the Gutenberg effect
to Contemporary Fine Art

With License to Use and Reproduce

digiseed certificate

A human-readable summary of the DigiSeed Manifesto

The DigiSeed Certificate within Creative Commons BY-NC-ND is an extended way for artists to sell artworks, and for the buyer, a security backup of the artwork, with a license to use ...

Yes, a DigiSeed license is easier to use for digital paintings, digital drawings, digital photo, than for, let's say sculpture. Still, there is no reason a 3D printed sculpture, interaction art, or other artistic statements, should not be able to make use of a DigiSeed license.

What a DigiSeed is, is the decision of the artists themselves, the institutions (as MoMA) will always have to follow the artists, in the end. For digital art, the paradigm shift has already happened ...

Allow me a small example.
Many years ago a friend should change his flag pole in his garden just outside Oslo in Norway. When they should remove the stone that held this flag pole, they discovered that the stone was a lithographic stone with the remains of Munch's Madonna. The large hole in the middle, where the flag pole had rested, made it of course impossible to make a new print from it. This example just to show how far some went in protecting a limited edition artwork.

An limited edition from a lithographic stone can of course be small or larger, but here we say it's from 1/20 up to number 20/20. After all prints are printed, all the remains of the print is removed from the lithographic stone itself, or the lithographic stone are destroyed (as happened in the story above). The 20 prints are signed and numbered from 1/20 and up to 20/20.

With a digital artwork in a limited edition, it's the digital file that is the lithographic stone. I myself sign a limited edition of a digital artwork by making, let's say 20 digital files. Then I use my digital art tool to sign each of the 20 files individually, and write the numbers from 1/20 to 20/20 on the files. In other words, each of the individually signed and individually numbered file has become an original digital-lithographic-stone, or more correctly - an original-digital-art-file. If the buyer has bought a high quality art print of the artwork, s/he will always also get the original digital file.

When I get confirmed that the buyer has received the original-digital-art-file, I destroy that numbered file, on my side.

With a signed artwork, as a Giclée fine art print on acid-free Hahnemühle acid-free art paper, if one want to be a hairsplitter, the digital file should be considered the original. Still that is a bit like a discussion, if a linocut plate is the original, or the copy done to a paper. Whatever, the digital file is part of the original artwork. The owner of the file, as long as it's under a DigiSeed Certificate, can therefore make use of the original digiseed file within the framework of a digiseed license.

Or another situation, one is truly unlucky, and the place the artwork is located burn down, or the artwork is damaged in another way. As long as one have the original-digiseed-file, one can have a new one made in the same quality. It will never be a copy, as it's a new physical version of the original digiseed file.

As long as it's the owner of the original-digiseed-file, s/he can as well use it to make a wallpaper covering a full wall, ceramic tiles on the bottom of a swimmingpool, or fine prints to a family member or close friend. The original of number of let's say 14/20, will always be the original digiseed file.

So with digital arwork under a DigiSeed Certificate, one will always have a 'Gutenberg option'. In other words, not only a great artprint, but as the owner of the original digital file with it's certificate - a security backup, and a license to use and reproduce.

Arnvid Aakre
Founder, DigiSeed.org

Read The DigiSeed Manifesto here.

DigiSeed, the Gutenberg effect for Fine Art