Payments for Web Art?

Posted by Edward Picot | Wed Feb 2nd 2005 12:14 p.m.

New on The Hyperliterature Exchange/trAce for February 2005 -

Should web art be free or should it be paid for? Many new media writers and artists regard asking for payment as philosophically objectionable and a good way to lose audience numbers. Others believe that it's just as reasonable to ask payment for web art as to ask it for a book or a painting. To read the views of a number of web artists on this subject, visit; or to read an article about it, written by Edward Picot for the trAce organistion, visit

- Edward Picot
personal website -
  • Plasma Studii | Fri Feb 4th 2005 10:21 a.m.
    (oops meant to sent this to everyone, not just edward picot. sorry)

    >Should web art be free or should it be paid for?

    am interested to hear how folks feel about this question/topic.
    obviously i feel strongly about it. but does anyone else?

    supply and demand. nothing should or shouldn't about it. if
    somebody asks a price and somebody thinks it's worth that much, you
    have a deal. that'a all there is to it.

    unfortunately, very few folks are actually too interested in web art.
    the few that are, are mostly only interested if it's free. how many
    would pay 10 bucks to see a collection? (even if there was some way
    to make it un-copiable and there often is, for instance server
    scripting, like with Perl)

    though some interactivity is easily copy-able with a little know-how,
    most folks just plain wouldn't know how. the stuff that is really
    too easy to copy, is a ridiculous waste of computers and the web
    anyway. let the stills, animated gifs and videos/movies isolated
    any from any programming remain un-valuable (upon becoming web-ready
    media). they're just dragging the useful use of computer art down.
    people assume if that stuff's can't have value, it must all be like

    there's another tender besides the money. people will pay in
    toleration. they will enter their email and or other stats. usually
    receiving spam. or just exposing some little bit of privacy, opening
    yourself up to a possible scam, etc. even this much is often too
    much to pay.

    but a site can use web art like a portfolio uses copies of artwork.
    probably nothing will, but not tragic if anything gets copied (only
    upload what's already been paid for!). you can have people all over
    the world see examples of what you do (rather than documentation that
    refers to what you do).

    probably no one (at least now) would pay money to see web stuff,
    (hits are bogus. hits don't mean people are interested, just that
    they got there, perhaps accidentally, are just indexing bots, or even
    screen refreshing.) you CAN use it to convince potential
    investors/curators/funders/commisioners. who cares if it's moral to
    charge or not, if there are no interested customers. on the other
    hand, it is worth it for companies to pay marketing departments, pay
    for advertising. the consumer isn't charged per billboard they see.
    deducting that money from profits is an investment, as is uploading
    art to the web. it doesn't have to be a commodity. is (obviously)
    worth it to the artist/uploader in other ways.
  • Regina Pinto | Fri Feb 4th 2005 6:23 p.m.
    judsoN wrote:

    > >Should web art be free or should it be paid for?
    > am interested to hear how folks feel about this question/topic.
    > obviously i feel strongly about it. but does anyone else?


    If you want to read more opinions on this subject, browser at:


    Following Picot's idea, the museum newsletter' theme on these days is:

    Net.Art, Web.Art, to sell or not to sell, that is the question...


    If you want to see the shape poetry by David Daniels:


    browser at

    (No one works with pdf files like David Daniels! Now he is doing amazing animated shape poetry, but you must have the last version of Adobe Acrobat Viewer, which you can download free at

    Best regards from Brazil,

    Regina Celia Pinto
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