A few responses to recent posts:
> From: Bronac Ferran <[log in to unmask]>
> The British Council is currently developing a position through consultation
> with various influencers (hopefuly including some artists) on copyright for
> the digital age (21st century) and they will publish some material on this
> in the next few months.
Then someone should definitely forward them Rick's report on intellectual property and artists (Rick can you give a citation for "Nailing Down Bits"?). If I recall correctly, immediately after Rick first presented the conclusions of his study, he stepped off the podium and checked his email, only to learn his museum was being sued by Parker Brothers because one of its Internet art commissions used the word Ouija in the title.
Personally I think traditional copyright for artists is almost always a boondoggle, though I wouldn't write off the tiered / patronage approach that Jon Thomson has described.
> From: "Goebel, Johannes E." <[log in to unmask]>
> (Side note: Imagine you would by your oh say van Gogh for $40 million
> and you would already then set $12m aside for future "maintenance" -
> actually an intriguing idea! But maybe then there would be no more money
> left for living artists, because we can only update the old works? Maybe
> let the old works go away to allow new works to be purchased, which in
> turn supports living artists? Maybe that is the bliss of digital media -
> that they simply vanish on their own? And only living artists get
> supported - and as they die, their work slowly fades away into the
> digital nirvana - maybe that is the "new" model - which incidentally
> does coincide with how things were in the pre-museum and the
> pre-art-accumulates-value world ... - which in turn leads us back to the
> economic discussion of how to preserve works, how to sell them - and
> that maybe indeed following the old paradigms of museums is the wrong
> approach for "variable media". Variability always included vanishing.
> Excuse this side note as I think it is inappropriate for this forum - I
> simply could not resist.)
On the contrary, I think proposing such new models for supporting contemporary artists is central to this forum.
Except that, as you imply, they aren't new, if we look beyond Euro-ethnic art to indigenous practices. Creators of Papua New Guinea, for example, are encouraged to re-create Malanggan carvings (also mentioned in the CODE book cited previously) in their own fashion with each new generation:
'The new image (both original and derivative at the same time) emerges as a collaboration among a number of sources--the original owner, the new owner, the fabricator, and ultimately the owner in the next generation who will similarly modify it. This kind of multiple ownership creates a legal nightmare for IP law. But among the craftspeople of Papua New Guinea, it produces a dense network of relationships, as well as serving as a metaphor for cultural preservation and loss at each generation...As [James] Leach observes, ownership in these conditions connects people rather than separating them as it does in the West. And these connections are critical to the "preservation of the social conditions of creativity itself."'
--Joline Blais, "Indigenous Domain: Pilgrims, Permaculture, and Perl," http://thoughtmesh.net/publish/6.php#indigenousculture-indigenousculturecatchmentin