This was a question from an audience member at our talk at the Headlands. The idea was that many art collectors cherish the uniqueness of the objects they possess, and although some TPG editions consist of unique pieces, this is not a requirement for TPG projects. The moderator, Natasha Boas, fielded the question by noting the importance of the artist multiple in art history, as a way for artists to make money and spread their work among influencial collectors. As we represented the “least traditional” art model in the discussion, here are a couple less traditional ways to look at the question.

We view each artist’s project as the art piece, so the fact that each subscriber will not always receive a unique object is not necessarily our greatest concern. It is part of our agreement with the artists that the project will not be reproduced, so each art piece represents a connection between a specific artist, a specific group of subscribers, and a specific place in time.

Or to look at it another way, during the talk, Julio Ceasar Morales, co-director of the Queen’s Nails Annex, mentioned how his goal was that the art community would support the artist space as much, if not more, than the individual artists they represented. In both our projects, the framework for experiencing and creating art is as important as its individual parts. The framework is an artist’s work too. No one would ever argue that the social space and community Julio has created is less ‘special’ than the physical objects for sale. In fact, a convincing case could be made to the contrary; that it is more visceral, engaging, rewarding, and possesses a greater capacity for change.