Website Unseen #68
commissioned by The Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Networked Art Viewer (NAV) Business Proposal

Synopsis: The Networked Art Viewer (NAV) will be the premier hardware, software and subscription platform to deliver and display network-based (Internet) artwork.

The NAV consists of an Apple Macintosh 500 MZ Powerbook with 512 MB of ram, a 20 GB hard drive, and a network card. A Panasonic PT-42PD2-P plasma TV (with speakers) is used as the monitor. The TV and the computer are housed together in a cabinet that is being designed. Additional hardware includes a wireless keyboard, a digital media remote control and an Internet connection that may be determined by the client (cable or DSL, no dial-up).

Networked art is displayed through customized Netscape Navigator software running on Mac OS X. The software is launched automatically when the computer reboots. All current popular plug-ins are also included such as RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, Shockwave Director, Shockwave Flash, and QuickTime. Artists may request plug-ins that may be distributed through the NAV network.

NAV administration will maintain a web site hosted by a commercial Internet company through which clients may administer their accounts and artwork will be stored and delivered.

Maintenance / Upgrades:
The purchase of a NAV comes with scheduled maintenance for 2 years. Every 3 months a technician will backup the archived Artwork, re-initialize the hard disk, install new software if needed and re-install old software, and conduct basic maintenance routines. The collector may purchase additional maintenance. Every 2 years the computer hardware will be upgraded for an additional fee.

The NAV hardware is sold through galleries, museums, and auction houses. The hardware is always sold with a subscription service.

The subscription service is available without the hardware. Subscription includes the NAV programming and preference administration, access to the NAV community services (message boards, listserv, email announcements), invitations to special NAV art parties with the artists, and free catalogues and books of the NAV artists.

The NAV cabinet will look very tasteful and hip, a beautiful piece of furniture that one hangs on the wall. Ideally the power and data connections will be hardwired and buried in the wall on which the NAV resides. The collector is proud to display the cabinet even without the Networked Art being displayed.

Once the NAV is powered on, it connects to the NAV servers and begins displaying the artwork. The artwork displayed is whatever is in the current 'show'. The shows rotate once a month (except for July and August) and include 10 - 15 artists. The collector decides how to view each show. The NAV software can cycle through each work in the current show, the collector can cycle through a rotation of current work that the collector decides on, and the collector can display one work from the current show. The collector may also download and save locally any work that the collector likes creating a 'favorites list' over time that may also be incorporated into this rotation. The collector may also group and theme downloaded artwork, thereby curating his or her own private show. There is no additional charge to download and save any artwork. By default the NAV software cycles through the current show at about one work each half-hour.

The downloading of work is achieved through a special "Collect Button" (patent pending).

Acquiring Art:
The NAV is the premium networked art viewing system. Original artwork will be commissioned from blue chip international artists as well as from emerging Internet, Web, and Net artists. All work displayed through the NAV will be original and only available through a NAV subscription. There will two types of contracts signed with the artists for use of his or her work:

Well-established international artists will be paid a flat fee for use of original work. Each of these contracts will be negotiated on an individual basis with the artist or a representative.

Unrepresented artists or emerging artists without an international reputation will be contracted through a percentage basis for original artwork. The artist will receive a set percentage of the subscription fees paid to the NAV administration for one year. This percentage is not yet set.

Types of Art:
The NAV will display all types of digital art; digital photographs, digital video, interactive websites, and all types of multi-media work will be included in the NAV subscription. There will be shows devoted to different mediums, different themes, different movements, and different time periods. An international roster of digital media arts professionals will curate the shows.

The NAV administration is committed to the exhibition of experimental networked art. In this cause one exhibition a year will be devoted to experimental networked art.

This proposal is version 0.7.0. It should be considered a rough draft. At this time a detailed expense and price plan is not available. The authors, MTAA, eagerly seek all questions and comments. Interested parties may contact MTAA for more detailed information.

MTAA (M.River & T.Whid Art Associates)
39 Ainsle #2L
Brooklyn, NY 11211

© Copyright 2000 MTAA. All Rights Reserved.