Thursday, January 29, 2015

Art After Law: Legal Issues and Artistic Projects

I’m giving a talk on Thursday, February 18th, at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Talk starts at 6:30 and is open to the public. In general I’ll be covering how my early installations led me to attend law school as an art project, and how Clancco serves as a model of art and law discourse. Here’s what I’ll cover:

How does law affect the making of art, and can art change the making of law? In this workshop, artist and lawyer Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento will talk about the interrelation between art and law. By focusing on his own art project which explores art and law,, Sarmiento will speak about the most common legal issues that arise in the implementation of art projects, including the most recent and controversial legal cases affecting the art world. Copyright and trademarks, right of privacy, contractual agreements and legal issues related to artist websites will be covered.

For more information on location and registration, go to LMCC’s website here. Hope to see you there.


Motherwell Foundation Dispute Stalls Raisonné

The lawsuit between Robert Motherwell’s Dedalus Foundation and a longtime employee who had worked closely with the late Abstract Expressionist painter continues, “throwing a kink in efforts to complete the artist’s comprehensive catalogue raisonné.” Since the pair of lawsuits were filed last March in New York State court delays have caused little progress to be made in resolving the antagonists’ heated claims, which include accusations of theft, self dealing, and scholarly incompetence. Via Artinfo and The Art Newspaper.


Tracey Emin Forgery Ring

The artist Tracey Emin, whose work sells for thousands of pounds a piece, has been inadvertently caught in the centre of a forgery ring specialising in reproducing her art,Scotland Yard revealed today. An inquiry is under way following concerns raised about several paintings, supposedly by her, that were offered for sale last year. Two men aged 21 and 23 were arrested in Manchester in November on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and of money laundering.Via The Independent.


Conference: Techniques of Hope

Another great conference coming up:

Techniques of Hope: How Professionals and Professionalism can Stabilize the Markets and Change the World

How do we sustain hope in the economy? Hope—usually indexed by terms like consumer confidence, or market optimism—is the engine of market stability and growth.  And yet most of the current techniques for producing confidence in the economy—from stimulus packages to new regulatory architectures—are at best limited solutions. How these policies translate into individual market participants’ hope in the market remains unclear, and most policy makers and market participants are at best uneasy about how effective existing approaches will be and what unintended consequences they might bring with them.  

This conference aims to set in motion what we call a “market movement”—an analog to recently successful social or political movements.  One of the hallmarks of recent political movements has been the understanding that each of our actions have larger consequences. “Think globally, act locally” is the slogan of the environmental movement, or “the personal is political” has been the slogan of the feminist movement. In the recent presidential campaign, Barack Obama called this move “hope”: hope for him is the realization that each of us has power to effectuate real change. So our question is, if this is true for politics and society, could it also be true for the market? 

The conference will bring together professionals and experts in the financial markets with social scientists and lawyers who have studied hope in other legal, political and social movements to define a new agenda for market stabilization and reform from the ground up.

The conference will take place on Friday, March 26, 2009, at The Levin Institute in New York City.

For more information and registration, please click here.


Tino Sehgal: Complicating Art Law Issues

About a year ago I mentioned Tino Sehgal’s work and how it highlights and problematizes law. Last week’s NY Times Magazine contains a review of his work and mentions a bit more on the legal gymnastics.

Since there can be no written contract, the sale of a Sehgal piece must be conducted orally, with a lawyer or a notary public on hand to witness it. The work is described; the right to install it for an unspecified number of times under the supervision of Sehgal or one of his representatives is stipulated; and the price is stated. The buyer agrees to certain restrictions, perhaps the most important being the ban on future documentation, which extends to any subsequent transfers of ownership. “If the work gets resold, it has to be done in the same way it was acquired originally,” says Jan Mot, who is Sehgal’s dealer in Brussels. “If it is not done according to the conditions of the first sale, one could debate whether it was an authentic sale. It’s like making a false Tino Sehgal, if you start making documentation and a certificate.”


Help Haiti Children, Receive a Limited Edition Clancco Poster

"Good Law is the Best Art"

"Good Law is the Best Art"

Clancco has printed 50 limited-edition posters, Good Law is the Best Art, based on Andy Warhol’s now-famous quote, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.”

These limited-edition posters are for sale, with all profits after shipping costs going to UNICEF. UNICEF Promises that 100% of donated money will go to saving children’s lives in Haiti. Although the earthquake happened on January 12th, there is still much need for donations of all kinds to help Haiti rebuild. The AP reports:

The world still can’t get enough food and water to the hungry and thirsty one week after an earthquake shattered Haiti’s capital. The airport remains a bottleneck, the port is a shambles. The Haitian government is invisible, nobody has taken firm charge, and the police have largely given up.

We’re putting up the artwork; you help children in Haiti get food, water, medicine and clothing while getting a limited-edition Clancco poster.

Each poster is $20.00 (USD), and measure 19″ x 25″ on 110lb white paper. Clancco is also donating the cost of mailing tubes. If you’d like to buy a poster, please send a check to:

Sergio Munoz Sarmiento
1 East 53rd Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Please include the following information:

1. Name / City / Country
2. Mailing address
3. Number of posters requested
4. If you would like your name included in our donation letter to UNICEF. With consent, all donor names will also be listed on Those not wishing to have their names listed will be listed as “Anonymous.” These posters make great gifts, so you may also buy a poster in behalf of someone else. If so, please indicate name of recipient and mailing address.

If you’d like me to reserve one for you, e-mail me at

Please feel free to forward to friends and colleagues, post on Twitter and Facebook.


On Copyright: The Collision of Ideas

Interesting event coming up on March 10, 2010 on the debates concerning copyright and its effects on art, society, technology, and law. Panelists include William Patry and Virginia Rutledge.

From the website:

OnCopyright 2010: The Collision of Ideas

The debate over copyright—its value, its limits, its virtues and its future—is raging as never before. Technology innovation is creating new models for content distribution and disrupting the economics of entire industries. Ad-based media companies are wondering what the future holds and are questioning whether high-quality content is still a viable commodity. Artists are exploring new forms of creativity and pushing the edges of rights and ownership ever outward. And there are new calls from all quarters for changes in the laws governing fair use, search, aggregation and more.

Further information and registration here.


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