Are we all art collectors and dealers now because of the web?

I occasionally enjoy ‘Imagine‘ – the BBC 1 arts programme presented by culture-jockey, Alan Yentob. This week was a sort of lite-touch expose of the world of art collecting. We found out that art collecting is a boom-to-bust affair, and that some people are worried about the bottom falling out of it, while others fear the saturation of the art world. Of course, the internet was fingered (particularly on the latter point).

And the end of the show, Alan invited viewers to get onto the website to download an exclusive limited-edition set of banknotes defaced by twisted art-bruvs, Jake and Dinos Chapman. They offer up two different designs, each available with 600kb and a 16mb versions. The downloads stop on November 22nd; I’ve attached one if you need it afterwards.

By offering a copy as an attachment does it mean that I am an art dealer now?Wonder what people will do with them – particularly the 16 meg number?

Will they be worth anything one day? Will any web-only art find it’s way into the art world’s consciousness and insurance policies? Is it art?

This isn’t the first time that Imagine has given viewers the chance to download an exclusive, time-limited printable art work by a major artist. The first time they did it, it was a Gilbert and George piece. Who got one? What did you do with it?

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