project generator

Since 1998
The generator is a computer program (Perl script) which collects and recombines material from the Internet to create a new website or a new image. Since its launch in 1998, it became a classic of net art and got legendary due to its ability to keep connecting to new discourses and thus constantly updating itself.

interview, publication

Aesthetics, Commons and the Production of the Subject

Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder / 2021

The two editors of the volume Aesthetics of the Commons (Diaphanes 2021), Cornelia Sollfrank and Felix Stalder, discuss with Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (WPCC) the potential and meanings of the digital commons in creating new subjectivities and new imaginaries on and off the internet.


Nothing New Needs to be Created. Kenneth Goldsmith’s Claim to Uncreativity.

Cornelia Sollfrank / 2015

This text discusses the claims of New-York-based artist Kenneth Goldsmith regarding his artistic strategies of writing poetry and building the online archive UbuWeb. It is based on an interview Sollfrank conducted with Goldsmith on 1st of February 2013.



Copyright Cowboys Performing the Law

Cornelia Sollfrank / 2012

This text looks at the role of Appropriation Art in contemporary discourses on copyright and intellectual property. It discusses whether appropriation artists have been able to meet their own critical claims, and what the value of a strategy, which depends so much on the workings of the art world, could be within a copyright-critical discourse whose issues go far beyond the art world. In: Joshua Pablo Rosenstock (Ed.), Journal of the New Media Caucus, V.08 N.02: Found, Sampled, Stolen: Strategies of Appropriation in New Media, 2012.




Speculative Software, 2009.

Speculative Software. After submitting a digital template, the software generates a „quality report“. The accuracy of this report depends on the amount of originals that are available as a comparison value. The goal of using the software is to provide a „sameness index“ in the shortest possible time, which can indicate in precise percentages the related source material. Using scientific methods such as distance calculations algorithms from bioinformatics finally allow accuracy in a field where arbitrariness and inability to detect have prevailed for too long.

research, writing

copyright © 2004, Cornelia Sollfrank

Cornelia Sollfrank /2004

The starting point for this text is the question of who can be considered the author of a digital image collage produced by nag_05. The related investigation is based on legal research conducted in the field of copyright for computer-generated works as well as joint authorship, and aims at meticulously discussing as many legal options as possible. The text simultaneously applies and reflects legal thinking as it is performed through the adopting of legal terminology. There is also a video available in which the author reads the text to screen.


exhibition, interview, project

Legal Perspective

Four legal experts elaborate on copyright issues related to the generator – from a legal perspective. Four-channel video installation, (12 to 15 minutes each). German with English subtitles.

In 2004 Cornelia Sollfrank submitted the anonymous_warhol-flowers to four copyright law experts and filmed their responses. Instead of displaying prints of the automatically generated images, these expert videos were installed at [] Basel. The interviews not only illustrate the different appraisals of the situation by various experts but also clearly demonstrate the legal grey area between artistic freedom and the letter of the law resulting from artistic appropriation. Aesthetic necessities and legal logic appear irreconcilable. Thanks to the participating lawyers: Peter Eller, Munich; Jens Brelle, Hamburg; DrsRolf auf der Maur, Zurich; Dr Sven Krüger, Hamburg.