One file many expressions.

#0763 One file
Larger Image.

Years ago, one of the explorations in psyberspace led to the insight that the end user (and that was still a strange word then) could do what they liked with your layout on the web or in an email. The creator used colour perhaps, but the user could set everything to B&W for example, or green and orange.

Is that participatory art?

Sort of. It came up very early here in a conversation about the diversity of these sketches. The user can unify! In a way that is what Michel Allen has done by selecting 14.


There is an A4 limited edition of 25 on Epson paper of this print. Now imagine in addition:

  • The image printed on 1.2 meter wide canvas
  • A meter square lightbox
  • Printed by Adgraphix onto 2,500 tiles
  • projected onto a screen
  • video in you tube
  • a postcard
  • a postage stamp
  • a book cover
  • a Button – (Josh, can you make one?)
  • T-shirt, mouse-pad, mug etc at café-press
  • Fridge magnet
  • Sticky labels

None of these things need to happen physically of course. They already have in our mind.


The notion is well established in contemporary art.

Look: at the Dia in Beacon:




This is by Lawrence Wiener.

More Dia

Art & culture

From an essay by Lynne Cooke

An individual work need never actually be realized, Weiner contends, since “each being equal and consistent with the intent of the artist, the decision as to condition rests with the receiver upon the occasion of receivership.”3 Shifting the onus onto the audience, delegating the responsibility of instantiation to the owner or custodian, this fundamental tenet of his practice was appended to a Declaration of Intent set forth in 1969:





Let me say a bit more.

The information and the thing is something Wiener has meditated on, and I can make of that what I will, as he makes clear. But if what I make has no relationship at all to his info, what is the point? So he restricts my creativity, or creates a frame for me to use. And then, of course, we see it is always like that.

Thousand Sketches is an instance of info. The prints are fabrications. Jeff Gibson at Adgraphics is the builder to my architect. One builder. You are one too.


Which brings me to a question (always a question). The copyright. I am thinking about it. I wonder what Lawrence Wiener came up with in regard to copyright.

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