Der Greif – Exhibition as a Process [Part 2]
Because it is anyway coming up, the author Cory Doctorow once answered. Due to the monstrosity of the copy, development versions are now storable and available. Handling these versions publicly – like Wikipedia does – shows: They contribute to the quality of the digital product. What would be considered a sign of weakness in the print world, serves as insignia of quality in the digital world: The readers can see for themselves.
That this literally contains an artistic dimension can be seen in the Neue Galerie in Augsburg as well as on the website of A Process: The exhibition organizers unfold the versions of their exhibition. Just as one can browse different article versions in Wikipedia, so one can browse different combinations of the exhibited photographs in the exhibition’s digital timeline. Under the surveillance of a webcam, new combinations of the exhibited pictures are constantly displayed on the central table in the exhibition room – providing the photographs with new contexts and allowing ever new perceptions through the versioning of combinations.
Following this versioning, one quickly realizes its artistic dimension: Visitors become participants in the exhibition, they compare and judge versions and relate images. And this is the second basic principle of the digital world: It is a dialogue; consumers are given a voice, taking part, playing a role. In Wikipedia, each and every one can edit. Because it is technically feasible.
A Process is not edited by each visitor, but every visitor (of the website or the exhibition) establishes his own context of perception – thus playing an obvious role. And playing that role, he can also answer the question for the why. My version is clear: Because it is the most contemporary form to present art.