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<nettime-ann> Fwd: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Copyright - public domain
BishopZ on Wed, 5 Oct 2011 09:41:04 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime-ann> Fwd: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] Copyright - public domain


.
The posts on this theme for me so far have been fascinating. My
apologies Penny! I forgot to put in the updated link, which, it won't
hurt to say again, is http://sawvideo.com/programming/spotlight

I am intrigued by the connections I see between the comment by Penny:

"It was a frustrating, fascinating, and ultimately
rewarding experience for the artists, and one that highlighted the
problematic relationship between artists and institutional gatekeepers of
archival holdings.  For instance, public domain materials supposedly "free
of copyright" still had donor restrictions placed on them, often by other
national institutions.  The question that rose from this project was: just
how "public" is the public domain anyway? "

And Armin's elaboration on his work with Kingdom of Piracy (KOP), when he says:

"because the process how a group
of people defines the rules that govern their collaboration runs
obviously thrugh language. Part of the lessons learned from the
"everything open" paradigm (or liberal utopia) is that there can be a
kind of false egalitarianism. While supposedly everybody is free and
equal to participate in a collaborative process often there is a
pre-defined agenda which pretty much determines what can be said. Those
who define the agenda "win" the discussion often without even having to
raise an argument."

Daniel McClean (in 'Dear Images') has argued copyright has not "always
been a a necessary mechanism for artists" and many of the conventions
and property relations of the art world exist "independently of legal
norms". Although McClean references Foucault, Armin's post reminds me
of Lyotard's language games or 'phrases'. As I understand it, he
argues that to do justice means resisting allowing some language games
from providing the rules for other games, and so becoming a
metalanguage.

It seems to me the law seeks to assert itself as a metalanguage but
when it comes to art is conflicted and tries to avoid engaging with
aesthetics, whether in copyright or in other areas. Although,  of
course even for those within the 'art world', aesthetics are not
un-problematic. Duchamp's work catalysed many of the issues and, as
hardly needs to be said, they are still being engaged with. Indeed,
Sean Cubitt made a passing reference to this in his keynote at ISEA.

However, at this point I elect to go off on a direction that is
suggested by Penny's comments. Corporations, particularly given their
role in globalisation, are being challenged to be more socially
responsible. It seems to me The influence and impact of large
galleries and museums also invites critical examination. In 2003 Sir
Anthony Mason set out to “examine the extent to which the law allows
moral claims and values to inform the exercise of powers by those who
control and manage charitable and public institutions, notably museums
and galleries, in relation to their holdings” (‘Ethical Dilemmas for
Charities: Museums and the Conscionable Disposal of Art’).

While Sir Anthony’s comments were directed specifically at the
repatriation of art works and other objects the same question could
also be used as a starting point from which to examine and discuss the
way copyright is employed by museums (to generate much needed revenue
amongst other things). One direction such a discussion could take is
indicated by the call by the ‘Artists’ Bill of Rights Campaign’
<http://artists-bill-of-rights.org/>.

Under the heading ‘Concerns with the Hargreaves Review of Copyright’
the Campaign notes that “The moral rights of authors are not
automatically granted as in other EU countries”. In light of the
announcement by the UK Business, Innovation and Skills Committee of
its intention to conduct an inquiry into the Hargreaves Review and the
Government’s response to that Review the Campaign urges, “Every
creative should make a submission, the deadline is 5th September
2011”.

Of course the question of the moral rights is not new. The debate
which springs to my mind is that over Richard Serra's 'Tilted Arc',
which he understood to have been destroyed when it was removed from
the Plaza for which it had been constructed.

Best
Jeremy
http://independent.academia.edu/JeremyPilcher



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