Everyday life has been dramatically altered with the introduction of digital media. How deep these changes really are is not yet clear in the collective consciousness of society. Personal property is a topic for every citizen. The YPP (Your Potential Property) series strikes at exactly this idea as it explores, through a simple demonstration, the real world impact of digital media.

The concept of personal property takes on a completely new dimension through digital media. A simple example of this were the recent headlines that a criminal investigation must be pursued into complaints of the theft of virtual belongings in an online role-playing game. However this topic is considerably more serious. On electronic storage media, whether an internet server or the flash drive of an iPhone, we deposit data in a quantity that is beyond count. At first glance content and authorship are obvious. An “up.mov” datafile can be the newest blockbuster film or a home video. Opening such a file happens simply through a piece of software, the so called “player”. In the best case scenario the disclosure of the author of a work is included. Indeed, a few people take the time and effort with a digital camera to film or photograph audio-visual pieces with a visible digital watermark so that their authorship can be recognized. On the other hand, electronic data has become much easier to share. On a personal homepage the photo “mama.jpg” is in an attributable context. When an acquaintance finds this photo and publishes it in another place with a new context then the traces of authorship are quickly washed away. The project Your Potential Property delves into this dilemma. With computer technology everyone has access to an overwhelmingly abundance of data that does not belong to them. Within the framework of the project people are invited to work with external material, to put it through a processing mechanism and draft a new conception of authorship.


Bay, 2010, (125 cm x 125 cm)

LED light box, milled mask