Friday, February 1, 2019
With a focus on digital display, Schafer makes a bold statement about the public domain. Over the years, Schafer has placed more than 800 digital artworks into the public domain.
According to Schafer, “The public domain is being decimated by current legal policy. To counter this trend, my digital art is placed directly into the public domain, covered by ‘Creative Commons Zero.’ It can be copied and used in any way, private or commercial, without attribution. This means you can use this art for any purpose, including as an element in your own projects. No one has exclusive rights: use the art however you’d like, but accept that others can, too.”
The works in this exhibition are unusual for the artist because they are public and permanent. Much of Schafer’s art is private, temporary, and often conceptual. Unframed air stirred with the artist’s hands, the arrangement of the molecules existing for a few picoseconds, ‘ice brushing’ where a design is sprayed onto a frozen window screen with water from a plant mister, stacked firewood sculptures, snow sculptures, pine needles packed into wedding rings, flower blossom flotillas in a hot tub, even the configuration of the quilt when making the bed. Schafer says that after 30 years of making the bed, new quilt configurations are still possible.
Schafer’s childhood home on Bethlehem’s Main Street included an art gallery. After high school and looking to get out of the big city, he left Bethlehem and moved to an even smaller town in the White Mountains. With no one around, his art never includes people, instead relying on stylized objects and vibrant fields of color.