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Jacques
17-08-2011, 02:33 PM
This is an interesting concept (http://www.art404.com/5million.html).


“5 Million Dollars 1 Terrabyte” (2011) is a sculpture consisting of a 1 TB Black External Hard Drive containing $5,000,000 worth of illegally downloaded files.

http://www.iamacyborg.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/5000000000-files-pirated-software-sculpture-578x427.jpg

It's pretty interesting from an ownership point of view, how we can assign such value to something that by all appearances isn't worth a great deal. Particularly relevant when we think about illegal downloads of videogames.

squirrel
17-08-2011, 02:48 PM
No kidding, in business world we all know that there exist such abandoned / stolen drives that worth that damn much. Information is power, afterall. People would search and buy those drives in very low price, that pay like hell to restore the data (since destroying data in drives before throwing them away is standard procedure in business world). I heard that some specialists claim themselves being able to restore even burnt drives, and of course, more difficult the restoration is, higher the price. From what I heard, USD5M is no unique price, and business is good. Then, if such drive is intact and you do not need to do any restoration to read it, USD5M is naturally its fair price.

Althea
17-08-2011, 02:56 PM
How much of it is porn?

Jacques
17-08-2011, 03:04 PM
None, there's a PDF on the site which details the items on the HDD, including their cost and where you can also download them from.

Althea
17-08-2011, 03:08 PM
What's the point of having a 1TB HDD of illegally downloaded content without porn on it?

Jacques
17-08-2011, 03:20 PM
What's the point of having a 1TB HDD of illegally downloaded content without porn on it?

I'd say art, but I suspect you wouldn't understand.

Althea
17-08-2011, 03:40 PM
I'm only joking. I can see the logic behind it, but I generally think modern art is just a bit of... Yeah.

There's not actually all that much on the HDD, but it shows just how expensive professional programmes can be.

8-bit
17-08-2011, 03:51 PM
What's the point of having a 1TB HDD of illegally downloaded content without porn on it?

more than enough free porn out there nowadays, no need to illegally download anymore.

this basically represents everything I hate about art today. its certainly an interesting point to make (not an original one), but what have they actually done other than buy a HDD and download a bunch of files? its called a sculpture but did the artist design and make the shell for it, or is it just something they picked up at PC world?

you know what would have been more interesting, get all the CDs, books, games etc* that make up this five million, place them in a room and make people walk through it. then viewers might appreciate the value of what they download to their own computers, you could even keep the hard drive at the center of it all if you must.

I would love to see what would happen if they tried to sell the thing though.

*I assume this is entertainment stuff anyway and not anything like personal data, I tried to look at the PDF but it crashes my browser.

8-bit
17-08-2011, 03:57 PM
I'm only joking. I can see the logic behind it, but I generally think modern art is just a bit of... Yeah.

I think you mean current, or contemporary art. modern art is way old and infinitely more awesome than this rubbish.

Xercies
17-08-2011, 03:58 PM
What would be more interesting is get 5 million dollars worth of stuff and make a collage of a pirate flag.

Nalano
17-08-2011, 04:55 PM
Technically speaking, since none of that information is resellable - being pirated, after all - isn't a 1TB HD worth exactly as much as it cost to manufacture?

CuriousOrange
17-08-2011, 07:07 PM
Technically speaking, since none of that information is resellable - being pirated, after all - isn't a 1TB HD worth exactly as much as it cost to manufacture?

It would probably be less actually as it's been used.

I don't really get this 'art' to be honest. But I've always been one for the craft, less so about the meaning.

Nalano
17-08-2011, 07:59 PM
It would probably be less actually as it's been used.

I don't really get this 'art' to be honest. But I've always been one for the craft, less so about the meaning.

I appreciate its message, but I wouldn't host a special in a museum for it, for sure.

Hell, I can already think of a better message: Where the information is actually valuable, being rare and proprietary - for instance, insider information on corporations - and it's languishing in an exhibition space. You can physically watch it lose relevance. Just five mil in pirated software is pedestrian.

8-bit
17-08-2011, 08:25 PM
Technically speaking, since none of that information is resellable - being pirated, after all - isn't a 1TB HD worth exactly as much as it cost to manufacture?

well it is 'art' after all, so its entirely possible they could get away with selling it. like I said though, I would love to see what would happen if they tried.

