04.01.2018 PWT 1-2018: Last Chance to Square the Circle of the Art Market ?

“Squaring the circle is a problem proposed by ancient geometers. It is the challenge of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge.

In 1882, the task was proven to be impossible, as a consequence of the Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem which proves that pi (π) is a transcendental, rather than an algebraic irrational number; that is, it is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients. Approximate squaring to any given non-perfect accuracy, in contrast, is possible in a finite number of steps, since there are rational numbers arbitrarily close to π.

The expression “squaring the circle” is sometimes used as a metaphor for trying to do the impossible.” (Wikipedia)

178 years ago, the invention of photography opened the way to create images and also to reproduce art, giving access to the multitude, promoting the frame of a market. Photography also gave more and more freedom to the artists, allowing pictorial documentation and proof of ephemeral installations.

Now we are engaged in a great technological revolution, testing whether photography and art on paper or any archive so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure… (follow on page 25)


PWT 01-2018 Squaring the Circle

A modest 2018 New Year address (Tribute to the 1863 Gettysburg Address)

Eight scores and eighteen years ago our fathers brought forth on this world, a new invention, patiently conceived on several occasions and in several locations, and dedicated to the proposition that all men can create images.

Now we are engaged in a great technological revolution, testing whether those archives on metal and paper or any archive so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

We have reached a great battlefield of that revolution.

We have come to a situation where libraries and museums, many, will soon close or deaccess their collections soon after they have been digitally preserved.

For many in charge, it is altogether fitting and proper that they should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not control—we can not organize—we can not understand—the consequences of that dematerialization of our culture.

The brave artists and curators, living and dead, who struggled here, have created this grand legacy, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored creators we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these pictures shall not have been created in vain —that this material baggage, shall have a future — and that the cultural heritage of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.