Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net  

Go Back  Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net > Sculpture Roundtable Discussions > Sculpture focus topics
User Name
Password
Home Sculpture Community Photo Gallery ISC Sculpture.org Register FAQ Members List Search New posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-27-2007, 01:41 PM
allenring's Avatar
allenring allenring is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 351
Question How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

I have a question for the members regarding the “warranty” on art. You may have read about the problems many collectors of contemporary art are having insuring and restoring works that were made of temporary or fragile materials, butterfly wings being an example.

A major component of my art is electronics. Electronics are going to eventually fail, what to do? Over the past seven years I have had two component failures. No problem, had replacements on the shelf.

While I’m still working in a local area it is easy for me to run out and fix things, but what about the long term, especially since I most likely will need to be dead to reach any level of fame?

Should I supply a second, backup set of electronics with each piece? Even that is only a temporary solution. Should I supply an owners manual, a schematic and layout of components? I consider the electronics proprietary, but does the interest of the buyer and subsequent buyers over rule my own interests?

Does replacing the original electronics compromise the value of the work? How does one track provenance in the event of “upgrades”? How does a second or third owner protect or enhance the value of the work?
__________________
Allen Ring
Engineered Aesthetics
www.seguestudios.com
Continuing to win the struggle against enlightenment, wisdom, and a socially acceptable legacy.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-27-2007, 05:57 PM
Ries's Avatar
Ries Ries is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Edison Washington
Posts: 1,154
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

This is indeed an interesting question, to which there is no set answer.
My mother has been a serious collector of art for over 50 years, and has been way out in front in terms of collecting electrical, and later, electronic art.

And some of her early pieces did indeed wear out. Sometimes, if the artist is still alive, you can get them to repair a piece. Other times, somebody else can or will do it. And in yet other situations, the piece simply has a finite lifespan, and thats all there is to it.

I dont think you have any obligation to provide schematics- frankly, most collectors, and art restorers, would have no idea what to do with em anyway.

I have a good friend who is a big art restorer, and she can make a painting that somebody put their elbow thru look like new again, reglue a shattered Chihuly- but electronics? forget it.

Part of this is dependant on something we dont know yet- how famous will you get, and how valuable will your pieces be?
If you become enough of a big shot, there will be people willing to pay to keep your work running.
There are now experts in doing this, for particular artists. And who knows, maybe you will rate such care sometime in the future.

But really, you have made the decision to work in a relatively fragile media, because you want to, and you like what can be done with it. Just like the Tibetean Monks who do sand paintings, you cannot expect your work to have the lifespan of a cast bronze piece. It is what it is, and part of the reason you like it is integrally intertwined with its finite nature.

There is no guarantee that a particular IC will continue to be manufactured- many early ones are no longer available. Some proprietary transistors for early Hi-Fi gear is out of production as well. Technology changes, and the more sophisticated the tech, the faster it changes.

If you really want immortality, you may have to go back to stone and metal.

I think you need to explain to your buyers, however, that there is a limited time warranty- whatever you think is reasonable- but not forever.
__________________
Been There.
Got in Trouble for that.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-27-2007, 06:47 PM
dondougan's Avatar
dondougan dondougan is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Marietta (Atlanta) Georgia
Posts: 407
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

I agree with Ries for the most part as far as a long term solution. However, I had a similar situation I did with a commission for an illuminated installation for a temple. The electric lights I used were warranted by the manufacturer for three years, so I warranted the electrical elements for that same period. As it turned out, the lights failed after only a year. I pulled them and replaced them with new ones I purchased. I send the bad ones back to the manufacturer (Sunbeam) for replacement. They replaced them but said there would be no further warranty. The second set failed before the three years were out, so I had to replace them out of my own pocket (no, I don't have a lawyer, and it hardly seemed worth it as it cost me about $500 labor included). After the original three years was up the lights began to fail yet again. Thankfully, one of the members of the congregation who happened to be a handyman/electrician asked me if it would be OK if he were to re-do the lighting system with another type of electrical system altogether. I said sure, go for it — after all, they (the congregation) had to live with this thing day-in and day-out, and anything they could to to improve my engineering design (I am a stone carver!!!) so it worked better for them was fine by me. [one reason I don't like or do many commissions!]

Don
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-27-2007, 07:31 PM
ahirschman's Avatar
ahirschman ahirschman is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Posts: 475
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

I personally try to use the best materials I can for each job. However, many of my buyers do not wish to spend the added amount to move up to 316 and I use mild steel instead. So, we all know it will eventually rust, but I use thick enough pieces so that they can easily be restored.

I am not of the opinion that electronics would be proprietary, as any half decent EE would be able to re-make or design just about any thing. Unless you are a cutting edge designer doing very sophisticated work, I would view the electronics in the same way as I view a layer of paint. I would provide a schematic, or a diagram explaining the functioning parameters, and that should be enough for your piece to be restored forever. Now, if the actual component are visible and part of the work, then that is another story.

I have worked with electronic components for over 30 years, and know that even the simplest parts will degrade rapidly. Capacitors drift or fail, resistors do the same, IC's need to be handled much more carefully than most people realize, etc. There are ways to over design your circuits to make them very sturdy, but that would be much more complicated.

I think that if you want your sculpture to have a long and prosperous life then you have to make it easy for some stranger in the future to restore it.

If you are using simple binary counters, such as the old 7493 or similar I would just throw in a whole pile of them so that the piece can be restored for a long time.

Another thing would be to pay close attention to your power supplies, and make sure you over design them. Instead of spending $10, you can spend $30 and end up with something that will most likely never burn up (OK, last a long time). Oversize your components for a long life.

