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<nettime> free as in free (beer|speech|associate) digest [rossiter, park
nettime's_fasc!st_zenzor on Mon, 29 Oct 2001 21:16:39 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> free as in free (beer|speech|associate) digest [rossiter, parkes]

Ned Rossiter <Ned.Rossiter {AT} arts.monash.edu.au>
     Fwd: sexy flowers and your post on nettime
"Geoff Parkes" <pissingintheriver {AT} hotmail.com>
     Re: ::fibreculture:: Fwd: sexy flowers and your post on nettime

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Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 13:15:52 +1100
From: Ned Rossiter <Ned.Rossiter {AT} arts.monash.edu.au>
Subject: Fwd: sexy flowers and your post on nettime

>Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 11:31:10 +1100
>From: Lisa Logan <lisa {AT} experimenta.org>
>Subject: sexy flowers and your post on nettime
>To: Ned.Rossiter {AT} arts.monash.edu.au, andrew garton <agarton {AT} toysatellite.org>
>Organization: Experimenta
>Dear Ned
>The issue of not exhibiting Sexy Flowers is not one of censorship. It is
>illegal for Experimenta to exhibit the work that was sent to us as it is
>x rated pornography. The work sent to us by the artist for the Waste
>exhibition is different from that on the website that we first viewed
>and more extreme. It is not legal to exhibit the work anywhere in
>Australia (refer to Classification (Publications, Films and Computer
>Games) Act 1995, Australia). I am curious to know where it would be
>legal to exhibit this work. I cannot imagine that it would be legal
>anywhere in the USA.
>There are some dramatic emails flying about which are missing the point
>of why the work could not be exhibited.
>I hope you understand how serious it might have been for the
>organisation if we had proceeded, a consideration for other arts
>organisations who also may not be aware of the legal ramifications of
>exhibiting the work, as I was not. The penalties are harsh.
>This is the reason Experimenta was not able to proceed with the
>exhibition. There was no disrespect intended toward the the artist or
>her work, the premise of which I respect.
>I would appreciate it if you would post this rejoinder to your email on
>the nettime list. Thank you, and thanks to Andrew Garton for bringing
>the post to my attention, as it was not forwarded to Experimenta.
>Lisa Logan
>EXPERIMENTA MEDIA ARTS exhibits and promotes media arts that explore new
>aesthetic, conceptual and technological boundaries.
>for information about EXPERIMENTA recent and forthcoming events:
>Experimenta Staff
>Executive Producer: Fabienne Nicholas
>Artistic Director: Lisa Logan
>General Administrator: Trish Stoeckli
>Co-ordinator: Nag Vladermersky
>PO Box 1102
>St Kilda South
>Victoria, 3182
>ph: 61 3 9525 5025              fax: 61 3 9525 5105          email:
>experimenta {AT} experimenta.org
>Experimenta Media Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of the
>Australian Film Commission, Cinemedia and Arts Victoria.

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From: "Geoff Parkes" <pissingintheriver {AT} hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: ::fibreculture:: Fwd: sexy flowers and your post on nettime
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 16:22:05 +1100

This sounds achingly familiar to the respnse of the UQ Union president last
year when the Semper Editors tried to publish my hypertext novel Fuct &
Fiction as it was intended to  be seen. I've included the UQU's President's
response below, which prettymuch sums up some of the shit fight, if anyone's
intereted in the editors or my point of view i can email them offlist. The
most inetersting thing about the whole kerfuffle was the image still went on
the CDROM, and anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of how to work their
explorer can find it in two secs...
Geoff Parkes

Respnse from Sarah McBratney, 2000 UQ Studenet Union Pres.

So. Geoff Parkes and maybe many of you think that the Queensland law on
"sexually explicit material" is stupid.  Whether I agree or disagree is
irrelevant.  The fact is, some of it is illegal, and from the legal advice I
have obtained, this includes the ejaculating penis image that Geoff Parkes
wanted to include in his work.

The UQ Union is an unincorporated body.  This means that "the Union" can't
actually be charged with an offence, or sued.  As President of the Union, I
am therefore officially the publisher of semper, and officially responsible
for all that it contains.  The Union constitution indemnifies the Union's
Office Bearers in the conduct of their duties, but only if they have acted
honestly and "in good faith".  After receiving very clear advice from the
Union's solicitors that the ejaculating penis was illegal, I could not
publish it "in good faith".   So I made the decision that it had to go.

Had I allowed it to be published, I could have been charged under the
Queensland Classification of Publications Act 1991.  If  Union Council
decided to indemnify me (not at all guaranteed), and I were prosecuted, it
could cost the Union (ie students) a maximum penalty of $22 500.  Would this
really be a responsible use of students' money?  On the other hand, if Union
Council refused to indemnify me because it decided I had not acted in good
faith, I would have to pay that myself.  I don't know if Geoff Parks has a
spare $22 500 lying around, but I can tell you now that I do not.  This
doesn't make me a fascist dictator, just an impoverished student.

Under the Queensland Act, there is also the possibility that I could face up
to 12 months' jail.  Does Geoff, or any student for that matter really
expect their Union President to go to jail for them?   It's really easy to
make grandiose statements like "I disagree with what you say but I will
defend to the death your right to say it" when someone else is the one
taking the risk of being charged, fined or imprisoned.

So what I'm saying is that Geoff's points about the law and the government
may have validity, but his assertion that I should have knowingly broken the
law is ridiculous.  Furthermore I am not even going to dignify his personal
attacks on me with a response because they are equally laughable.  My advise
to all of you who think the law sucks is to tell it to those who can change
it.  Don't rant about free speech but expect someone else to take the fall
for you by way of a fine or a jail sentence.

back to Fuct and Fiction

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