This past Sunday the New York Times Magazine profiled Lewis Hyde, a writer and poet whose 1983 book The Gift described the value of art and literature in a market system as "the commerce of the creative spirit." Now a fellow Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Hyde is at work on a book that attempts to define how the market of cultural property should be regulated. Excerpts below, see link at the bottom for the full article.
In the late 1990s, Hyde began extending his lifelong project of examining "the public life of the imagination" into what had become newly topical territory: the "cultural commons." The advent of Internet file-sharing services like Napster and Gnutella sparked urgent debates over how to strike a balance between public and private claims to creative work. For more than a decade, the so-called Copy Left -- a diverse group of lawyers, activists, artists and intellectuals -- has argued that new digital technologies are responsible for an unprecedented wave of innovation and that excessive legal restrictions should not be placed on, say, music remixes, image mashups or "read-write" sites like Wikipedia, where users create their own content. The Copy Left, or the "free culture movement," as it is sometimes known, has articulated this position in part by drawing on the tradition of the medieval agricultural commons, the collective right of villagers, vassals and serfs -- "commoners" -- to make use of a plot of land. This analogy is also central to Hyde's book in progress, which looks closely at how the tradition of the commons was transformed once it was brought from Europe to America.
Hyde posits that the history of the commons and of the creative self are, in fact, twin histories. "The citizen called into being by a republic of freehold farms," he ...
Contribute $200 to our Community Campaign and receive a limited edition screensaver version of Guthrie Lonergan's Floor Warp 2 video.
With the recession in full swing, the upcoming year will undoubtedly be a difficult one for the arts. Many crucial organizations are feeling the heat, such as New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Earlier this year their budget was cut $2.6 million or 6% and now they face major cut backs again. A special legislative session will convene this week on November 18th to discuss cuts, which includes an additional $7 million to NYSCA's current budget. If this proposal goes through, almost 400 grantees in the October cycle and a similar number in the December cycle will receive almost nothing. Arts Action for NY have set up a letter writing campaign to the governor to stop this proposal from passing, see link below.
"Assembly Instructions" is a visual thought map, comprised of over 120 small framed black and white xeroxed collages, by Brooklyn-based artist Alexandre Singh. Each collage represents an idea, which the artist connects to other collages via a network of dotted lines. The city of San Francisco is the originating point for the series, and the visitor can follow Singh's train of thought related to this subject by following the intricate and tangential maze of images, which spread throughout the gallery. In a sense, this project is almost a tactile answer to the visual sequence of ideas encountered on sites such as FFFFOUND!, while also drawing on the older practice of free association. The exhibition is up at Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco until the end of November.
Statement: Stephen Vitiello's first solo project for the web, Tetrasomia presents intriguing web-based archives of sounds from the natural and physical world, including such sounds as a fruit fly courtship, an underwater volcano, and poison frogs, as the source for an interactive sound project. Tetrasomia also features four new sound compositions by Vitiello: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Work commissioned by Dia's ongoing web projects series.
Statement: Radio Astronomy is an art and science project which broadcasts sounds intercepted from space live on the internet and on the airwaves. Listeners will hear the acoustic output of radio telescopes live. The content of the live transmission will depend on the objects being observed by partner telescopes. On any given occasion listeners may hear the planet Jupiter and its interaction with its moons, radiation from the Sun, activity from far-off pulsars or other astronomical phenomena.
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy are a married couple of New York-based artists whose collaborative work conveys a love of film and televised narratives. Their early projects embodied database aesthetics as they chopped shows like 8 is Enough, Kung Fu, and Starsky and Hutch into short clips, often inviting viewers to rearrange them according to what we'd now call metadata. For instance, one could choose from a bank of DVDs in their Every Shot, Every Episode to watch every occurrence of the color blue, or of extreme close-ups. More recent works have entailed building elaborate miniature film sets, complete with working cameras, to shoot microfilms. In the case of High Seas, the set is a sort of kinetic sculpture in its own right, mimicking its subject as it moves around to create shots of the famed Titanic loosing its footing on the ocean. The role of filmic media in mythologizing the ill-fated boat is of course implicit in the installation. While these projects have always been infused with a sense of subjectivity, as the artists perform their fandom through their selective decisions, lately their work has incorporated more explicitly autobiographical elements. Their piece, Our Second Date, for instance, is a miniature movie set which features the artists watching the film from their second date, Weekend, reenacted through a mobile sculpture and video streamed live to a tiny screen. The choice to position themselves as spectators within their own reality, and moreover to confess that their romance budded around screen pleasure opens up a number of interpretations of their ongoing work and paves the way to their newest project, which opens November 22nd at Postmasters Gallery. In I'll Replace You, the artists again place themselves at center stage, without stepping in front of the camera. Instead, a series of different ...