Sunday, July 12, 2020

Obama’s Blessing: To See Is To Believe!

Back in April of ’07, reported on art student David Cordero’s decision to materialize Barack Obama’s messianic predilection via sculptural form. Although Obama expressed his dislike for the art piece, it’s a bit difficult to believe him after hearing him describe his speeches this past Saturday as such: “At the end—or maybe somewhere in the middle—a shaft of light comes through and hits you and you experience an epiphany: I have to vote for Barack.”

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Egypt to Copyright Landmarks

The New York Times reported (username/password: clancco) yesterday of Egypt’s proposed legislation to stop the copying in the West of famous Egyptian landmarks, like the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and Luxor. Part of the reason seems to be that Egypt is quite pissed off that more people in this day and age would rather see the pyramid-shaped Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas than the Luxor itself. Well, if only the Luxor offered free liquor, craps, topless babes, and all the Cheez Whiz you can inhale.

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Coming to a City Near You–The FBIs Most Wanted

Citing a high rate of success in the land of Brotherly Love, the F.B.I. (aka- Federal Bureau of Investigation) is planning on using digital billboards to capture its most wanted bank robbers, violent criminals, and terrorists (one wonders how they distinguish between the three).


The FBI has contracted the services of Clear Channel Outdoor, an advertising agency located in Phoenix, AZ, and will begin advertising mug shots of its most wanted malfeasants on 150 billboards in 20 cities nationwide, including Los Angeles, Cleveland, Newark, and Raton, New Mexico.

It appears Michael Vick, Roger Clemens, and Britney Spears did not make the list.


MASS MoCA at Art Basel Miami

For those that didn’t get to see Christoph Büchel’s installation, “Training Ground for Democracy” at MASS MoCA, there was a chance last week in Miami; or at least a version of it. At Hauser & Wirth’s booth Büchel installed his “Training Ground for Training Ground for Democracy,” a capsule version of the unfinished MASS MoCA artwork, with a trash-filled alley leading to a room cluttered with voting booths and children’s drawings.

For those interested in reading a bit about the legal and acrimonious debate between Büchel and the Museum’s director, Joe Thompson, the Miami Beach Convention Center was home to the “decidedly less sensual array of documents from the harrowing legal battle between the artist Christoph Büchel and Mass MoCA.”

According to The New York Times,

“Mr. Büchel has the last word.”


Human Cells and the Readymade

First the urinal. Then the slicing of a cow. And then law as art. What’s next, stem cell research as art? Yep. At the forefront of this movement is SymbioticA, a bioart laboratory funded by the University of Western Australia. Run by Ionat Zurr and her husband Oron Catts. According to NPR, the couple has grown a replica of an ear with living human skin cells, miniature wings with the flesh of a pig and mouse cells in the shape of a tiny leather jacket.

However, “[t]here are also legal issues. Growing tissue from bones picked up at your local butcher may be legal if local land-use laws allow such activity, but working with live animals gets more complicated according to Stanford Law Professor Hank Greely.

‘Whether this art counts as research — who knows,’ Greely says. ‘The legal situation is murky in several directions, and I think it’s highly likely that not all artists are carefully advised about it.’


Does “Hate Speech” Get Copyright Protection?

Talk Radio Network-syndicated host Michael Savage has filed suit in California against the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for copyright infringement, saying CAIR is using a four-plus-minute clip of Savage’s show Savage Nation for fundraising purposes.

In those excerpts, from his Oct. 29 show, Savage calls the Koran a “book of hate” and says, “I don’t wanna hear anymore about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”

After those comments were publicized, says CAIR, a number of advertisers left the Savage show, including Sears, Universal Orlando Resorts, AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JC Penney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart and AT&T. More on this story here.


Richard Prince and Hurt Feelings

Today’s New York Times has an interesting story concerning Richard Prince’s retrospective at the Guggenheim and some of his cowboy

re-photographs. It seems that Jim Krantz, the original “commercial” photographer, has finally discovered his work hanging at the Guggenheim, but attributed to Prince and worth a few pennies more.

Krantz claims to not want money or to be considering a lawsuit. Although he believes that Prince is well within “fair use” grounds, he adds that he would like the public to know who the real–and original–photographer is.

Well, now everyone knows. But something tells us, in this age of litigation, affluent artists and cynicism, that Krantz (or a law firm), may possibly change his mind.


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