Statement by Albo Jeavons about the destruction of artworks at the Esther M. Klein Gallery
On December 12th, 2005 an Autonomous Intelligent Artwork called The Corporation was left in the Klein Gallery during business hours. The artwork in question is a semi-autonomous machine pseudo-intelligence, programmed to evaluate individual artworks and determine the least-noisy, most efficient way to eliminate them.
In the early hours of the morning of December 9th "The Corporation" began it's work, quietly disposing of all of the artworks in the gallery. After destroying all of the work "The Corporation" left the building via the rear service entrance.
I have no issues with particular artworks that were in the gallery, nor with the Klein Gallery itself. I chose this location for the performance by The Corporation because it's unusual public location made it easily accessible, and because I've shown related work there in the past.
While I feel some sympathy for the artists whose work was destroyed, I can't allow that to interfere with the cold, hard realities of today's globalized art market. We live in a world ruled by market forces, and artists need to get with the program and learn to compete on a levelled playing field. I want to succeed in the competitive Art World and that means eliminating the competition. I can't physically eliminate other artists, but I can eliminate art work that competes with mine. The Corporation is loose is in the world and I have only limited control over it's future actions. It will continue to search out and destroy work by other artists for as long as it can. While The Corporation is programmed to only destroy artworks, there are limits to it's ability to distinguish between artworks and non-artworks, especially in light of the ambiguous nature of so much contemporary art. I want to apologize in advance for any collateral damage that may occur in the performance of The Corporation's assigned duties.
The module that performed at the Klein Gallery is the first unit of The Corporation to be successfully deployed. As the work develops it will expand to include an army of similar units which will embody a Distributed Wireless Network Intelligence with massive data redundancy so that each unit will be both expandable and expendable. Future versions of the work will be completely autonomous: once released they will continue to perform until destroyed or decommissioned, and ideally will be fueled by the materials in the artworks that they are eliminating, in keeping with principals of sustainable business practices.
The Corporation is an artwork in and of itself; something of an inversion of the auto-destructive works of Jean Tinguely, and all of it's actions constitute a performance-work. The destruction of artworks as art has an honorable pedigree in art history (see Rauschenbergs "Erased De Kooning") and I see my work with The Corporation as a logical development of that historical trend.
I am currently entertaining offers for representation from reputable, high-profile galleries and can be reached via e-mail at .
Download a printable version of this statement here