Copies in Motion

Even though the strategies of appropriation, sampling and reproduction belong to the most characteristic practices of the avant-garde art of the 20th century, the contemporary digital environment and prosumer culture have largely redefined the possibilities to create and show art. With the advent of new distribution channels of social media, Internet galleries and blogs, art is no longer produced and consumed only in galleries and museums but more and more often also on the screens of our computers and mobile phones.

In her manifesto “In Defense of the Poor Image”, the Japanese artist and researcher Hito Steyerl calls animated gifs and JPEG files “copies in motion”, whose free online circulation contradicts copyright, and which compromise quality and high resolution for the sake of universal access. Steyerl sees an emancipatory potential in images, which we constantly process, remix and then immediately upload online in many copies. The DIY-style website, designed by the group Czosnek Studio is an example of an initiative aiming to launch the apparatus of visibility of grassroots Internet content uploaded by users and to engage the Museum audience in co-creating a common space online.

It’s worth highlighting that ever more often the basic factor behind the selection of content and recommendations of cultural events is our own circle of Facebook friends, and the degree of participation in culture is determined by the level of familiarity and involvement in social contacts in virtual space. Presented at the exhibition, the work of Ada Karczmarczyk is an attempt to go beyond the hermetic institutional margin and to create an autonomous platform of communication with the viewer. Her online blog and profile, where Ada posts her videos and daily notes, operates as an alternative to conventional exhibition spaces and enjoys considerable popularity.