Introducing Files


Badlands Unlimited is pleased to introduce Files, a new line of artist works available exclusively on Badlands’s new website. Artists in the 21st century have many technological options for creating artworks. Using a computer, artists now print paintings, extrude sculptures with (probably toxic) plastic compounds, even automate entire performances from a laptop. But whatever the form the work finally takes, it was first and foremost a file: a digital document that the artist created in order to control and direct the devices at her disposal. Artists using technology are all, in this regard, filemakers.

A file is the work before the work. It is the “score” that directs the printer, video projector, or speaker to create the expression that is experienced. And as such, artist files hold considerable value and potential in contemporary culture. They are works in their own right that illuminate the minds of some of the most compelling artists working today.

Each file in the Badlands collection is created by the artist and is saved as a document derived from the originating software that the artist used to create the file and subsequent work. As an essential element of the final work, the file is unique in how it manifests the “spirit” of what the work ends up becoming.

Historical distinctions between digital and physical art are dissolving rapidly. Approaches to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting works and artifacts central to contemporary art have not kept up with the changing nature of expression today. Badlands envisions Files as a new and novel way for enthusiasts, collectors, and institutions of contemporary art to support artists by collecting and preserving the files that enable their work to appear and thrive. Start your collection of artist files today.


Cory Arcangel
(2006, Perl script, 5 KB)

Paul Chan

Politics To Come (2005, Truetype font, 373 KB)

Martine Syms
Notes toward a Kanye West VMA visionary award acceptance speech
(2015, Microsoft Word document, 118 KB)