Any way, just give them the schematic. I am not sure how you are lighting your displays, but I would put LED's behind something else that is lit by those LED's. LED's will be available for a long time (All house lighting will be LED driven in a couple of decades) but you do not want to have to make your customer find an exact match which will most likely not be available in 50 years.

Well, that is my humble opinion.

Good luck.

Ari.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-27-2007, 08:48 PM
ahirschman's Avatar
ahirschman ahirschman is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Posts: 475
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

I personally try to use the best materials I can for each job. However, many of my buyers do not wish to spend the added amount to move up to 316 and I use mild steel instead. So, we all know it will eventually rust, but I use thick enough pieces so that they can easily be restored.

I am not of the opinion that electronics would be proprietary, as any half decent EE would be able to re-make or design just about any thing. Unless you are a cutting edge designer doing very sophisticated work, I would view the electronics in the same way as I view a layer of paint. I would provide a schematic, or a diagram explaining the functioning parameters, and that should be enough for your piece to be restored forever. Now, if the actual component are visible and part of the work, then that is another story.

I have worked with electronic components for over 30 years, and know that even the simplest parts will degrade rapidly. Capacitors drift or fail, resistors do the same, IC's need to be handled much more carefully than most people realize, etc. There are ways to over design your circuits to make them very sturdy, but that would be much more complicated.

I think that if you want your sculpture to have a long and prosperous life then you have to make it easy for some stranger in the future to restore it.

If you are using simple binary counters, such as the old 7493 or similar I would just throw in a whole pile of them so that the piece can be restored for a long time.

Another thing would be to pay close attention to your power supplies, and make sure you over design them. Instead of spending $10, you can spend $30 and end up with something that will most likely never burn up (OK, last a long time). Oversize your components for a long life.

Any way, just give them the schematic. I am not sure how you are lighting your displays, but I would put LED's behind something else that is lit by those LED's. LED's will be available for a long time (All house lighting will be LED driven in a couple of decades) but you do not want to have to make your customer find an exact match which will most likely not be available in 50 years.

Well, that is my humble opinion.

Good luck.

Ari.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-27-2007, 09:32 PM
allenring's Avatar
allenring allenring is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 351
here are some additional details

Quite a difference of opinion so far. To provide more info based on ahirschman's input. My lighting is done with LEDs, should be good for 100,000 hours. The power supply is over designed, 5V, 20 Amp switching supply, it is just coasting. The electronics are 70's era technology, Individual DIPs mounted in sockets and wire wrapped. I'm using 4518 BCD up down counters, I like CMOS over TTL. The LED segments, which are fairly power hungry are driven by discrete transistors.

The logic is not very complicated and could be independently reproduced, especially by looking at the chip set I have chosen to use.
__________________
Allen Ring
Engineered Aesthetics
www.seguestudios.com
Continuing to win the struggle against enlightenment, wisdom, and a socially acceptable legacy.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-28-2007, 08:40 AM
ironman ironman is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Silver City, New Mexico
Posts: 1,603
Re: here are some additional details

Hi, Most of my sculpture is painted steel and anyone buying one is certainly entitled to know exactly what kind of paint I use. Public commissions require this info.
Is it so difficult to provide the buyer with a schematic?
Come on, help these people out, they're BUYING YOUR WORK.
Plus, they like getting this info, makes the whole business seem more professional and it shows that you really do care about the work even after you've cashed the check.
Have a great day,
Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-28-2007, 10:00 AM
allenring's Avatar
allenring allenring is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 351
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

OK ironman no arguments in general but how about this "option". The piece, specs, and schematic are one thing but I also have hand drawn engineering drawings. The drawings are necessary because I try to hold tolerances of plus or minus three thousands so that everything will fit together. Are those proprietary or should I sell the originals and treat them as an additional 2D work of art that compliments the 3D piece? Does anyone sell or provide their drawings as a bonus or bennie?
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	eullid-drawing.jpg
Views:	176
Size:	30.0 KB
ID:	6148  
__________________
Allen Ring
Engineered Aesthetics
www.seguestudios.com
Continuing to win the struggle against enlightenment, wisdom, and a socially acceptable legacy.

Last edited by allenring : 05-28-2007 at 10:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-28-2007, 11:34 PM
ahirschman's Avatar
ahirschman ahirschman is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Posts: 475
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

I would differentiate between the macro & micro. The physical sculpture should not be difficult to restore / fix. The electronics may become obsolete (The parts themselves) and once they fail may be irreplaceable. To figure out what a circuit does may be challenging once it no longer functions, and once the parts are unavailable.

I would not provide a diagram to one of my sculptures, as I think that that information can be recreated easily.

Software and electronics that make a sculpture function are going to be very challenging for restoration. That is one reason that programmers (The good ones) keep their code clear, and well commented. That makes another programmer able to fix or modify the software easily.

In my opinion, give them the software and schematics, and keep the diagrams of the sculpture.

Ari.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-12-2007, 12:10 PM
allenring's Avatar
allenring allenring is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 351
Re: How do I “warrant” art for the long term?

Thanks for all the feed back, sorry about the late post. I'll offer the schematic and extra power supply to ease concerns but be careful about copyright and engineering drawings.

What is the art is an important question. If the VCR or tape breaks on a video artists work can they be replaced or does it compromise the work. Apparently a written statement by the artist stating what the art is is a solution. The art is the concept or image, not the VCR or tape etc.

I think that along those lines I would state that the art is, the piece of sculpture and binary concept, not the power supply or electronics that could be replaced by anyone with out compromising the artists intent.
__________________
Allen Ring
Engineered Aesthetics
www.seguestudios.com
Continuing to win the struggle against enlightenment, wisdom, and a socially acceptable legacy.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Sculpture Community, Sculpture.net
International Sculpture Center, Sculpture.org
vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Russ RuBert