Rick Mullarky
Since 2002
Works in Seattle, Washington United States of America

Rick Mullarky is an artist and designer who has worked for Adobe, Microsoft, and numerous web companies. His interactive work has appeared on shift.co.jp, Born Magazine, The Remedi Project, and the CA interactive annual. His poster work is part of the permanent collection of the Zurich Museum of Design.

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Art In Your Pocket

Why is it that no one has a problem when poems, short stories, and novels sell on the web for their value (a downloaded e-pub costs only slightly less than the paper version), yet people think interactive art should always be free? Is it really less 'art'? Less work?

I've been making web and interactive art for a long time with absolutely no way to live off of it, being forced instead to work a corporate art job to pay the bills. I love making it and will always do it, but it takes time and it is work, and it's depressing to know that I'll never be able to sell anything. Am I a sellout to rejoice at a way to get paid (like my brush-wielding friends)?

I don't think of Apple and the iTunes Store as the art form, I think of them as a Gallery. They show and promote the work to a satisfyingly huge number of people and demand 30% for doing so. This is a system that has existed almost as long as art has been sold (in fact 30% is quite generous compared to galleries I've seen). It is not 'sinister' or even unusual that iTunes will choose to accept or reject works according to it's own standards. Joshua Davis is correct when he asks for a new platform... a truly open one, maybe then we can have multiple galleries offering works for mobiles across a variety of tastes, hopefully it won't go back to just 'everything is free'.