I'm very happy to share writings of Amanda Koh about a wonderful idea
she has that she would like to pursue through our Minciu Sodas
laboratory and Open People network.
I'll first share her mission statement, and then our plans on working
together. (Amanda, you write beautifully!)
Mission, Prodigal Art Organization, by Amanda Koh
"The mission of the prodigal art organization is to create a free
flowing assimilation of art into society. We believe this can be
accomplished by reversing the way art is currently sold. Instead of
artist's locating buyers of their art, and charging that single buyer
for everything the art encompasses, including time, materials, marketing
and storage, artist's choose to give the art away for free. Then,
whenever the art is sold in the future, 50% of the profit collected from
that sale is sent back to the artist. This process is expected of anyone
else down the line that owns and sells the art for profit.
The current process of selling art up front is creating a wall between
artists and the rest of society. Consumers need to pay for the enjoyment
they expect to experience from art before they own it, and artist's need
to spend money and time finding buyers willing and able to afford that
expense. Instead of creating new art, much of an artist's time is spent
in finding buyers for old art. They may find many people who enjoy a
particular piece, and would very much like to own it, but cannot justify
or afford the expense. So, the art waits. The artist waits. And, the
consumer waits to find something more affordable. The creative flow
By giving art for free in the beginning, the only determining factor in
ownership of artwork is one's appreciation for that art. This allows
people to react purely instinctively to artwork, and base their
ownership decisions on the connections they experience with a
particular piece. And through this system, both the artist and the
caretakers of an artist's work earn money from its sale. This increases
the flow of art from one individual to another. Instead of art being
purchased and held like diamonds, waiting for their value to appreciate,
art can be enjoyed for as long as desired, and sold when new art for the
home is found.
Many of us believe that when we buy art, we will want to keep it for the
rest of our lives. That is partly true because of the current system of
selling art. If one pays for the value of a piece of art over its entire
life, it seems wasteful to enjoy it for less than the span of our own.
If we could freely display every piece of art we came across and
enjoyed, and if we actively pursued new creations, it would only be
natural to pass older pieces along after a certain amount of time. We
only have so much room in our lives and homes for active enjoyment of
artwork. Just as we may enjoy a spectacular vision of a setting sun, and
wish we could hold on to that image forever, we still love and need the
variety of several sunsets in our lives. And as spectacular as that
sunset is for one individual, part of its beauty is in knowing how many
others are also enjoying its radiance.
The mission of the prodigal art organization is to create that variety
in our lives, and to allow art to be enjoyed by many. Our mission is to
enhance the flow of artwork among us, so that all of us may enjoy the
art we produce, and all of us may share in the experiences and wealth it
I met Amanda through Bala Pillai's MindEcos
and read more about her art and her vision at:
and then connected with her through her Ryze page:
and she wrote back:
"Andrius- Wonderful to meet you... thank you so much for your
introduction, and for what you are offering. It is clear to me that we,
as a society, will be able to create something fresh, innovative and
powerful with this methodology. I am interested in utilizing your
services, also, perhaps - in a website I want to create devoted to the
caretaking concept - for all artists. I have a vision that has been
waiting for about a year and a half to be implemented in HTML... not
wanting to spread myself too thin - it has been put on the backburner.
If there is anyway I could find assistance with this project through
your organization, I believe that would be ideal. I believe it wants to
be OPEN code, as is also the concept it carries. I am interested in
learning more - will read more of your site as time permits. Please PM
me if you think you may know how to help me, or what I could do."
So we've pursued this further, and I share our letters below.
Amanda, I think a great way to start would be, as you write:
- Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_EN/
where we can
think this through further, and invite others.
- Let's sign you up for our Open People network, as you write. Yes,
that can apply to your text only. I'll help with that.
I think that your idea is not simply a website, but a movement, a change
in the world. I therefore recommend our lab's team-building service so
as to attract and involve artists, programmers, caretakers who would
like to participate. Our price is $195 per month, payable in advance,
and we could start with May.
This will enable us to bring together people, and some of them may help
in various ways. In addition, you may likely need to pay for web
programming or other such work. If you are sponsoring a team, then I
would be happy to offer you my own services, working openly, at $15 per
hour, in increments of your choosing ($100, $200, $500, etc. - however
you like), but paid in advance by PayPal. And likewise the service of
other lab members (as described at http://www.ms.lt/serving.html)
That's probably a good way to combine the two services. Certainly, it
would work well for me, and I think it would give you optimal
flexibility. You could also stop for a month, etc.
These services are quite novel. I'm very interested to adapt them so
they work for you. It would be great to work on your project!
