(In response to the question “How can encryption protect contemporary art?”)
The main application of encryption in contemporary art is to protect the privacy of the audience. The 4th wall of theatre interprets the action of the play, and in contemporary art, the 4th wall is the details of how it was made.
Encryption can also be used to obfuscate how a work is made, which can subvert our ideas about what are acceptable forms of content or style. It has been used to make a copy of itself degrade over time and destroy itself after an exhibition. Alternatively, it can be made so that it remains intact forever but cannot be read without a key. You might say that this is an example of art as a message in a bottle, sent by the artist into time and space for anyone to find who looks for it.
An artwork called “Cryptoart” uses encryption to allow different people to interpret it independently and arrive at different meanings. Each viewer has their own key which unlocks only their own personal interpretation of the image.
Encryption has the potential to protect art, but contemporary artists are not yet using it. Why is this?
In David Shields’s book Reality Hunger he states that “artists need to break the 4th Wall”. The 4th wall is a metaphor for the idea that an artist should remain detached from their work and audience. This means that they do not break the illusion of reality created by their work. A great example of this is if you were watching a play and one of the actors suddenly broke character and started speaking directly to the audience: in this situation the performer would have broken the fourth wall.
A modern example of breaking the fourth wall can be seen in Chris Morris’s TV series Blue Jam. The show consists of sketches, pranks and stories, which often blur into reality. For example, in one sketch Morris mentions his own radio show and then later on during Blue Jam a phone call is received from a listener who calls into Blue Jam itself. This blurring of fact and fiction causes many problems for the show as it becomes unclear whether or not what is happening is actually happening or part of a story. In another instance, during a sketch featuring Jamie Oliver, he invites Morris onto his own show, Oliver’s Twist, where they discuss Morris’s ‘j
A recent post by an artist on the encryption used to prevent illegal copying of video and music. http://www.contemporaryartists.co/breaking-the-4th-wall
In a nutshell, encryption is the practice of hiding information in plain sight, in such a way that no one can see the information except for those who are meant to see it. It is often used to hide sensitive data like credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers and even passwords.
The 4th wall is the one that separates the audience from the stage. It’s what prevents you from seeing the actors and their crew in action, and thus keeps you focused on the play. Breaking this fourth wall is thus a way to draw attention to the realities of creating art, or to make a statement about the meaning of whatever you’re making. This is often done in theater by having actors step out from behind the fourth wall and address the audience directly.
Art is a response to something outside itself. A painting of a landscape is supposed to evoke that landscape for us, a song about love is supposed to make us love, and so on. But contemporary art has mostly lost this connection with anything beyond itself. It has become instead an exercise in representing itself as art, and making statements only about other statements within that artistic world. So it’s not surprising that breaking the 4th Wall has become the most common way contemporary artists do something new.
What makes breaking the 4th Wall so effective? Well, it’s easy to get people talking about you by doing something different or shocking in art these days. And breaking the 4th Wall has exactly this effect: it makes people talk about you as an artist instead of just your work as art. So it’s
The idea of the 4th wall is used in film, television and theatre to define the boundary between the actors and the audience.
As a result of the widespread use of social media and the ever growing presence of technology in our lives, this traditional concept of a division between “art” and “life” is being challenged more than ever before.
New artists are now pushing the boundaries by including within their work social media platforms as well as e-commerce and online marketplaces – making these platforms integral parts of their work rather than just means for its distribution.
In fact, many artists now conceive of their work as not only part of an exhibition but also as an online experience that lasts well beyond the physical display.
This trend has led to new opportunities for artworks to be valued beyond their physical properties. As an example, Verity Linnell’s WOLF project used social media to challenge preconceptions about trust in transactions and commerce while simultaneously raising $2000 through micro-donations from her audience.
Another interesting example is Mona Caron who created a piece called “Bear Stearns Bravo”. The artwork consisted of a website where visitors could purchase stocks based on a prediction she had made about financial markets. A few days later Caron published an
A few years ago, a good friend of mine, who is an artist, told me that she was thinking about embedding images in her paintings. She had been toying with the idea of making her paintings partly interactive and had already begun to paint on some canvases with a special oil-based paint that contained encrypted messages. Encryption, she said, was the key to unlock her paintings. “I can’t wait until I can sell these things,” she said.
“But,” I said, “you haven’t sold anything yet.”
“That’s why it’s so exciting,” she said. “It will be great when someone finally buys one!”
In the very near future, I plan to share a new form of art. This will be something that might be a bit controversial, but I believe that it is a beautiful form of art that many people will enjoy. As we get closer to the day when this is revealed to the public, I wanted to first share some info about the program that I have been using to create this art.
This program is called “GIMP” which is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. While I appreciate all software and its creators, this program was created by a group of people who are dedicated to making art free (free as in speech) and also open source (free as in beer).
I have used this program for years and it has been a wonderful asset for me to create my own visual works of art. This program allows for all kinds of manipulation including blending images together, adding text, resizing images and much more. The best part about this program is that it doesn’t cost anything and is free for anyone who wishes to use it.
Another amazing thing about this software is that anyone can add their own plugins into the program. This means if you know programming or have created scripts/plugins in other programs, you can add them into GIM