$5,000,000 of Pirated Files: The Art Piece

08.17.11 Marina Galperina

Ah! Finally. The definitive artistic monument to illegal file downloading that has ever been erected, now featured on the contemporary technological art portal Art404. 5 Million Dollars 1 Terabyte (2011) by Manuel Palou is… a hard drive filled with 1,016 GB of pirated software and files, which are conveniently listed for download here (PDF).

Inside? A digital cornucopia of Adobe, Rosetta and video gaming stuff. Most expensive? “Fiction Library,” three million dollars worth of it. How come? Artist Manuel Palou tells ANIMAL:

It’s EVERY Fiction book published from 2003-2011. I took a large sample of the books from the collection, averaged their price to come up with a mean cost per book, which I multiplied by the number of books in the torrent.

Sure, it’s not a 100% accurate estimate, but “the implications on the value of piracy” are easy to read.

If there were badly ripped movies hidden in this digital tomb, the “sculpture” could have used a few Russian mafia goons to flank it as guards, since it’s their trade. Maybe. It’s kind of a perfect minimal statement, just like this. Ommm.