Wikipedia Art (2009)

A collaborative performance on, and intervention into, the most important information resource in the world.

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Artist Statement

A collaborative project initiated with Scott Kildall, Wikipedia Art was originally intended to be art composed on Wikipedia, and thus art that anyone can edit. Since the work itself manifested as a conventional Wikipedia page, would-be art editors were required to follow Wikipedia’s enforced standards of quality and verifiability; any changes to the art had to be published on, and cited from, ‘credible’ external sources: interviews, blogs, or articles in ‘trustworthy’ media institutions, which would birth and then slowly transform what the work is and does and means simply through their writing and talking about it. Wikipedia Art, we asserted at its creation, may start as an intervention, turn into an object, die and be resurrected, etc, through a creative pattern / feedback loop of publish-cite-transform that we called “performative citations.” Despite its live mutations through continuous streams of press online, Wikipedia Art was considered controversial by those in the Wikipedia community, and removed from the site 15 hours after its birth. But the debate and discussion there, and later in the art blogosphere and mainstream press, produced a notable work after all. These communities still “transform what the work is and does and means simply through their writing and talking about it,” despite its absence from Wikipedia.

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