Wednesday, November 22, 2017

On Artist Residencies and VLAs Art & Law Residency Program

I’ll be on an arts panel on Friday, June 24th, at the Goethe Institute in New York City. The panel, Artist Residencies & Conflict Areas, organized by Residency Unlimited, engages artists, independent arts organizations, residency programmers, and community initiatives on specific areas and conceptions of conflict. Issues for discussion will include mobility, community outreach, and exchange of knowledge through the broadly-interpreted artist residency model.j

I’ll specifically be speaking about the impetus behind and origin of VLAs Art & Law Residency Program, and how it differs from and mirrors past and current artist residencies.

Here’s a break-down of the two-day event. On June 24, the panel examines the topic of art residencies & conflict areas from a broad perspective and on June 25, the format allows participants and audience members to “zoom in” on the topic using four mini-case studies about identifying conflict in a given community context, an area of growth that the artist residency sector must embark upon in order for the social practice of artist residents to be relevant to the communities in which artist residencies are accommodated. This is immediately followed by questions/observations from the moderators, after which the discussants (project leaders) form a panel to answer questions from the floor about the cases and/or questions about projects held by audience members.


Panel discussions
06/24/11 – 06/25/11
Goethe-Institut Wyoming Building
5 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10003
Free admission
Tel.: +1 (212) 439-8700


Hans Ulrich Obrist On Copying, Copyright, and Readymades

Copyright and courtesy of Duchamp and Everystockphoto

Our good friend, Ingrid Chu, pointed us to this interesting interview between artist Elaine Sturtevant and curator-critic Hans Ulrich Obrist. In this brief interview, Sturtevant explains her practice vis-a-vis Foucault and Deleuze, and dismisses copyright as passe and copyright lawyers as being obtuse.

In terms of copy and copyright, it‘s impossible to have a discourse about it. You absolutely cannot discuss copyright with lawyers because it’s a complete impasse, and won’t even come close to a discourse or dialogue. If you start talking to them about why copyright is no longer viable, they close the conversation. Copyright is not copyright anymore, but more about how this world is functioning. It’s not about the law, it’s about our way of being. And copy has very different dynamics than something that resembles something else. But it’s not an interesting topic anymore; it’s not viable. But I can also say that Duchamp is not viable.

I take this with a grain of salt. Of course artists can’t discuss copyright with copyright lawyers; artists don’t know the history — let alone case law — of copyright and intellectual property. To be fair, discussing copyright law with an artist is like discussing Duchamp’s readymade with a bankruptcy lawyer (ok, any lawyer): of course there would be an impasse to any fruitful dialogue. But hey, this is why you have contexts.

Sturtevant’s kind of uninformed position sounds cool and theoretical and helps only in getting hippie artists, Birkenstock-wearing legal scholars, and free culture dilettantes all fired up about the evils of property and copyright. That’s certainly not good, but perhaps innocuous. But saying that copyright is “no longer viable” and “not about the law” makes Sturtevant sound not only remarkably antediluvian, but chronically ignorant as well.

You can read the rest of Sturtevant’s intellectual musings on, straight from Berlin.


Are Counterfeits Actually Good for Designer Brands?

Photo copyright and courtesy of zoonabar

Good news for our free-culture pro-piracy friends. According to an MIT marketing professor, Renee Richardson Gosline, fake designer goods function as “gateway” products to the real thing. According to Slate, Gosline,

found that her subjects formed attachments to their phony Vuittons and came to crave the real thing when, inevitably, they found the stitches falling apart on their cheap knockoffs. Within a couple of years, more than half of the women—many of whom had never fancied themselves consumers of $1,300 purses—abandoned their counterfeits for authentic items.

Not so fast, writes The Week. There are at least three reasons why this pro-piracy position is wrong. One, the fakes still tarnish the established designer trademark; two, piracy is still a crime, and; three, the research is bogus; most people who buy fakes will most likely never be able to afford the real thing.


The Doors and Morrison Send Paris Bar Cease and Desist

No good deed goes unpunished.

A Paris bar owner alleges he has received a letter from a California-based attorney warning that “The Doors do not want to be seen as having approved of your establishment and also the consumption of alcohol.” Apparently, the hip Parisian bar, aptly named, The Lezard King, is plastered with images of The Doors and Jim Morrison. The cease and desist letter gives the bar three months to remove all images and sculptural busts of Morrison and The Doors.

You can view images of the bar on their website, here.

More via The Journal.


Disputed Frida Kahlo Archive May Be Authentic

Remember this story regarding alleged Frida Kahlo fakes from 2009? Well, a Mexican court has ruled that a bank and a trust alleging a Frida Kahlo treasure trove is fake have both failed to prove that the “treasure trove” is counterfeit.


Hong Kong Prison to Be Rehabilitated as Lavish Million Dollar Art Complex

The plans also include an archaeological investigation of the Central Police Station and will be carried out before some of the less important structures are razed to make room for Herzog & de Meuron’s cube-styled museum. It was evident during the tour that many of the original furnishings of the jail complex had already been removed, though the bare bunks were still standing in gloomy formation in the cell block, complete with peeling yellow paint and cautionary signs still warning inmates to roll up their bedding before exercising in the delightfully tree-shaded prison yard.

Via Artinfo.


Why Register a Copyright If You Don’t Want to Sue?

Our good friend, Jonathan Bailey, over at his PlagiarismToday blog, gives us three solid reasons. However, I do disagree with his conclusion:

That being said, you probably shouldn’t bother registering your work unless you are ready to sue. You might never need to and probably won’t, but much like carrying a loaded weapon (going back to that analogy once more). If you are going to carry it, you need to be prepared for the possibility you will have to use it. To do so otherwise is simply irresponsible.

Two grave errors with this logic. One, as an artist you never know which image, audio, or text will be a money-maker. Two, you don’t necessarily have to be willing to use the gun if you carry it. The mere sight and possibility of it being used is threat enough, just like a copyright registration or the registration number.


Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law,, and Art & Law are trademarks owned by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. The views expressed on this site are those of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento and of the artists and writers who submit to They are not the views of any other organization, legal or otherwise. All content contained on or made available through is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to treated as confidential.

Website Terms of Use, Privacy, and Applicable Law.

Switch to our mobile site