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<nettime> Re: Intellectual Property
wade tillett on Wed, 14 May 2003 11:53:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Intellectual Property

It is not that the exercise happened to fall outside (or between) some
perceived acceptable legal bounds, it is that the whole exercise is
meant to be about process that does not incorporate the limits of the
binary, and through this, modes of legitimizing power based on the
binary are undermined. Said anther way, this is is not a project about
questioning IP rights, but rather about exploring other possible modes
of production outside of the traditional binary explanations and
models offered. IP is just one of many concepts that fails to be
legitimized if I take away the binary underpinnings.

What I think really scares and upsets people (I have received similar
comments from many) is not the perceived or potential theft, but
rather the failure to fall within the traditional (author/reader,
producer/consumer) binary power relation. Intellectual Property is
simply the first line of seemingly acceptable moral defense of an
entire structure of binary power relations on which economy (and one's
position within it) is based. To upset one binary is to upset them
all. (Or so it seems many fear.) It is therefore the binary Structure
that must be preserved: author/reader, producer/consumer, self/other,
male/female, white/black, etc.

If I am not clearly an author or reader, I am a thief. That is, I am
an illegitimate reader - a reader without the legitimating power of
author. If I am not legitimized in my claim to the power-side of the
binary, by default I am not only immediately determined to be from the
oppressed side, but also dangerous in that I am not accepting my
(oppressed) position in the power relation.

IP is one of many means to control production, a means to make the
process subservient to the product, action subservient to the image -
a means to define and chain body.

the loss of self begins with touch, 
the realization of the borders of the body.

While within the process, the binary does not hold - I claim both to
be author and reader. Process is that which is between, or seemingly
beyond, the binary. The binary is still there, but its structure
becomes fluid.

That being said, I would like to make a few other points:

What if the process of (re)creation was so valuable considerable
personal and social enhancement might be attained in this way? What
if, when I emailed out a post, instead of 3000 passive readers, I had
3000 (or even 3) active author/readers taking the text and using it
for their own means - throwing out what they can't use, adding to it,
(re)creating and reposting? Instead of a critical outside (reader)
stance, what if everyone felt free to rewrite it as they pleased - to
make it usable for their selves and others? (And of course, to not use
the text is the first choice in a creation process - to discard. - As
I am not hoping to make this one more meaningless "inclusive" or
"empowering" structure that all must inhabit.)

If I insist on a strict author/reader relation, am I not always
starting from zero, or worse, in debt?

The process of creation includes finding. The process also necessarily
produces a new creation as it is not bound to the previous one. I did
not attempt to hide the original author nor text, neither did I try to
preserve it. Value comes from use. Change the context, change the
parameters, change the self/other on which the creation is based,
inhabit the process, constantly tinker. Nothing new really - urinals
become art. And books become doorstops, notebooks, flower
presses... and material to start a fire.

On 2003.05.13 03:38 Lachlan Brown wrote:
> Quite an interesting project, adding value to a discarded book
> and giving it a meaning not intended.
> ... 
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