Why doesn't Nike want to play with me?

Posted by Eva_and_Franco_Mattes | Fri Oct 17th 2003 11:07 a.m.

October 17, 2003

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Why doesn't Nike want to play with me?

Nike starts legal action against the European art group
0100101110101101.ORG and cultural Internet platform Public Netbase.

In mid September this group started a surreal art project called Nike
Ground (http://www.nikeground.com), a performance built around a fake
guerrilla marketing campaign: Nike was supposedly buying streets and
squares in major world capitals, in order to rename them and insert
giant monuments of their famous logo. A hi-tech container was installed
in Vienna, supposedly the first city to host a "Nike Square", as part of
the action.

On October 10th, 0100101110101101.ORG publicly claimed to be behind this
"hyper-real theatrical performance". The project questions the issues of
private appropriation of public space, the side effects of bombarding
marketing strategies and the artistic freedom to manipulate symbols of
everyday life.

On October 14th, Nike released a 30 pages injunction requesting the
immediate removal of any reference to copyrighted material, and that any
activity related to Nike cease immediately. Failure to comply with this
request would mean that Nike will claim 78,000 Euro for damages.

"Where is the Nike spirit? -- responds Franco, spokesman of
0100101110101101.ORG -- I expected to deal with sporting people, not a
bunch of boring lawyers!".

"Many artists have dealt with commercial products in the past, before
Nike even existed -- comments Eva, also from 0100101110101101.ORG --
think of Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup, for example. Contemporary art does
not have a well defined role within this society. On the contrary, it is
a field where one can make statements that are not possible in any other
context. Art has always used powerful images from the society of its
time as its subject. Nike invades our lives with products and ads but
then forbid us to use them creatively".

According to independent curator and writer Timothy Druckery, "the work
of 0100101110101101.ORG provokes questions about how corporate identity
cannot endorse itself as a proxy public sphere or as an entity immune
from the implications of its actions".

Curiously enough, the building of the "Viennese Secession", built by
Joseph Olbrich in 1898, faces the fake Nike Infobox in Karslplatz. In
huge gold letters over the entrance are the words: "To every time its
art. To every art its freedom".

CONTACTS:

0100101110101101.ORG:
HTTP://0100101110101101.ORG
Nikeground@0100101110101101.ORG

NIKEGROUND:
http://www.nikeground.com
info@nikeground.com
  • dan katz | Fri Oct 17th 2003 4:48 p.m.
    I cannot blame Nike for objecting to artists pretending to conduct a Nike
    sales promotion. The reported simulation is so close to reality that it lost
    the artistic distinctiveness it should have. It is more sabotage than art.
    Would this art group approve if someone else produced work in their name?

    If one is going to make art to mock or fight corporate abuses of power or
    undesirable linkages between corporations and governments, it is more
    intelligent to do it in a way that can withstand legitimate legal challenges
    by the corporations.

    Best Wishes,
    Katzdan

    on 10/17/03 10:01 AM, PROPAGANDA@0100101110101101.ORG at
    PROPAGANDA@0100101110101101.ORG wrote:

