Since 2001, media artist Doron Golan
has been doing what no museum or institution has yet managed. He has amassed a significant collection of net art works by major artists in the field, archived at Computer Fine Arts
. Furthering his prescient stewardship of the medium is a commitment to exhibition and a collaboration with Cornell University Library's Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
to preserve the work in an off-line form. The current exhibition, NETworks
at the Haifa Museum of Art
, in Israel, includes a small selection of works from Golan's collection which, in the words of curator Christiane Paul (who wrote for the catalog), includes projects which explore 'the fundamental qualities of net art.' But perhaps what's most impressive about Computer Fine Arts is that it represents a model for collecting and ownership entirely different from that of the hedge fund managers who are driving the current art market. In the Computer Fine Arts model, the artist retains full rights to the piece but Golan has a copy on his server and the rights to exhibit the works when and where he wants. This model reflects an understanding of the realities of digital and distributed art works and further underlines the importance of Golan's contribution to the field, not only as an artist, but also as a patron.