NecroKnight
18-08-2011, 07:41 AM
It's really terrible what passes for art these days, a bunch of stupid bullshit like this. Todays art is so degenerate compared to classic art. When is the last time you saw something like da Vinci or Michelangelo. In todays fucked up world even public masturbation & urinating on the stage is considered art if performed in a gallery or play.

icupnimpn2
18-08-2011, 07:54 AM
Sculpture, eh? Was it sculpted? By whom, Western Digital?

sockeatsock
18-08-2011, 09:08 AM
I think the artist might be drawing attention to the ridiculous value we give to data. If I can buy several houses for whats in that little black box then sheeeet.

Everyone lay off. It might not be the most original nor beautiful piece of artwork but there is no need to attack it.

NecroKnight
18-08-2011, 09:21 AM
This is not art. It's a stupid black hard drive that these guys proclaimed "art".

Jacques
18-08-2011, 09:43 AM
It's really terrible what passes for art these days, a bunch of stupid bullshit like this. Todays art is so degenerate compared to classic art. When is the last time you saw something like da Vinci or Michelangelo. In todays fucked up world even public masturbation & urinating on the stage is considered art if performed in a gallery or play.

Degenerate? Really, that's your argument?
I think you're missing the forest for the trees.

Xercies
18-08-2011, 10:25 AM
I don't know I kind of like that you can make art out of anything, it definitly takes away the power of art becoming more and more elitist and only for certain people. I guess contempory art is art for the people. Unfortunatly the people don't really get it

Skalpadda
18-08-2011, 11:16 AM
Well art these days mostly just means "in a frame", "in a gallery" or "has a famous name attached to it". I don't particularly like this Hard Drive thing; it's an interesting idea but it feels way too easy and I like my art to be a little more engaging but I don't mind that it exists.

What really annoys me with the art world though is the sense of entitlement among the tossers who spent a couple of years in art school and then go ranting and raving about how they don't get enough support and government grants to keep producing shit that nobody cares about, and there's a lot of that going on, at least in this country. My favourite example was hearing a woman on the radio whose next bit of "art" would be to become a prostitute because she'd "rather wank off some old man get money to continue doing art than go on welfare". What prompted this was apparently that no one had wanted to pay her for making earrings in the shape of aborted foetuses. I've never been happier hearing an interviewer calling bullshit.

Jacques
18-08-2011, 11:28 AM
I don't know I kind of like that you can make art out of anything, it definitly takes away the power of art becoming more and more elitist and only for certain people. I guess contempory art is art for the people. Unfortunatly the people don't really get it

Because the education system is failing to teach people the correct way to approach art. If you only see it from an aesthetic side, you're entirely missing the point, and unfortunately, most schools aren't capable of teaching that properly.

I've just finished a BA in Digital Art, and even in the first year, three quarters of the class were absolutely incapable of grasping the differences between what an art piece looked like and what it represented. If people with a supposed interest in the subject are finding the basic concepts hard to grasp, the general uneducated public are even worse off.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 12:24 PM
I don't know I kind of like that you can make art out of anything, it definitly takes away the power of art becoming more and more elitist and only for certain people. I guess contempory art is art for the people. Unfortunatly the people don't really get it

What here is so hard to get?

It's a "huh. let's move on," piece of artwork. It's not particularly deep. Indeed, anybody who's read any sort of cyberpunk science fiction in the last forty years has been exposed to something similar. This isn't a "the public is dumb" sort of thing.

NecroKnight
18-08-2011, 01:57 PM
Just because something has a message or represents something doesn't have to mean it's art. I refuse to view this as art. I hate the idea that you can make "art" out of anything. It's all a bunch of pseudoart crap. Defining art is sure a complicated philosophical matter. Art just has to have some effort put into it, a form, beauty & sense. This is just a stupid fucking hard drive with a shitload of files on it. People don't get it simply because there is nothing to get, it's just a stinking normal black hard drive. I just can't believe some people actually think this is real art.

