Launched in November 2011, s[edition] integrates your personal art gallery, art dealer and social media site into one.
Potential buyers can create a free account to browse a gallery of limited edition digital works. Prices range from £5 for an edition of 10,000, through to a revolving 360 degree view of Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull for £500 (2000 editions). The site also offers works from other big names in the game - Tracey Emin, Shepard Fairey and Bill Viola (to name a few) all have 'e-work's' for sale.
Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull.
Browsing through the gallery I couldn't help asking myself the question 'What makes an 'e-work' different to an image flogged off the internet?' I think the answer is the knowledge that you 'own' the piece of work. (Although some might argue that the meaning of the word 'own' is a little blurred in this case.) Each digital piece comes with a certificate of ownership, which is stored in your virtual vault. Plus these aren't static low-res images either, reeds bow in the wind, waves crash and neon lights glow. Having the ability to take your collection with you at all times is also a bonus, with the s[edition] iPhone and iPad app, you can synchronise your online collections to your mobile devices.
We've seen a natural progression in recent years to digital with our music and book collections, so why not art? I'm sure some of you will be thinking that there's nothing like owning the real thing, and I absolutely agree. I collect vinyl, not mp3's. I prefer turning real pages, rather swiping or pushing a button. But I can't discount the ease of accessibility that a smart phone or tablet can offer and being able to take your art collection with you wherever you go will be a draw card for some.
I can see it's appeal - a piece of art creates a rapport between owner and artist, and having multiple editions means more individuals will have that connection. Plus, being digital, it's more accessible and also allows art to reach an entirely new audience than ever before. But will digital art be able to compete with the constantly growing market for physical works? I think it's too early to tell. As far as I can see there are no other websites out there currently with the same offering as s[edition], but I'm sure that will change very soon.
View all the pieces available for purchase at www.seditionart.com
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