Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Going Ape Over Copyright

The infamous Macaca Nigra selfie (via Wikimedia)

The infamous Macaca Nigra selfie (via Wikimedia)

Ok, so I’m taking breaks from my vacation to write a few thoughts for Hyperallergic. Here’s my latest on this ongoing monkey business.


Street Artist Sues American Eagle Outfitters

Another copyright infringement case. One would think that these major retailers would have learned by now that in our age of the world-wide-web, there is very little that goes unnoticed.


Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should: On Marina Abramovic and Unpaid Work

I’m on vacation, but found some spare time to pen a few words for Hyperallergic on the Marina Abramovic Institute and their search for “interns.” Enjoy!


Cariou v. Prince: Toward a Theory of Aesthetic-Judicial Judgments

Cariou v. Prince

Here’s another new law review article on Cariou v. Prince, and this time it’s from yours truly in collaboration with art historian and curator, Lauren van Haaften-Schick.

The article is the product of a paper I presented at Texas A&M last year, and which dealt with appropriation art, copyright, and Cariou v. Prince. Rather than provide another article on how the Second Circuit’s opinion went awry, I opted instead to take this writing opportunity to memorialize the numerous conversations I had with Lauren van Haaften-Schick on what this seminal appropriation art case meant for contemporary art, art history, and the current state of artistic production and reception. In essence, what this legal opinion means for those who think art is an intellectual pursuit. I asked van Haaften-Schick if she would co-write this article with me in hopes of putting our thoughts and concerns together in one document.

Thus, this theoretical article is written with the intent of impacting the mindset of those in the arts, particularly those that uncritically align themselves with what I call the “appropriation per se is fair use” movement. Not that those in the law cannot gain from our article. Quite the contrary. We imagine the article as providing another glimpse to those in the law other than the spectacle portrayed on a daily basis by glossy magazines, art journals, and sensationalist blogs.

The article is also not intended to rewrite or much less rehash all that has been written about medium specificity, aesthetic judgment, and labor in art. Instead, the article pinpoints these three main areas so as to highlight how law — when misapplied and leveraged by those with nefarious agendas — can have dire consequences for artists, curators, and writers beyond the walls of a court and auction house.


Exhibition: To Shoot a Kite, at the CUE Art Foundation

“In June 2012, Sesame Street introduced Alex, a new character on its online interactive program Little Children, Big Challenges. In the short educational video, Alex admits his father is in prison after skirting questions from his friends on his dad’s whereabouts. What does it say about the United States when one of its most popular early-childhood education programs finds the issue of incarceration widespread enough to incorporate it into its curriculum? Alex is one of approximately 2.7 million American children who have a parent currently incarcerated (one in every 28 children), two-thirds of whom are in for nonviolent crimes.”

Don’t miss this exhibition, To Shoot a Kite, now on view at the CUE Art Foundation in NY City until August 2nd. The exhibition was curated by Yaelle Amir.

Creative Capital interviews Amir on her exhibition and its subject matter.


Court Case Claims Australian Art Market Is 30 Percent Forgeries

On the heels of this Guardian article on why fake artworks may just be good enough, now this.

A quick note on The Guardian article. The Walter Benjamin reference is a bit superficial. For Benjamin the aura did rest in the singular object, but it was much more complicated in that the auratic experience rested and relied heavily on space and time. So in effect, I’m sure Benjamin would agree that the aura could also reside in a “copy” or a “fake.”


Who Says Rule of Law Has Run Amok?

Here’s proof that sometimes the law says what the law says.

My buddy Donn Zaretsky highlights an interesting tax-law case involving a forgery and the statute of limitations. Probably also a good reminder to check the expiration dates on all foods in your pantry and fridge.


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