the phenomenon of crowdsourcing. Mark is a writer, who edited Rachael’s thesis. We’re both really excited about what Keith did on Wednesday, and we’re inspired to co-create something with this community.

      A Keith Tyson 5000 website is imminent but in the meantime we have created a facebook group

      If you have any thoughts on this then we’d really love to hear from you…

      Thanks again and we’ll be in touch soon.

      Rachael and Mark

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