    > October 17, 2003
    >
    > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    >
    >
    > Why doesn't Nike want to play with me?
    >
    > Nike starts legal action against the European art group
    > 0100101110101101.ORG and cultural Internet platform Public Netbase.
    >
    >
    > In mid September this group started a surreal art project called Nike
    > Ground (http://www.nikeground.com), a performance built around a fake
    > guerrilla marketing campaign: Nike was supposedly buying streets and
    > squares in major world capitals, in order to rename them and insert
    > giant monuments of their famous logo. A hi-tech container was installed
    > in Vienna, supposedly the first city to host a "Nike Square", as part of
    > the action.
    >
    > On October 10th, 0100101110101101.ORG publicly claimed to be behind this
    > "hyper-real theatrical performance". The project questions the issues of
    > private appropriation of public space, the side effects of bombarding
    > marketing strategies and the artistic freedom to manipulate symbols of
    > everyday life.
    >
    > On October 14th, Nike released a 30 pages injunction requesting the
    > immediate removal of any reference to copyrighted material, and that any
    > activity related to Nike cease immediately. Failure to comply with this
    > request would mean that Nike will claim 78,000 Euro for damages.
    >
    > "Where is the Nike spirit? -- responds Franco, spokesman of
    > 0100101110101101.ORG -- I expected to deal with sporting people, not a
    > bunch of boring lawyers!".
    >
    > "Many artists have dealt with commercial products in the past, before
    > Nike even existed -- comments Eva, also from 0100101110101101.ORG --
    > think of Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup, for example. Contemporary art does
    > not have a well defined role within this society. On the contrary, it is
    > a field where one can make statements that are not possible in any other
    > context. Art has always used powerful images from the society of its
    > time as its subject. Nike invades our lives with products and ads but
    > then forbid us to use them creatively".
    >
    > According to independent curator and writer Timothy Druckery, "the work
    > of 0100101110101101.ORG provokes questions about how corporate identity
    > cannot endorse itself as a proxy public sphere or as an entity immune
    > from the implications of its actions".
    >
    > Curiously enough, the building of the "Viennese Secession", built by
    > Joseph Olbrich in 1898, faces the fake Nike Infobox in Karslplatz. In
    > huge gold letters over the entrance are the words: "To every time its
    > art. To every art its freedom".
    >
    >
    >
    > CONTACTS:
    >
    > 0100101110101101.ORG:
    > HTTP://0100101110101101.ORG
    > Nikeground@0100101110101101.ORG
    >
    > NIKEGROUND:
    > http://www.nikeground.com
    > info@nikeground.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Davin Risk | Fri Oct 17th 2003 5:18 p.m.
    Shouldn't this meet the basic legal definition of satire? As far as my
    legally simplistic knowledge goes, I thought that the defining line
    between infringement and satire / fair use was the expectation that the
    artwork wouldn't be believed by the "average person".

    I guess the problem here is that Nike's marketing efforts are often so
    invasive that it was plausible for people to believe that they would buy
    and repurpose a historic and public site.

    The problem is further complicated by the fact that more and more venues
    must look to corporate sponsorship to stay alive and so names like "The
    Canon Centre for..." or "The Sony Dome" become commonplace. If artists
    and cultural groups can't respond by creating works which examine these
    unfortunate trends with an appropriately realistic/slick level of
    execution then the power of the corporation becomes even further unbalanced.

    -- Davin Risk

    Dan Katz wrote:

    > I cannot blame Nike for objecting to artists pretending to conduct a Nike
    > sales promotion. The reported simulation is so close to reality that it lost
    > the artistic distinctiveness it should have. It is more sabotage than art.
    > Would this art group approve if someone else produced work in their name?
    >
    > If one is going to make art to mock or fight corporate abuses of power or
    > undesirable linkages between corporations and governments, it is more
    > intelligent to do it in a way that can withstand legitimate legal challenges
    > by the corporations.
    >
    > Best Wishes,
    > Katzdan
  • dan katz | Sat Oct 18th 2003 7:27 p.m.
    I agree that the proper standard for measuring whether art infringes on
    corporate trademark rights is whether the art makes the average (or
    "reasonable") person believe it is the actual product of the corporation.

    The basis for such a standard is the legitimate expectation of producers and
    consumers that certain distinctive marks identify the true source of a
    product. Art that disguises itself too well as a corporate or government
    product is not doing any good for individual rights or liberty in the long
    run. It is violating the individual's "truth expectation." Art that fools
    the audience as to its nature and source is little better than the corporate
    or governmental deceptions and machinations it is purporting to address. In
    short, Art that conceals its artistic identity is manipulating victims, not
    persuading free people.

    A better way, (requiring deeper artistic skill) is for the art to cause a
    temporary puzzlement in the mind of the audience which resolves itself in a
    realization that an artistic message is being delivered. Had this group
    planned more carefully they could make their work secure against legal
    suppression by inventing a false corporation with sufficient resemblance to
    Nike to let the audience make the connection but sufficient dissimilarity to
    avoid infringement of Nike's trademark. That would have made the work more
    intriguing, more durable, and more likely to influence an audience.

    In sum, I hope artists who are tackling the important subject of corporate
    domination of society will take the time to learn enough about trademark and
    copyright law to be able to produce more lasting and more effective work.

