Still from 'Mothership' Jonathan Monaghan, 2013 [Edition of 3 via ascribe]
Ascribe is a service aimed at artists, galleries and collectors to showcase, transfer and archive digital art. The central concept around ascribe is to put the creators first by allowing users to claim ownership and have control over their digital property whilst giving them the chance to share their creations. Ascribe can also help strengthen the valuation of digital art by verifying its provenance; benefitting everyone in the art market, from creator to collector.
Ascribe works by allowing creators to stake a claim in their creations by uploading their digital work to the Ascribe Ownership Registry. This is a publicly-accessible domain which utilises advanced cryptography, offering creators comfort in knowing their work is secure. The creators digital work is then stored in the ascribe cloud and the title of their work is accredited to them.
The team behind the Ascribe service seek to offer creators visibility in how and where there is being used. Daniela Arriado, co-founder of the Video Art Channel, acknowledges the importance of securing works of art, “As curators we have a responsibility to present the artwork, but also take care and protect it.” Arriado realises the potential benefits which Ascribe may be able to offer in the near-future, “exhibiting art in public- and digital space, gives us the possibility to mediate art to a broader audience… I’m very excited about ascribe, a security platform so beneficial for the art field.”
Ascribe’s services make it easier for creators and stakeholders to authenticate their digital work; transfer, loan and allocate digital work; track digital property; and buy and sell digital work over a secure marketplace.
This is clearly an enterprise which will be beneficiary to the field of art, most notably digital art; a view shared by artist, Jonathon Monaghan, “ascribe helps legitimise digital-based art work by providing a concrete system of authenticity. It is an important part of the ever-growing acceptance of computer-created work by the art world.” Moreover, Stephan Vogler, an Art Law expert, also believes Ascribe’s services have positively influenced the field of digital art, “For the first time, digital art becomes collectable and tradable without printing or materialising it. “
The service is currently working with over 600 artists who have registered 2600+ digital works. Amongst these members are respected artists such as Valentin Ruhry and Harm van den Dorpel. With the growing interest in the website and the prospect of future developments, this already large community is only set to grow even further; this growth in popularity may provide an indication as to the future path of the art market.
Masha McConaghy, co-founder of Ascribe and Art Consultant, also envisions her company making an impact on the art world, “We believe that ascribe provides a solution that truly helps creators and artists, galleries and collectors to protect their interests. We also hope that by offering ascribe for free we are stimulating the digital art community to grow and prosper.“
As word has circulated, Ascribe’s services are being required in a variety of arenas of the art world including 3D Printing. Ascribe are currently working alongside Stilnest, a marketplace selling high-end 3D-printed jewellery, to register designs and enforce exclusivity agreements with their designers. However, the company’s impact goes beyond the realms of art as Ascribe are currently in ongoing talks with companies across a range of several industries including media, health and software that would benefit from the Ascribe Ownership Registry to protect their digital intellectual property.