VL 2 : A footnote about Internet searches

In VL2, Angela spoke briefly about using generic Google searches for artists or artwork, and how this can lead to lack of context or even errors if you’re unaware (related artists will also appear). Well, I’ve just read an interesting article on the PetaPixel site that describes exactly this problem in relation to the work of Andreas Gursky.

screen-shot-2014-11-02-at-07-33-53
Screen grab from PetaPixel site
(Source:
http://petapixel.com/2014/10/31/99-cent-look-widespread-confusion-photo-gursky-didnt-shoot/)

OK, the article starts off with a similar photograph posted on Flickr and cries of image theft, but then quickly dissolves into a list of instances where the wrong image has been used, or potentially used. Lyza Danger’s photograph has been used by “Art Intelligence”, which then might appear to be something of an oxymoron but when you look into it, it’s just some chap writing a blog rather than something with any degree of provenance or authority. And there are others…

screen-shot-2014-11-02-at-07-39-25
Screen grab from Art Intelligence
(Source:
http://artintelligence.net/review/?p=520)

 
There’s also something about the versions, and how there might be different ones out there.
Wikipedia states “There were 6 sets made and mounted on acrylic glass”, but it’s not clear if this means it was an edition of 6 of a single diptych, or if there are 6 different diptychs. I would tend to expect the latter, but this isn’t confirmed by a quick search. The fact the expensive one is called 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001) leads me to expect at least one more (which is what the article says, with the first not being labelled and not a diptych), but there’s possibly 6. Confusing…
To be fair on the people writing these things, they will simply have used Google as a tool without knowing how to use it, and it’s dangerous. A bit like sparking up that chainsaw without reading the instructions. Ok, maybe you won’t lose an arm with Google, but it can probably get you into other sorts of trouble. Better to stick with reliable sources I guess, although of course, sometimes they don’t cover the people you want to research!

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