Jacques
18-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Just because something has a message or represents something doesn't have to mean it's art. I refuse to view this as art. I hate the idea that you can make "art" out of anything. It's all a bunch of pseudoart crap. Defining art is sure a complicated philosophical matter. Art just has to have some effort put into it, a form, beauty & sense. This is just a stupid fucking hard drive with a shitload of files on it. People don't get it simply because there is nothing to get, it's just a stinking normal black hard drive. I just can't believe some people actually think this is real art.

So only something that's aesthetically beautiful can be art?

Why would you not support the idea that art can be made out of anything?

NecroKnight
18-08-2011, 02:25 PM
Because not everything can be art. If anything can be art, it kinda makes art in general look like something trivial & banal.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 02:27 PM
Because not everything can be art. If anything can be art, it kinda makes art in general look like something trivial & banal.

Everything is art. However, when people say "hey, look how interesting and deep my art is, even though everybody with a broadband connection in the last ten years has pretty much already done it," that is trivial and banal.

Jacques
18-08-2011, 02:37 PM
Everything is art. However, when people say "hey, look how interesting and deep my art is, even though everybody with a broadband connection in the last ten years has pretty much already done it," that is trivial and banal.

I'd argue that not everything is art. There has to be some intent behind the piece, otherwise as Necro is saying, it's "just a hard drive" or, "it's just a photo".
It's worth pointing out that the artist hasn't said anything his piece, that I can find. The only quote associated is the one I posted in the OP.

Art is as much about self interpretation as being told something. No interpretation is more or less valid. Here's an interesting critique of the work I found. http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Falt1040.com%2F2011%2F08%2F5-millones-de-dolares-un-terabyte

Nalano
18-08-2011, 02:58 PM
It's worth pointing out that the artist hasn't said anything his piece

Exhibiting the piece is saying something about it. Showing a hard drive and stating that it has 5 mil worth of pirated stuff on it is a statement.

Not a very compelling statement, but a statement nonetheless.

Xercies
18-08-2011, 03:00 PM
If something can bring to you emotions, thought and well debate i would say thats art. And well this Black Hard Drive has done that, so yeah its art.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 03:04 PM
If something can bring to you emotions, thought and well debate i would say thats art. And well this Black Hard Drive has done that, so yeah its art.

The flip side to that is we'll talk about pretty much anything if somebody posts it. Hell, that's Sarah Palin's whole career in a nutshell: The news reports on her because she's in the news...

NecroKnight
18-08-2011, 05:15 PM
If everything can be art, then I could take a shit, wrap it in golden wrapping paper and say it's a statement about modern society. The worst thing is, there would be people who would consider it art.

Art does cause emotions, but that's only a part of art. True art requires more then just emotions. The main problem is that you can't find a clear definition of art, maybe there never will be one. Art is art, it's self explanatory.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 05:56 PM
If everything can be art, then I could take a shit, wrap it in golden wrapping paper and say it's a statement about modern society.

And it would be art. The act of taking that shit, the act of wrapping it up, the exhibition of that shit, and the reaction to it is all art.

Whether it's good art is another argument entirely.

QuantaCat
18-08-2011, 06:08 PM
Whether it's good art is another argument entirely.

An argument to which there is no answer. Yes, please make art because you can and want. That should be the only reason.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 06:23 PM
An argument to which there is no answer. Yes, please make art because you can and want. That should be the only reason.

In the eye of the beholder, and all that. 'Course, we're a biased audience, because "hard drive filled with pirated shit" is pretty commonplace in our social circle.

Xercies
18-08-2011, 06:44 PM
If everything can be art, then I could take a shit, wrap it in golden wrapping paper and say it's a statement about modern society. The worst thing is, there would be people who would consider it art.

*cough*Salo A Hundred Days of Sodom*cough*A Serbian Film*cough*

Yeah there are a lot of stuff out there that could be considered art, I mean even by my standard a forum post could be considered a work of art. I'm not to sure how we would define really good art.

QuantaCat
18-08-2011, 07:22 PM
In the eye of the beholder, and all that. 'Course, we're a biased audience, because "hard drive filled with pirated shit" is pretty commonplace in our social circle.

I rarely deal with people that have five million bucks worth of software, though. Usually maximum of 50k.

