be avantgarde buy


The concept was developed end of 1999 but the domain went on line in February 2000.
(...) there was an active exchange with the artists before the implementation phase of artcart. The input of the artists was and is quite important. One of the topics we discussed was the - of course ambivalent - desire of the artists to earn money with their work. Artists do not try to live up to some " business plan". Their artistic work is their first interest. Beyond the desire for appreciation - in addition - the question arises here: how far can the self-exploitation of an artist go? (...)
There is an attitude in the net art community to keep off from the art world and run the risk to become invisible or not to be accepted. At the same time there is a desire of artists to find a way into the system "art world" to intervene from the inside to represent the artists interests. Artcart tries to create some kind of net art economy. Not only for selling net art, but to force the collection, preservation and support of net art. There are many important net art works which simply disappeared over the last few years. Institutions, like museums, should pay more attention to this.(...)
One difficulty is the confrontations about definitions of value, authorship, originality and function. But I like that. A more important advantage could be that artcart can be a catalyst to change the way we value and consume net art. That is what is interesting about artcart. People often say: "Why should I buy something I can get it for free." artcart simply says: Be avant garde - buy (...)

Extract of Interview with Mario Hergueta by Josephine Bosma, April 2002
Parts published in METAMUTE and full interview in "Borderline, Strategien und Taktiken für Kunst und soziale Praxis" ( ISBN 3-8311-3775-7)

Connected artists: Lew Baldwin, Blank&Jeron, Natalie Bookchin, Heath Bunting, Valéry Grancher,Yael Kanarek, Takuji Kogo, Antonio Mendoza, Mouchette, Tina LaPorta, Jan Robert Leegte, Peter Luining, mi_ga, J. Niemandsverdriet, PAVU, Melinda Rackham, Erwin Redl, Station Rose, Jochem van der Spek, Teo Spiller, Zden.

Link to artcart | Download Interview (PDF)

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