Hello Jeremy et al,
Thanks for launching this discussion, Jeremy.
For those of you in London, I encourage you all to take in the screening of
SAW Video's Public Domain video program on Wednesday at no.w.here.
Public Domain was a national video commissioning project SAW Video in Ottawa
undertook with Library and Archives Canada in which we commissioned 7
artists to create works from material in the public domain. Sarah Cook has
contributed an essay to a publication accompanying the screening that
addresses the role of the archive within the international debate about
The purpose of this project was to give the commissioned artists the tools
and resources to access the materials housed within the walls of our
national archive. 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?
Here's a link to our site talking about the project:
http://sawvideo.com/programming/spotlight (This replaces the link in
Jeremy's intro - a new website has made this link obsolete already!)
From: Curating digital art - www.crumbweb.org
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Armin Medosch
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 3:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [NEW-MEDIA-CURATING] October Theme: Copyright
thanks for this introduction to a theme which has long been a focus of
my work and of others with whom I closely collaborate/d.
First of all I would like to point out a piece of recent writing by Doll
Yoko aka Francesca da Rimini on the very interesting case of the JSTOR
Francesca has published a number of highly interesting articles on
copyright issues on thenextlayer over the years, check her research
Regarding this question:
"How does an art field such as 'new media art', that is premised on free
exchange, understand its relationship to the intangible public domain of
intellectual property as presently recognised and enforced through the
In 2001 exactly 10 years ago kingdom-of-piracy (KOP) was launched in
Taiwan, an experimental curatorial project initiated jointly by Shu Lea
Cheang, Yukiko Shikata and me. Based on an initial commission by Acer
Digital Arts Center, KOP set out to ask exactly that question (above) by
commissioning 12 net art works and 3 essays on the subject. Initially
warm relationships with ADAC declined after a change of directorship
there and the new director tried to force a name change which was
resisted by the curators. KOP was nevertheless able to finish and
launched at Ars Electronica 2002. All documentation of KOP can be found
KOP then set out on an intellectual and artistic journey, becoming a
"floating kingdom" and anchoring at different institutions, at DEAF
2003, at FACT 2003, contributing to its launch and producing DIVE, a
booklet and CD ROM which introduced cultural organisations to the world
of open source and copyleft collaborations. Maybe some copies of DIVE
are still left in the vaults of FACT, otherwise try this
KOP increasingly changed it's character from a curatorial project to a
project that mixed curating with interventionist art practices and
research. The exploration of the open seas of open code and free content
increasingly led us to a closer engagement with issues of
self-governance such as rule making or the processes that govern speech
acts in collective decision making and agenda development, until, after
involvement at open congress 2005 and node.l 2006, kop did not formally
stop but entered a prolonged break during which participants followed
their own paths ... I trained my piratic glass-eye on PhD thesis
This year it is KOP's 10 years anniversary and it would have been nice
to celebrate that somehow, however, there is still time, since the
official project launch was in December 2001 at Museum ofContemporary
Art, Taipai, Taiwan.
On Sun, 2011-10-02 at 20:16 +0100, Jeremy Pilcher wrote:
> This month's theme on the list is copyright and is guest hosted by Jeremy
Pilcher, whose academic work explores the connections between art and law
and builds on his professional experience as a lawyer.
> The lack of opposition from the United Kingdom to the recent extension by
the European Union of copyright on sound recordings (from 50 to 70 years)
has once again brought into question whether there is the political will to
update the UK's labyrinthine intellectual property environment. It is just
one of the more recent examples of the increased scope of intellectual
property rights (IPRs) around the globe.
> In the UK this has occured despite a number of independent inquiries, of
which the most recent is the Hargreaves Review, which concluded that the
current legal framework obstructs innovation and growth.
> Lawrence Lessig, one of the founders of Creative Commons and professor at
Stanford Law School has observed, at some point the commercial life of
creative property comes to an end. After that period the ongoing existence
of much culture will be uncertain and considerably affected by how it is
recycled and archived.
> While technology has reduced the economic costs of generating and
preserving culture, legal barriers remain. Professor Susan M Pearce has
observed museums and galleries are integrated into capitalist economic
practices. IPRs, including copyright, are of considerable significance to
'new media art'.
> Many questions arise, including:
> . Has the ubiquity of the web made assertions that museum and gallery
collections are somehow 'outside' the market-place even less convincing than
> . How are curators and artists working internationally supposed to be able
to comply with copyright when laws vary between countries?
> . What methods can be used to improve understanding about IPRs and in what
ways could education engage critically with the values underlying, and
implicit in, copyright?
> . How does the acquisition of data and the creation of meaning by
corporations, which use IPRs to protect the commercial value of such
information, relate to the freedom of expression and art/activist practices
that seek to subvert, or even obstruct, the free flow of information?
> . In what respects do the interests of commercial organisations such as
Google, which exist for the purpose of making profit, differ from those of
artists, museums and galleries and in what ways should the law respond to
any such differences?
> . Should the reform of IPRs, and in particular copyright, take place in
the name of innovation and economic growth?