Nalano
18-08-2011, 07:31 PM
I mean even by my standard a forum post could be considered a work of art

I find this (http://forums.ageofconan.com/showthread.php?p=1709830#post1709830) to be a work of art, but I'm crass like that.

Keep
19-08-2011, 12:57 AM
Whether it's good art is another argument entirely.

I think that's the real issue. Let's stop jerking about with "Is it Art? But what is art?" nonsense. Everybody's got a different definition and you're not going to convince anyone to abandon theirs.

Is this hard drive good art? No. There's nothing visual about its idea, there's nothing worth looking at about the concept, the most interesting thing about it is the label that tells you its title.

Is that label good art? Marginally. It's a banal statement. Unclear - or where it's obvious, it's so obvious it's not worth putting on any kind of pedestal.

I'm cynical about the whole thing. Bah.

zuddy
19-08-2011, 03:11 AM
Fuck craft. This, while not particularly deep, is more engaging than Michelangelo's David.

Call me names.

NecroKnight
19-08-2011, 07:44 AM
Fuck craft. This, while not particularly deep, is more engaging than Michelangelo's David.

Call me names.

Robert, Judy, Alvin, Ivan, Ana, Martin, Larry! Is that enough?

Keep
19-08-2011, 12:31 PM
Fuck craft. This, while not particularly deep, is more engaging than Michelangelo's David.

Call me names.

Fair enough. Engaging how though?

zuddy
20-08-2011, 05:53 AM
I'll admit I was partly just being antagonistic, but I really do have a disdain for art that is basically "look how much time I spent on this". Not that there's not a place for it, but it just isn't my thing.

This piece at least has spawned three pages of discussion, and some relatively interesting (if, again, not particularly deep) questions have been raised pertaining to the notion of value, so I can't really hop on the hate brigade.

It just bothers me when the definition of art is presented as "something someone spent a bunch of time and effort on" because that's not really what I think should be judged.

Nalano
20-08-2011, 07:29 AM
This piece at least has spawned three pages of discussion

This is the internet. We just had a seven page argument about how mean we are to each other on the other forum. We'll talk about anything if somebody posts about it.

zuddy
20-08-2011, 09:07 AM
Point taken, but I don't think that invalidates what I'm getting at.

QuantaCat
20-08-2011, 10:05 AM
I think you people YOU PEOPLE



Now this looks like I hit the post quick reply button too soon. But that is my art. Not that I critisize the HDD, I love it, in fact, but yes.

Also, I work with people that host an event called Arse Elektronika in San Fransisco. I am used to art being slightly off.

8-bit
20-08-2011, 10:47 AM
If something can bring to you emotions, thought and well debate i would say thats art. And well this Black Hard Drive has done that, so yeah its art.

so the only way we can deem it to not be art is if we ignore it? but if we ignore it there is nothing to challenge the artists assertion that this is art, so we say it isn't art which makes it art. the very act of denying it as of a piece of art confirms its status as art?

I think art has to at least bring something to the table, some point the artist wants to make, and debate that follows is people agreeing or providing a counter point. This doesn't make a point, it takes the same discussion that is had on the internet every day, then puts it on a stand without making an effort to contribute something new. There were people discussing more or less the same thing in this forum just the other day and I think that conversation was more worthwhile than this, but I don't think that conversation was art.

The five million makes me think of a scene were a bunch of people are standing around having a discussion when one person, who isn't particularly involved in the debate, repackages opinions that have already been made in the form of a sensational statement, then says nothing for the rest of the evening.

Xercies
20-08-2011, 11:12 AM
This doesn't make a point, it takes the same discussion that is had on the internet every day, then puts it on a stand without making an effort to contribute something new

But there might be something about that that is art, I mean a lot of people have no idea that these discussions are being done and may view piracy as black and white stealing and stuff like that. Clearly this piece of artwork probably isnt for people like us where the subject is pretty rubbish since we do discuss it a lot.

Saying that though I have to say, so are you saying art should only be subjects where we haven't seen it. A lot of artworks would be null and void about there, there are many arts about why we are here, that has so been done before and a lot of artists don't really have anything new to say about this subject but they get praised anyway.

