Michael Green has created a .GIF of Jeff Koons' balloon dog melting – titled 'Balloon Dog Deflated' and he wants a pretty penny for it.
In the listing on eBay, Green placed an expansive introduction – explaining the eye-watering price tag for the digital artwork and the "movement" he aims to spark:
"It is difficult for artists who make digital work to gain any capital from it because the components of the work is all in the hyperreal. Where is the object physically? No such object exists. By purchasing 'Balloon Dog Deflated', this will change the way image formats are valued, and open up debate of how an digital artist can sell his or her work. This will be a historic purchase. It will receive mainstream press and open up a discussion on how digital art jpegs/GIF's/etc. could be sold and collected, just like how paintings are currently auctioned. It will introduce the future medium to the world and connect more people to the genre of digital art. Michael Green and his contemporaries could now support their lifestyle by selling their work to the public. Eventually this will happen, as GIF's and other image files are on there way to being taken seriously as a collector's item and be worth a price that could compensate for the artist's hard work and full dedication to their crafts. Do you want to be the one who leads this movement???"
Green also explains that 'Balloon Dog Deflated' was conceptually crafted with the same principles of the Koons original; the digital sculpture itself was downloaded legally through a CC license, modeled by Bassam Kurdali and commissioned by Rob Myers, then processed through the 3D animation program Maya, for treatment of the textures, and the deflation of the balloon. Like Koons, Michael Green argues that he was the CEO of the project, overlooking every detail without ever actually having to create the 3D sculpture, or write code to produce the animation.
Adding that "The deflation itself is a statement where it is once again time to destroy the values of the tradition of modern art and for our culture to evolve to the logical next step, the digital medium. The .GIF itself is a popular format that mainstream culture has embraced throughout webpages all over the internet, and is seen daily by millions of people worldwide."
Unfortunately for Green, the auction ended without any bids – although it has certainly captured the media's attention. Potentially there is a slight flaw with Green's argument, hence his failure to make a sale – nothing that can be easily copied (i.e. right-click, save, post) is a 'collectable', if one were to part with the $5800 and purchase the .GIF they would fade into the oblivion of people – including Buro 24/7 with this article – who have published it. Ultimately, the Internet is a place where nothing can be owned, fully.
Interestingly, a .GIF creation did recently sell on eBay for $1,300, and so did a screenshot – for a whopping $90,000. But perhaps this could be surmised as a "one-off" – a novelty, like Kickstarter's potato salad, which saw Zack Danger Brown take home $55,000 from almost 7,000 pledges after he humorously placed a post on the popular crowd-funding site saying "Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet." Everyone wants a piece of the first pie, but no-one wants to be second.