Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Quit Biglaw and Do What You Love, Like Art


Here’s how an associate at a corporate law firm quits.Or, as Above the Law puts it,

This isn’t just another departure memo. This is a guide, an illustrated guide to exactly how a person can go from “I make $160,000 or more a year doing something I spent three years training to do” to “screw it, I’m outta here.”

A must read.


Damien Hirst Denies Certificate for Site-Specific Painting


Hirst alleges that the in-situ painting was traded for another Hirst painting years ago, and therefore he is the sole owner of the in-situ painting, and now wants it destroyed. Can’t we all just get along?

Via The Telegraph.


What If Emotions Could Be Used to Buy Art?

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 8.33.05 PM

An Auction Based on Emotions. That’s what it’s called. You can read more about this project here.

It would surprise only a few to hear me say that on its face the project itself leaves much to be desired. What is of interest to me is this particular issue of using emotions to obtain property. I wrote about this back in 2008 in an essay, Structures, published by Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left. Go to page 67 for direct reference, but if you may want to start at the beginning so as to assess the development of my argument.

On this emotions-auction, what interests me is how emotions are being quantified for the acquisition of art. It is the quantification of emotions that interests me, as I am curious as to how this may lead to the commodification –and thus commercialization — of the emotions by those more prone to deep sentiment for the sake of profit. I’m not against it (not necessarily), but very curious as to how it will be instrumentalized. I have to give this more thought.

Let me know what you think.


Artists Beware: More Dead People Getting Rights of Publicity


They already do, but not in all states. However, as this brief article points out, some states (like Arizona and Massachusetts) are granting certain dead individuals certain “property” rights to their name, likeness, and at times, character. In legalese this is called, post-mortem rights of publicity.

In general, the test is whether the use of a dead person’s name or likeness is being used in a commercial manner. But again, as the same brief article notes, the tricky part comes in teasing out whether or not the secondary use is commercial or not.

If you’re interested in reading more about this, here’s a great website just on this topic, conveniently called, Right of Publicity. Enjoy!


Covers of Covers

The New Yorker on copying and inspiration from books.


Now Accepting Applications for the 2015 Art & Law Program

Applications for the 2015 Art & Law Program are now being accepted.

Art & Law Program seminar on contemporary art, copyright and moral rights.

Art & Law Program seminar on contemporary art, copyright and moral rights.

Going on its 6th year, The Program seeks qualified candidates interested in the philosophical and practical relationship between art and law. For more information on The Program, please view the Program description.

The 2014 Program focused on tangible and intangible property and contemporary art. For the 2015 term, The Program will focus on property, government and violence, with a particular emphasis on contemporary art and artistic production. Although the 2015 Program outline is still under construction, we will look at specific issues such as constitutional interpretations of freedom of expression and dissent (the First Amendment), as well as gun rights (the Second Amendment). We will also analyze concepts of government in both symbolic and existing formats.

Accepted participants will be expected to review both written and visual material during the course of the 2015 Program.

The 2014 Art & Law Program crew at Denniston Hill artist residency.

The 2014 Art & Law Program crew at Denniston Hill artist residency.

Please note that there is a particular emphasis on the critique of current artistic, curatorial, theoretical and art historical practices and methodologies, particularly vis-a-vis legal frameworks and structures. Conversely, the use of law and jurisprudence as theory, practice and medium is explored. Please note that The Program does not focus on traditional and conventional critical theory, but rather investigates how the concept-practice of law disturbs the critical theory establishment and creates a new space and discourse for aesthetic and intellectual practices.

Application instructions may be viewed here.

Program and application inquiries should be sent via e-mail to:


Damage & Destruction in Contemporary Art


Here’s my latest essay, “Damage, Inc.,” commissioned by Art Asia Pacific, on violence against art as a form of art (and culture).


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