> This month's theme is also tied to the launch of the book Public Domain
published by SAW Video in Canada, which documents six new artistic single
channel moving image works made with copyright free material from Library
and Archives Canada. Sarah Cook is an invited essayist in the book and last
year undertook a month long residency with SAW Video grappling with these
> Those who have joined the list as invited respondents to discuss the theme
> Sarah Andrew
> Artist and lawyer Sarah Andrew has for many years combined her two
practices to advise on terrestrial and digital TV programme content. The law
is seen by Andrew as a 'system of description', and she believes that
artists and lawyers should work together to empower artists to find new ways
> Bronac Ferran
> Bronac Ferran is a guest curator at The Ruskin Gallery Cambridge and works
also in Communications department at the RCA. She set up Boundaryobject.org
in April 2007. It has a focus on research in areas of art, science,
technology, law, media and cultural production. Bronac was formerly Director
of Interdisciplinary Arts at Arts Council England where she led national
policy for interdisciplinary and collaborative arts practice, often
involving media, science, law and other disciplines. She was a member of the
influential Adelphi Charter commission on IP, organised the CODE conference
about open source and innovation in 2001.
> Joy Garnett
> Joy Garnett [ http://joygarnett.com ] is an artist who lives in Brooklyn,
NY. Her paintings, based on found images of explosive or catastrophic
events, locate instances of the apocalyptic sublime in mass media culture.
Her social media projects, documented with photographs and archived online,
examine the intersections of our digital and material worlds. She is the
Arts Editor of the contemporary media journal Cultural Politics, published
by Duke University Press, as well as the blog NEWSgrist [
> Penny McCann
> Penny is the Director of SAW Video, a media art centre located in Ottawa,
> Rob Myers
> Rob Myers is an artist, writer and hacker based in Peterborough in the UK.
He has been making work remixing cultural and technological codes since the
early 1990s and has recently made 3D printable models of iconic postmodern
artworks freely available for download.
> Taylor Nuttall
> Is CEO of folly, which is a leading digital arts organisation working
across England's North West. folly presents an active artistic programme
that provides creative interaction and collaboration between artists and the
wider public using technology. Taylor is a founding director of Abandon
Normal Devices Ltd and has has a background as a practicing artist, educator
and in commercial enterprise.
> Marta Peirano
> Marta Pierano, is a Spanish writer and curator.
> Matthew Poole
> Matthew Poole is currently Programme Director of Essex's Centre for
Curatorial Studies and Director of the MA in Gallery Studies & Critical
Curating at the University of Essex. As well as lecturing, Matthew works as
a freelance curator and collaborates with a wide variety of contemporary
artists. He has experience working for a number of arts organisations and
galleries both in the public and private sectors.
> Fred Poyner IV
> Fred Poyner IV is the Digital Collections Curator for the Washington State
Historical Society, and has managed the rights clearances and image
collections licensing program for WSHS since 2006. Prior to joining WSHS in
2006, he served as an arts collections specialist for CORBIS in Seattle, WA.
> Michael Szpakowski
> Michael Szpakowski is an artist, composer and writer.
> Kalliopi Vacharopoulou
> Dr Vacharopoulou has a background in Archaeology, Museum Studies and
Heritage Management and Conservation. For the last few years she worked in
digital imaging projects, exploring relevant themes with a particular focus
on copyright issues. Current interests focus on the application of digital
technologies in the museum and heritage sector and in education
(digitisation of heritage content, digital media, e-learning, electronic
publishing and visual resources).
> Annette Ward
> Scottish Power Research Fellow and Development Manager, has evaluated
retrieval software at London Guildhall Library and Art Gallery, The British
Library, and BBC. She has over 25 years as an academic in textiles,
clothing, and design in US and India.
> Annsley Merelle Ward
> is an intellectual property and media litigator at London-based firm
Collyer Bristow LLP, specializing in intellectual property with specialized
emphasis in multi-jurisdictional intellectual property issues in the
cultural heritage, technology and fashion sectors. She writes for
award-winning intellectual property blog, IPKat.
> Patricia Watts
> Patricia Watts has researched art and nature practitioners since 1994.
Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace. She is
currently working on a statewide residency project in New Mexico entitled
Getting Off the Planet (2011-2013). Watts was Chief Curator at the Sonoma
County Museum from 2005-2008.
> Kate Wilson
> Having trained as a film producer in Los Angeles at Jodie Foster's Egg
Pictures and Paul Thomas Anderson's Ghoulardi Film Company, Kate Wilson
returned to London to study law and join the bar. She now represents
artists and organisations across the world, helping to determine the best
way to exploit or preserve the rights in their work. Kate works with
artists and organisations in all media.
> It is hoped that a little later on, one or two others will also be able to
join as invited respondents, including Shady El Noshokaty, an Egyptian
artist and curator, who recently spoke at Rewire/Abandon Normal Devices.
> Shady El Noshokaty spoke of exciting work done Egypt, including that of
Ahmed Basiony. Some of Basiony's work is currently being exhibited in
Liverpool as part of Abandon Normal Devices and FACT. Sadly, Basiony was
killed during the Egyptian uprising.