Saturday, October 24, 2020

Once Again, Why Artistic Intent Matters


When is a weed a weed, and when is a weed artwork? The remarkably intelligent Judge Posner, of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, explains,

 “But the plaintiff’s claim that the free-speech clause insulates all weeds from public control is ridiculous,” Posner said. “It’s not as if the plaintiff invented, planted, nurtured, dyed, clipped, or has otherwise beautified its weeds, or that it exhibits or intends or aspires to exhibit them in museums or flower shows. Its weeds have no expressive dimension. The plaintiff just doesn’t want to be bothered with having to have them clipped.”

Clearly it’s not just whether the “work” is expressive or not (otherwise, nature would be an artist). It’s also whether the individual did anything to the work and thus intended it to be viewed as a work of art.

More here.


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