    Best Wishes,

    Daniel

    10/17/03 4:18 PM, Davin Risk at davin@fluffco.com wrote:

    > Shouldn't this meet the basic legal definition of satire? As far as my
    > legally simplistic knowledge goes, I thought that the defining line
    > between infringement and satire / fair use was the expectation that the
    > artwork wouldn't be believed by the "average person".
    >
    > I guess the problem here is that Nike's marketing efforts are often so
    > invasive that it was plausible for people to believe that they would buy
    > and repurpose a historic and public site.
    >
    > The problem is further complicated by the fact that more and more venues
    > must look to corporate sponsorship to stay alive and so names like "The
    > Canon Centre for..." or "The Sony Dome" become commonplace. If artists
    > and cultural groups can't respond by creating works which examine these
    > unfortunate trends with an appropriately realistic/slick level of
    > execution then the power of the corporation becomes even further unbalanced.
    >
    > -- Davin Risk
    >
    >
    > Dan Katz wrote:
    >
    >> I cannot blame Nike for objecting to artists pretending to conduct a Nike
    >> sales promotion. The reported simulation is so close to reality that it lost
    >> the artistic distinctiveness it should have. It is more sabotage than art.
    >> Would this art group approve if someone else produced work in their name?
    >>
    >> If one is going to make art to mock or fight corporate abuses of power or
    >> undesirable linkages between corporations and governments, it is more
    >> intelligent to do it in a way that can withstand legitimate legal challenges
    >> by the corporations.
    >>
    >> Best Wishes,
    >> Katzdan
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • void void | Sat Oct 18th 2003 9:07 p.m.
    NIKE marketing WINS!

    you just spent a lot of time thinking, talking, writing, about NIKE.

    they win.

    did you ever visualize the swoosh while you were doing it?
    then they REALLY won!

    say cheese!
    AE03
    http://www.atomicelroy.com
  • marc garrett | Sun Oct 19th 2003 10:45 a.m.
    Hi atomic,

    Yes - I hope that they are getting paid by Nike for all this advertising...

    May be 0100101110101101.ORG are pitching for some work.

    It certainly does not seem as challenging as some of their other projects.

    That's all I'm saying about the (N) company, they really do not deserve the
    publicity at all.

    marc

    > NIKE marketing WINS!
    >
    > you just spent a lot of time thinking, talking, writing, about NIKE.
    >
    > they win.
    >
    > did you ever visualize the swoosh while you were doing it?
    > then they REALLY won!
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > say cheese!
    > AE03
    > http://www.atomicelroy.com
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Alessandro Piana Bianco | Mon Oct 20th 2003 4:44 a.m.
    Did we need another proof that the world is lead by cororation?

    Nike, as well as others corps, have only one thing in their minds: power. They need to control your mind, and sell their products, and make money, make money, make money and to care a f**ing shit if they use children in pakistan or india or whenever to build their products or if they pay a day less than what a single piece of bread coast in those country.

    But if you try to say something aginst them, the call the laweyrs, they have a logo to defend, a dignity;-).

    Solution: dont buy no more nike (we talking about them) products, may you resist not to wear the latest in fashion sneaker? Do you really care show how cool you are just showing your new t-shirt?

    If you need thos thing, well, you probably know the kind of person you are...

    If you will not hear from me anymore, that's because they sent someone to 'adjust' the thing....

    ....

    Renato Posapiani wrote:

    > October 17, 2003
    >
    > FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    >
    >
    > Why doesn't Nike want to play with me?
    >
    > Nike starts legal action against the European art group
    > 0100101110101101.ORG and cultural Internet platform Public Netbase.
    >
    >
    > In mid September this group started a surreal art project called Nike
    > Ground (http://www.nikeground.com), a performance built around a fake
    > guerrilla marketing campaign: Nike was supposedly buying streets and
    > squares in major world capitals, in order to rename them and insert
    > giant monuments of their famous logo. A hi-tech container was
    > installed
    > in Vienna, supposedly the first city to host a "Nike Square", as part
    > of
    > the action.
    >
    > On October 10th, 0100101110101101.ORG publicly claimed to be behind
    > this
    > "hyper-real theatrical performance". The project questions the issues
    > of
    > private appropriation of public space, the side effects of bombarding
    > marketing strategies and the artistic freedom to manipulate symbols of
    > everyday life.
    >
    > On October 14th, Nike released a 30 pages injunction requesting the
    > immediate removal of any reference to copyrighted material, and that
    > any
    > activity related to Nike cease immediately. Failure to comply with
    > this
    > request would mean that Nike will claim 78,000 Euro for damages.
    >
    > "Where is the Nike spirit? -- responds Franco, spokesman of
    > 0100101110101101.ORG -- I expected to deal with sporting people, not a
    > bunch of boring lawyers!".
    >
    > "Many artists have dealt with commercial products in the past, before
    > Nike even existed -- comments Eva, also from 0100101110101101.ORG --
    > think of Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup, for example. Contemporary art
    > does
    > not have a well defined role within this society. On the contrary, it
    > is
    > a field where one can make statements that are not possible in any
    > other
    > context. Art has always used powerful images from the society of its
    > time as its subject. Nike invades our lives with products and ads but
    > then forbid us to use them creatively".
    >
    > According to independent curator and writer Timothy Druckery, "the
    > work
    > of 0100101110101101.ORG provokes questions about how corporate
    > identity
    > cannot endorse itself as a proxy public sphere or as an entity immune
    > from the implications of its actions".
    >
    > Curiously enough, the building of the "Viennese Secession", built by
    > Joseph Olbrich in 1898, faces the fake Nike Infobox in Karslplatz. In
    > huge gold letters over the entrance are the words: "To every time its
    > art. To every art its freedom".
    >
    >
    >
    > CONTACTS:
    >
    > 0100101110101101.ORG:
    > HTTP://0100101110101101.ORG
    > Nikeground@0100101110101101.ORG
    >
    > NIKEGROUND:
    > http://www.nikeground.com
    > info@nikeground.com
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
  • ryan griffis | Mon Oct 20th 2003 1:20 p.m.
    atomic elroy wrote:

    > NIKE marketing WINS!
    >
    > you just spent a lot of time thinking, talking, writing, about NIKE.
    >
    > they win.
    >
    > did you ever visualize the swoosh while you were doing it?
    > then they REALLY won!

    yeah, i don't know about that... are you saying that any criticism that names the thing it criticizes is just advertising for that same thing? When we criticize the current US administration in name we're just advertising for it? did you feel compelled to go out and buy Nike shoes just because you read the name or saw the swoosh?
    in some ways i see the "there's no such thing as bad publicity" argument, but come on, the viennese public apparently got very upset and even formed organizations to confront the (false) Nike encroachment.
    we could certainly argue the way that this work is performing in its context - is it merely preparing people for a real campaign yet to come, making them cynically accept corporate control of space, or is it inciting and inflammatory to the point that it makes people see that it's already happening and giving them a reason to do something about it. i think it's important to make the distinction between generic statements that "corporations are bad" and "this corporation is bad because of X" sure it's reactionary in that it uses and relies on the name of an already global corporate image, but if a phony corporation were invented, one could say they took the easy way out. it's much easier to resign oneself to fictions and celebrate that the system works - "see we can make critical statements and not get in trouble." then we can all say, "yeah, but that's fiction. it could happen in the future, but we wouldn't let it." But honestly, i think the legall battle is part of the work - is Nike not itself part of public space?
    anyway, just my 2 cents.
    ryan
  • ryan griffis | Mon Oct 20th 2003 1:20 p.m.
    atomic elroy wrote:

    > NIKE marketing WINS!
    >
    > you just spent a lot of time thinking, talking, writing, about NIKE.
    >
    > they win.
    >
    > did you ever visualize the swoosh while you were doing it?
    > then they REALLY won!

    yeah, i don't know about that... are you saying that any criticism that names the thing it criticizes is just advertising for that same thing? When we criticize the current US administration in name we're just advertising for it? did you feel compelled to go out and buy Nike shoes just because you read the name or saw the swoosh?
    in some ways i see the "there's no such thing as bad publicity" argument, but come on, the viennese public apparently got very upset and even formed organizations to confront the (false) Nike encroachment.
    we could certainly argue the way that this work is performing in its context - is it merely preparing people for a real campaign yet to come, making them cynically accept corporate control of space, or is it inciting and inflammatory to the point that it makes people see that it's already happening and giving them a reason to do something about it. i think it's important to make the distinction between generic statements that "corporations are bad" and "this corporation is bad because of X" sure it's reactionary in that it uses and relies on the name of an already global corporate image, but if a phony corporation were invented, one could say they took the easy way out. it's much easier to resign oneself to fictions and celebrate that the system works - "see we can make critical statements and not get in trouble." then we can all say, "yeah, but that's fiction. it could happen in the future, but we wouldn't let it." But honestly, i think the legall battle is part of the work - is Nike not itself part of public space?
    anyway, just my 2 cents.
    ryan
  • void void | Mon Oct 20th 2003 5:49 p.m.
    ryan griffis wrote:

    > anyway, just my 2 cents.
    > ryan

    You're right about the work's not done until the outcome of the legal battle!

    i WAS just ranting on the Rev. Ike theory " all publicity is good"...

    The sad thing is that most people find commercialization comforting.

    say cheese!
    AE03
    atomicelroy.COM
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