Also: Yes, send me the Word file. And please invite the designer you
met to join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_EN/
a blank message to minciu_sodas_ENfirstname.lastname@example.org
+370 5264 5950
I am still interested in working with you and your
team... I know you haven't heard from me in a while,
but wanted to let you know, I read "An Economy for
Giving Everything Away" on your website... just
wanted to make myself a little more familiar with your
concepts/beliefs and structure before jumping in with
I would like to have some support with the Prodigal
Art website, as I mentioned... you gave me some steps
to take - and I will - very soon.
I would like to get started within a week - and am
willing to pay - not sure if I would like to do the
monthly thing, or if I should pay in the $480
increments. I have lost so much momentum with this -
it might be nice to do the monthly thing, since that
would probably guarantee I don't "wait" to send
another $480 payment. Would you agree? I'm not sure
if the service delivered would be comparable. Is it
the same service?
To me - it is most important to find other people that
want to help -
I have a document I prepared last summer... geez.
About a year ago! Anyway - it described what I wanted
from the site, and was delivered to a web designer...
someone who happily took $600, and who hasn't
delivered anything beyond 3 index page images from
which I chose a direction.
(This was web designer #2. The first one happily took
$1200... and that didn't work out either.)
I haven't had anything updated on that site since I
last/first touched it in February of 2003. My
description is very detailed, however - even to the
point that I could be somewhat fearful to open this to
the public domain. However - I know that only
trustworthy people would believe in this concept...
so maybe it would be safe - AS LONG AS - I could be
sure that we would be actionable in its creation.
In essence - I do want this to be open - because I
want this to be a living website - one that is
modified/created by the participants... It will track
art/search art/have a forum... etc. But I want it
all to be monitored publicly... I know I have heard
of such things, and that it could work. I imagine
with your experience, you know of the type of website
I speak. I seem to remember reading something about a
"living" site - might have been through yours... well
- that is what I seek for Prodigal Art.
As a site note - there is a gentleman I met through
Ryze that was going to help me with this site, and I
had mentioned working openly. He has worked openly in
the past, and seemed like a great guy/designer. Is
there any way he could be included in this? That is -
if he chooses, of course.
So- I want to verify some steps for me to take at
1. join the minciu_sodas_EN yahoo group
2. list "prodigalart.org" as the place that will be
open for software and written ideas through your
OpenPeople page -
however - would the artwork shown on that site be
protected if I ONLY say so on your OpenPeople page, or
must that be listed next to each particular item on
the Prodigal Art site? I will have a copyright notice
for the artwork on the website - that each image is
copyright protected for each respective owner... for
everyone visiting the site to read. But, I just want
to be sure of how I should do this in your case -
since I will only be stated the HTML and text are
"open" on your site.
3. I will send you the Word Document that describes
the site in detail. Would you prefer it in a
different format/file type?
As far as the assistance I desire - I would like to do
a great deal of the visual design work, since I have
Photoshop and have a very specific idea of what I
would like the site to look like... but I need help
with the backend database design - the more technical
aspects, if you will. :)
You may share this email publicly if you think that
will help to get the ball rolling.
Please let me know what you think will be the best
option for me financially - the monthly fee vs. the
Thank you very much for your help, Andrius! I look
forward to working with you and everyone!
--- Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...
> Thank you for your note!
> Yes, let's look for ways to work together.
> It would be great to think that through publicly,
> for example, at our
> lab's open gateway
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/minciu_sodas_EN/ > (send
> a blank message to
> minciu_sodas_ENemail@example.com to
> subscribe). That way we find out who else might be
> interested, we
> gather resources and inspire others.
> I think your idea has good potential for many of us,
> so as much as
> possible, we might pursue that for free. A good way
> to start is if you
> join our Open People network
> by specifying a location online (such as MindEcos)
> where we can all know
> that your words and/or thoughts are in the Public
> Domain except where
> they explicitly note otherwise.
> Perhaps the location could include a website we're
> you'll be developing
> this concept.
> As you describe your service, I can link to it from
> our Website for
> Working Openly, see
> http://www.primarilypublicdomain.org/1.html and you
> might start to offer that service, and our Open
> People network might
> help promote that.
> If you have some money, for $195 a month we offer
> our team-building
> service http://www.ms.lt/team/ which can help get
> momentum behind your
> project, help with coding, etc.
> For more intensive coding work, etc., we offer our
> special rates for
> working openly, see http://www.ms.lt/serving.html
> I look forward to working together!
> It's great to find ways for artists to make and show
> more art!
> Also, there will be an event Free Bitflows in
> Vienna, Austria
> http://freebitflows.t0.or.at/ June 3-4, 2004 where
> we may find artists
> very interested in your idea. I'll be in Vienna two
> weeks earlier, and
> there is a slight chance that I might stay until
> Free Bitflows.
> Andrius Kulikauskas
> Minciu Sodas
> +370 5264 5950
> Vilnius, Lithuania