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Published by G.H. Hovagimyan

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Published by: G.H. Hovagimyan on Apr 07, 2010
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04/07/2010

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Artist Meeting Art Machine (AM-AM)The Artists Meeting Art Machine
is essentially an armature or structure for thepresentation of collaborative art by the group Artists Meeting. The machineconcept was developed through group discussions starting with a playfulinterchange on the groups Internet emails about Japanese vending machines.The art machine is a discussion of the art object and its position in a market. Itputs the transaction between the collector/purchaser and the vendor into focus. Italso separates the idea of art into several different categories. The simplest is theart object. In the art machine the object is mechanically distributed. There is alsothe human interaction, the sale or marketing or discourse surrounding the artobject. The art machine functions by selling tokens to customers. Every tokensale is a chance for a discussion about the machine, the artists group and thecreative process. Although the machine vends a discreet art object, theartists/sales personnel have a social interaction with the buyer. In this part thetransaction and discussion is also a part of the artwork. The art machine shufflesthe various structures of the art market including the making process, the idea of authorship, the relationship of the art cognoscenti represented by a gallerydealer, and the idea of purchasing art aslifestyle enhancement. The objects andpaintings produced for the art machine areopen-ended. They have a few parametersthat the Artists Meeting group adheres to.One is that an object must fit in a 7x9 inchvinyl envelope.The other is that the drawings are made on 12 inch wide 0 ph white butcher's
 
paper. The length of the drawing can vary. Indeed for several collaborativeworkshops, 15-foot long tables were set up and the paper was unrolled for various members to draw, paint and silkscreen on. The nature of this workingmethod is a sort of pseudo mass production. This asks the question of authorship, discreet art object and the creative process. In fact the whole notioncan be traced back to Benjamin's essay, Art in the Age of MechanicalReproduction.The Art Machine itself is a variable object. It has no fixed form and is constructedin situ. It has three motorized object dispensers and one drawing dispenser. Thedrawing dispenser is a hacked paper towel dispenser. This is part of the DIYaesthetic that the piece is based on. The dispensing modules can be packed in asuitcase and taken anyplace in the world on an airplane. The wall enclosure isbuilt on site of DIY materials, lightweight lumber and corrugated plastic sheeting.The dimensions can be adjusted to suit any exhibition circumstance and it canalso be built as a roofed over temporary Kiosk for an outdoor festival. There aretwo other modules that are part of the art machine and are additional armaturesfor art. One is a digital picture frame. The slide show in the frame evokes the sortof marketing display techniques used in retailing but it can also be used as anongoing documentary of the whole art machine process. This includes takingdaily photos of transactions and then adding the photos to the frame display.The digital frame is a very subtle part of the piece that works on the viewer without them necessarily taking notice. The other module is a sound art modulethat emits custom designed sounds for the machine. If one lists the componentsfor the art machine there are; drawings, objects, installation, DIY computer hacks, photos, sound art and social transactional performance.

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