Lukasz
20-08-2011, 01:29 PM
To be cliche... Van Gogh was a joke. His paintings were not considered art but just ruination of the paint and canvas. It is cliche and well known fact but people judging from some comments often forget that art is very subjective and it does not need to be appreciated to be art.

I found this piece to be quite interesting. It does show something which we are accustomed too but it shows it in a quite nice form.

Seeing this HDD I see meaningless of monetary value being attributed towards piracy. Yes. this kind of thing is well known but i would love for judges who rule over copyright infringements to see that HDD in art gallery. In my opinion it does give some perspective on the whole issue. That 500 grams machine being worth more than most people's life earnings.

I wonder... what if it was full of legal programs, movies etc. Legally that HDD would be worth 5M dollars. But in reality... would it really?

on the end note I would like to point out that this thing did brought out emotions. Some of you guys sound very butthurt so for the artist it is mission accomplished.

cause true art does not need to bring out good emotions.

8-bit
20-08-2011, 01:59 PM
Saying that though I have to say, so are you saying art should only be subjects where we haven't seen it. A lot of artworks would be null and void about there, there are many arts about why we are here, that has so been done before and a lot of artists don't really have anything new to say about this subject but they get praised anyway.

no I would say that an artist should do their best to bring as original a point of view as possible to the subject matter. sometimes you can present a different side to an old idea, but this just gives us the same argument we have heard a thousand times before, only this time with an headline grabbing title.

I would concede the point that it is art, but only that its bad at doing it. considering the interest in the subject among people like us you would think it would have had an easy time of getting us to talk about it, but it didn't. instead what we have here aren't three pages discussing the subject matter its based on, but three pages discussing if it is or is not art.

on the other point, well I don't really think we can tell who this is for. do people outside of our kind of social circles actually care about piracy, and if they don't are they likely to have any interest in an art work on the subject? show this to the people you work with, see if they have any reaction or if they just shrug their shoulders, if they show an interest then maybe you have a point. but at the end of the day I think that the attention seeking nature of this work means calling it art elevates it to a position that makes it seem like its more than its worth, especially when there is a much greater discussion being had elsewhere.

NecroKnight
20-08-2011, 02:02 PM
Even if this is art, it's very lousy art.

Xercies
20-08-2011, 02:10 PM
Yep i would concede he didn't really make the statement he was trying to say very well.

QuantaCat
20-08-2011, 03:13 PM
I say it is brilliant! Worth a couple of million currency!

AdamK117
20-08-2011, 08:12 PM
Woah, an artist learnt how to copy and paste the "Adobe Design Premium CS4 CRACKED" folder she/he had lying around 5000 times then? :)

EDIT: Although it is an interesting concept

P7uen
23-08-2011, 08:25 AM
What if this was displayed in a gallery, how would it be valued in terms of security? I wonder if it was nicked would the artist get done by the RIAA/MPAA for file sharing with 1 person? (Stand down internet lawyers, just a joke).

But yeah I think it's interesting enough, at least we all stopped to think about the retail value of the non-physical things on our hard drives. Even just your Steam account, let alone your gentleman's relaxation videos, etc.

Imagine showing your Steam account listing to your mum and saying 'this is what it's worth' now, let alone 30 years ago, and imagine the look of horror on her face.

Nalano
23-08-2011, 11:35 AM
Imagine showing your Steam account listing to your mum and saying 'this is what it's worth' now, let alone 30 years ago, and imagine the look of horror on her face.

But your Steam account is always pegged at zero dollars' worth, because you can't resell it. You can, on the other hand, say this is how much I spent on it.

golden_worm
25-08-2011, 12:15 PM
I think most people want their art to be better than they are, kind of aspirational, some irreplaceable display of creative mastery or some such thing.

This is something reproducible by anyone (like the "public masturbation" examples Necroknight gives) and is therefore easily dismiss-able if you hold that kind of limited view of art.

Personally, it made me think, provoked some debate and comment at least here, and will in some way influence how I view my stored data in the future. History will decide if it is truly art, just as it distinguished between all the pieces we now consider classical and the works we never even heard of.

