Yes, exactly. To me the value of the painting comes from the experience of viewing it. I think to truly appreciate art you have to judge it by your own personal experience of it--it's reputation and the experience other people have is interesting, but in a different sphere.
Music and film are areas where we don't seem to care at all about having an "original". There truly are 10,000 exact copies of albums.
But with books, people play the first edition game, and buy them for thousands of dollars.
This instinct, whatever it is, seems like a bad thing.
I agree. I have actually thought a lot about this issue. For one thing, I love art. But then I also am amazed at what digital means
. My love of math connects directly to this. Digital information is ideal, even if it requires a non-ideal medium. Computers use binary because voltage fluctuation is more manageable. The logic gates inside are ideal. The bit itself is one of humanity's ultimate sculptures. It's minimal perfection and power is overlooked, I think.
As far as original painting lust, perhaps it's because "analogue" painting makes exact
copying so difficult. On the other hand, there is so much vanity in art. I hear the chatter. It's so much about the beauty of the art but about the prestige of those who behold or own it. It's something like the ugly side of religion. It's a safe middle way to elevate one's soul above the souls of others.
The first-edition game in books is indeed a bit silly, at least to me. It seems shallow in a classic way to covet the mere paper and not what it offers.
I can see the difficulties involved, but I have played w/ the idea of musuem walls being giant flat screen hi-res monitors. Our "paintings" could then be made of pure light. But then I recognize the important of texture in painting. So perhaps we will have to wait for holograms. And even here we have the problem of shadows and lighting.