Saturday, April 18, 2015

Controversial Sculpture Elicits NAACP Response

Journey, a bronze public sculpture piece by artist Micheal Brohman, has caused a controversy in Colorado Springs. Brohman’s sculpture is installed in front of the courthouse, and depicts an African slave ship, where faceless, black figures are the bones of the boat and line the vessel like stacked cord wood.

“It struck me as more than ironic,” said [the President of the Colorado Springs NAACP, “because the disproportionate number of descendants of those African slaves have to face a criminal justice system that doesn’t provide them with justice.”

Although it has been there since last June, it seems that the NAACP has lobbied for its relocation after the exhibit ends this May.


Exhibition: Fair Use – Information Piracy and Creative Commons in Contemporary Art and Design

Speaking of art works and law, Ben Tiven sent me this information on an interesting exhibition, Fair Use, that just opened at Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery. According to the press release, the exhibition:

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The Registered Blackboard

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few days, but time has been rare and elusive.

A good friend of mine from Barcelona, artist Ruben Verdu, has created an art project dealing with pedagogy, language,  trademarks and trademark law. Not being one for literal approaches to the creation and dissemination of meaning, Verdu wonders if the registration of a word as a trademark anchors its meaning to a “proper usage.” One thing I like about this project is that it highlights the differences between art and law when it comes to the use of language and production of meaning. This latter point is frequently missed, and misunderstood, by artists, especially when it comes to words such as authenticity, originality, creativity, fixation, and idea.

Registered Blackboard, An Exercise In Tautology. Ruben Verdu.

Registered Blackboard, An Exercise In Tautology. Ruben Verdu.

I’m going to contact Ruben and see if I can get him to expound on this idea. For now, take a look at the image of his Registered Blackboard. What do you think?


Access Restricted: “The Law of Violence in No Country for Old Men”


I’ll be giving a lecture presentation next Wednesday, March 10th, at The Jacob Burns Moot Court, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, at 55 Fifth Avenue in NYC.  Playing off a typical form of law school pedagogy, I’ll lead a class-room debate on the ethical implications inherent in Ethan & Joel Coen’s filmic adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men from within a mock court room theater. The event is curated by Adam Kleinman, organized and funded by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and co-sponsored by Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in NYC. Should be fun. For more information on this program, click here.

Whether you’re attending the lecture or not, here is some interesting reading material related to the film.


British Lawyer Accused of da Vinci Extortion Plot

From today’s Guardian:

A solicitor [a non-litigation attorney] has been accused along with four other men of threatening to destroy a stolen Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece unless they were paid £4.25m [$6.36 million], in a conspiracy allegedly hatched in the offices of one of Glasgow’s leading law firms.

Valued at £30m [$44m] to £50m[$75m], the painting was the centrepiece of the then duke’s collection at Drumlanrig castle, near Dumfries, reputed to be the UK’s most valuable collection in private hands, when it was stolen in August 2003 in a daylight robbery. The heist remains the UK’s biggest art theft. The painting was recovered in October 2007[.]


When is a Copy Plagiarism and Not Copyright Infringement? (Update 2)

Jörg Colberg asks about the difference between plagiarism and copyright. He points in particular to the ongoing disagreement between Vancouver photographer David Burdeny and photographer Sze Tsung Leong. Jörg has written about this before, but his exact question was more in line with “what recourse does the first photographer have against the second?”

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YouTube Won’t Block Video Artist

Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) and the National Coalition Against Censorship wrote to YouTube this past Tuesday, asking YouTube to reconsider its removal of the art work of video artist Amy Greenfield. According to EFF’s website,

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