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April 03, 2007

The Present Group



The Present Group, a quarterly art subscription service, made public an interactive online version of their first edition today. The hand-made artist book “Anthroptic” is a collaboration between new media artist Ethan Ham and writer Benjamin Rosenbaum. It was produced for the organization’s subscribers, however, an interactive, digital version of the work is now available for everyone online, along with an interview with the artists, critiques, information on the books’ construction, and a forum for discussion.

Subscription Art: The Present Group is like a mutual-fund that produces art instead of profits. It enables a community of subscribers to support contemporary artists and receive original artwork in return. For an annual subscription of $150 TPG subscribers receive four limited edition works from four different contemporary artists. Artists submit proposals for projects that are reproducible in intent (i.e. will not lose quality by being reproduced). TPG chooses one project every season, collaborates with the artist to produce it, and return their subscribers’ investment in limited-edition artwork. Each piece is accompanied by information to help subscribers gain insight into the work, its creator, and recurring themes in the contemporary art world.

Anthroptic: "Anthroptic” is an edition of 80 hand-made artist books by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum. The book contains 8 folios that pair one image with one “chapter” of the story. The images were taken from Ethan’s online project “Self-Portraits” in which he trained a facial recognition program to his face before unleashing it onto Flickr. While searching the millions of photos for its creator, the computer program sometimes made mistakes, identifying inanimate objects as Ethan. These mistake images became the starting point for Benjamin’s short, short story. Benjamin weaves these images into an exquisitely interconnected tale that can be read in any order.

A New Way of Supporting Contemporary Art: The Present Group’s goal is to create a new source of funding for artists while expanding the base of art lovers and collectors. They aim to de-mystify the art world by providing a free online resource and discussion area built around each piece. Subscribers can learn about and absorb each piece at their own pace, in the comfort of their own homes, without the intimidation factor of a gallery or museum. At only $150 per year, The Present Group provides an affordable opportunity to explore your tastes while collecting. It’s the most current contemporary art class you can take.

Posted by jo at April 3, 2007 08:11 PM