Lukasz
25-08-2011, 12:38 PM
But your Steam account is always pegged at zero dollars' worth, because you can't resell it. You can, on the other hand, say this is how much I spent on it.

you can resell it! it might not be legal but it does have monetary value!

Keep
25-08-2011, 01:26 PM
provoked some debate and comment at least here

I don't think it did. Look back over this thread - the OP says "This is interesting", then a joke made about porn being on the hard-drive, then there's a swerve about "But is this art", and then that swerve continues unabated until now.

We didn't actually discuss this particular work at all. Not its artistic content, its role, its aesthetics, its history....nothing. Cut out the first three posts and you may as well retitled the thread "What is art?" and gotten the same debate out of us.

If it made you think, tell us what about. Start a genuine discussion about this work.

Nalano
25-08-2011, 01:39 PM
you can resell it! it might not be legal but it does have monetary value!

Until they get a sense of the new owner with new IP and seeming lack of knowledge of the identification questions, and his stock of 120 games suddenly gets deleted...

golden_worm
25-08-2011, 01:44 PM
I don't think it did. Look back over this thread - the OP says "This is interesting", then a joke made about porn being on the hard-drive, then there's a swerve about "But is this art", and then that swerve continues unabated until now.

We didn't actually discuss this particular work at all. Not its artistic content, its role, its aesthetics, its history....nothing. Cut out the first three posts and you may as well retitled the thread "What is art?" and gotten the same debate out of us.

If it made you think, tell us what about. Start a genuine discussion about this work.

Well, much art is comment on art, so provoking conversations about what is art can be a valid (if somewhat tedious) discussion in itself.

For me, it brought to mind Damien Hirst's "for the love of god" :
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/6/6d/Hirst-Love-Of-God.jpg/220px-Hirst-Love-Of-God.jpg

A work who's value is heightened first by its raw materials and then again by the name of the artist before you even get to the aesthetics or message of the piece. I thought it was an interesting contrast to the "stolen" value of the hard drive contents and the appropriated interest resulting from labelling it art in the first place, especially as it is a relatively mundane object.

I can imagine a contrast piece; a diamond encrusted hard drive filled with creative commons works called "attribution".

Nalano
25-08-2011, 01:52 PM
We didn't actually discuss this particular work at all. Not its artistic content, its role, its aesthetics, its history....nothing. Cut out the first three posts and you may as well retitled the thread "What is art?" and gotten the same debate out of us.

If it made you think, tell us what about. Start a genuine discussion about this work.

In order of thoughts:

-
Technically speaking, since none of that information is resellable - being pirated, after all - isn't a 1TB HD worth exactly as much as it cost to manufacture?
- That it's on a pedestal, to me, is a stronger statement that what is on the pedestal. A hard drive looks like any other. The title is more evocative than the item.
- One possible intended statement (am I in Art Appreciation 101 now?) is that we have a great deal of value tied up in virtual goods; which can be infinitely reproduced and are thus either tied to a zero-sum form of monetization or are inherently without value.
- Another possible intended statement is that the information itself is in some way rare (which is the only way I could see 5 mil fit on one terabyte), in which case
Hell, I can already think of a better message: Where the information is actually valuable, being rare and proprietary - for instance, insider information on corporations - and it's languishing in an exhibition space. You can physically watch it lose relevance.
- This clearly didn't take much effort to make, even assuming there is 5 mil worth of crap in that HD.

Keep
25-08-2011, 02:58 PM
@Nalano, whoops. Sorry for skipping over your thoughts.

There's something to what you said. It's infinitely-reproduceable goods on a mass-produced piece of hardware. But there's an attempt to attach a value to it not just because well what are these goods and what is information worth etc, but also because this particular hard-drive is being put on a pedestal and marked as 'special'. It's an 'artwork'.


I don't think it's very well put together, but there is an interesting space to toy with ideas of value, and how something attains its value and what value refers to and...ideas like that. I don't think this is a work that presents that space in a compelling or meaty way though.

Nalano
25-08-2011, 03:13 PM
I don't think this is a work that presents that space in a compelling or meaty way though.

If that's the case, why are you forcing us to focus on it? I think the general dismissal of it was apt.

Edit: 666 posts!