“Ready-to-be-made” is akin to the enigma of cloning an entrepreneur intertwined with Schroedinger’s cat. Platforms such as Redbubble, operating on the print-on-demand model, conjure images of fictional objects that straddle the realms of existence and non-existence. The transition from the virtual realm to tangible reality hinges upon the exchange of currency—an oxygenated and labyrinthine transaction within contemporary society—transforming a consumer into the steward of an entrepreneurial venture. Curiously, concern for the environmental ramifications resulting from their transactions appears to elude them.
In 2004, Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain” was heralded as “the most influential artwork of the 20th century” by a consortium of 500 esteemed artists and historians. This iconic piece is emblematic of Duchamp’s readymades, objects found in everyday life that he designated as art. Rejecting the realm of “retinal art,” which exclusively engages the visual sense, Duchamp sought alternative avenues of expression. The readymades functioned as a countermeasure against retinal art, inviting a critical examination of the very essence of Art, challenging the veneration accorded to artistic creation. André Breton and Paul Éluard described them as “ordinary objects elevated to the realm of art through the deliberate selection of an artist.”
Originating in the United States, the term “readymade” was employed to categorize manufactured items, distinguishing them from handcrafted goods. A century later, Teo Spiller aptly likened Lev Manovich’s concept of objects created and transmitted over distances to “ready-to-be-made” entities.
Duchamp’s “Fountain,” the most celebrated of readymades, made its debut in 1917 during the tumultuous backdrop of World War I. A century hence, Teo Spiler introduced his “ready-to-be-made” creations, contending that while Duchamp provocatively challenged conventional art paradigms, contemporary society collectively undermines the future of our planet. These “ready-to-be-made” creations, as described by Lev Manovich in “The Language of New Media,” constitute “on-demand, created and delivered objects.” In stark contrast to the ubiquitous entrepreneur-driven ethos, pervading every nook of our society, these objects remain deliberately unmanifested. They hold value while residing as ethereal concepts in the virtual realm; yet, their manifestation poses an ecological quandary upon acquisition. As long as we persist in harnessing energy from fossil fuels, every act of production and distribution contributes to the tapestry of climate change.