Artist Meeting Art Machine (AM-AM) The Artists Meeting Art Machine is essentially an armature or structure for the presentation

of collaborative art by the group Artists Meeting. The machine concept was developed through group discussions starting with a playful interchange 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. It puts the transaction between the collector/purchaser and the vendor into focus. It also separates the idea of art into several different categories. The simplest is the art object. In the art machine the object is mechanically distributed. There is also the human interaction, the sale or marketing or discourse surrounding the art object. The art machine functions by selling tokens to customers. Every token sale is a chance for a discussion about the machine, the artists group and the creative process. Although the machine vends a discreet art object, the artists/sales personnel have a social interaction with the buyer. In this part the transaction and discussion is also a part of the artwork. The art machine shuffles the various structures of the art market including the making process, the idea of authorship, the relationship of the art cognoscenti represented by a gallery dealer, and the idea of purchasing art as lifestyle enhancement. The objects and paintings produced for the art machine are open-ended. They have a few parameters that the Artists Meeting group adheres to. One is that an object must fit in a 7x9 inch vinyl 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 collaborative workshops, 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 working method is a sort of pseudo mass production. This asks the question of authorship, discreet art object and the creative process. In fact the whole notion can be traced back to Benjamin's essay, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

The Art Machine itself is a variable object. It has no fixed form and is constructed in situ. It has three motorized object dispensers and one drawing dispenser. The drawing dispenser is a hacked paper towel dispenser. This is part of the DIY aesthetic that the piece is based on. The dispensing modules can be packed in a suitcase and taken anyplace in the world on an airplane. The wall enclosure is built on site of DIY materials, lightweight lumber and corrugated plastic sheeting. The dimensions can be adjusted to suit any exhibition circumstance and it can also be built as a roofed over temporary Kiosk for an outdoor festival. There are two other modules that are part of the art machine and are additional armatures for art. One is a digital picture frame. The slide show in the frame evokes the sort of marketing display techniques used in retailing but it can also be used as an ongoing documentary of the whole art machine process. This includes taking daily 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 module that emits custom designed sounds for the machine. If one lists the components for the art machine there are; drawings, objects, installation, DIY computer hacks, photos, sound art and social transactional performance.

The overall discussion is about the position of the art object in the creative process and also in the market. The art machine proposes that the creative process is complex and intertwined with many other social processes. Each one of these processes presents the potential to become an art form in and of itself. Therefore you can have an art market art form, an art purchase art form, an art selling art form, a collaborative drawing art form, a pseudo mass production art form, a faux vending machine art form, etc. The Art Machine itself inspires several questions; for example, the original workshop produced 300 linear feet of drawings and 250 objects. What happens when these are all dispensed? Is the piece finished or does Artists Meeting restock the machine? Is the machine the artwork or are the objects dispensed the artwork? Given the nature of the art world support system, the art machine was originally built to install in art fairs, this was to enhance the notion of a critique of the art market within the art market. There are other possibilities for the art machine as well. For example; the art dispensed can be produced in local community workshops adding another dimension of participatory art. This fits well within the mandate for many new media festivals in Europe and the US where public funding demands a public component.

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