Index of Rhizome Today for August

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Rhizome Today is an experiment in ephemeral blogging: posts written and published each morning, and unpublished within a day. The latest post can always be found at http://www.rhizome.org/today.

After some discussion about the best way to wrap up each month's posts, we've decided to publish a list of topics and people covered on Today during the preceding month. Here is the index for Rhizome Today in August, 2014. 

Topics

  • Amazon (8-Aug, 11-Aug, 26-Aug)
  • ARE.NA (20-Aug)

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Comment: Medici is the Crowd

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This is a story about not asking permission.

It starts with Occupy Wall Street.

I'm an artist who got her first job making covers for SCREW Magazine. While I gradually carved out a nice career doing every sort of art that one can extract a living from, I had always been afraid to draw "activist things." Real struggles were serious business, and I drew girls with feathers and bare tits.  Making activist art seemed like posturing. So I'd sell paintings on Twitter to raise money for abortion funds, but hide the subversive bits in the margins.

The last few years changed that.

Suddenly the world was crumbling, and people from London to Tahrir Square were taking to the streets. Everyone said Americans were too apathetic for that.  But we weren't.

 

 

When Occupy Wall Street first parked their mattresses in Zuccotti Park, my friends and I felt that something very rare was happening, and that we should help however we could. Noticing a lack of OWS graphics, I drew up a clunky octopus with "Fight the Vampire Squid" written on its belly. It became a protest sign around the country. Since then I've been churning out posters for Occupy — for libraries and general strikes and unions. Doing political work enabled me to take the subtext dancing at the margins of my art, and make it loud and proud. 

Political posters are fast. I'd draw one, brain on fire, and two hours later a masked protester would be carrying it on the streets. But I wanted to do something bigger- to take the political content of my OWS work, and express it in paintings that were giant and detailed. I wanted to make the kind of art that takes 100 hours of carefully daubing paint onto a giant piece of wood. The sort of work that would traditionally be sold in galleries...

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Excerpt from "Take This Book: The People's Library at Occupy Wall Street"

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An excerpt from Take This Book: The People's Library at Occupy Wall Street, an extended essay by Melissa Gira Grant, forthcoming in print, epub, and as a Kindle single. Available to support on Kickstarter.

Instagram Photo by Melissa Gira Grant

Remove everything but the books. The librarians who were most versed in direct-action tactics—from participating in various peaceful and spirited disruptions, at street protests against the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004, or while bringing cheer to Wall Street police barricades as a roving brass band—had worked out a plan for what they would do in case of a raid. Whoever was in the library would grab the laptops, the archives, the reference section—countless signed editions among them—and ferry them to safety. 

"Philosophically," Jaime, one of the librarians, said, "the books stay with the occupation."

There had been a dry run, too, the night the Occupiers prepared for the city to evict them. On October 13, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Brookfield Properties, which legally owned the park, wanted to clean Zuccotti, and the Occupiers anticipated that the mayor would also send in the New York Police Department to remove them. So the Occupiers took this order both graciously and defiantly: They would clean the park themselves, and early in the morning, when the cops and the cleaners were to arrive, the Occupiers would refuse to leave. Someone posted an invitation to Facebook on the day of the cleanup, calling people to gather before Wall Street's opening bell, and to bring brooms and mops and pails. All day, wearing ponchos and latex gloves, Occupiers scrubbed the stone steps of Zuccotti, swept the grounds, and straightened their camp's stations. As night fell, some of the camp's infrastructure was 

 

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Comment: There’s No Such Thing as a Compulsory License for a Photo

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My friend Andy has a terrific post up about his ordeal settling with the photographer Jay Maisel over the threat of a copyright lawsuit. Chances are if, you’re reading this, you know about that. If you haven’t ready Andy’s story, go and read it and then come back.

There’s one pointed question I’ve seen crop up in a number of conversations about the settlement:

Isn’t it wrong that Andy chose to pay the licensing fees for the music but not for the photograph?

This question makes the assumption that Andy could have paid the licensing fees to Maisel like he did for the music. He couldn’t have. This is because Jay Maisel refused to license the image and there’s no compulsory license for photography like there is for musical compositions.

A compulsory license is what it sounds like: the owner of the underlying musical composition is required, by law, to license it to anyone who wants to use it at a predetermined rate. This prohibits song writers from picking and choosing who gets to perform their works. It also allows Andy to license, at a fair rate, the underlying song compositions from a Miles Davis album to make a new album of original recordings (remember, copyrights to recordings are different from copyrights to the compositions of a song).

The copyright of photographic works, unlike works of music composition, is not subject to a compulsory license.

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Andy Baio Writes About Settling Out of Court Over Pixel Art Depiction of Miles Davis

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Andy Baio (who took part in this year's Seven on Seven) writes about settling out of court for the pixel art cover to Kind of Bloop, his Kickstarter-funded "8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue." As Baio explains, "the fact that I settled is not an admission of guilt. My lawyers and I firmly believe that the pixel art is 'fair use' and [Jay] Maisel and his counsel firmly disagree. I settled for one reason: this was the least expensive option available."

Baio goes on to explain how difficult it is to claim fair use in practice:

If you're borrowing inspiration from any copyrighted material, even if it seems clear to you that your use is transformational, you're in danger. If your use is commercial and/or potentially objectionable, seek permission (though there's no guarantee it'll be granted) or be prepared to defend yourself in court.

Anyone can file a lawsuit and the costs of defending yourself against a claim are high, regardless of how strong your case is. Combined with vague standards, the result is a chilling effect for every independent artist hoping to build upon or reference copyrighted works.

Also, as Marc Hedlund at O'Reilly Radar points out, "Andy negotiated the right to post the full story to his blog. That in itself is a huge accomplishment and service -- almost always, DMCA claims that end in settlement include a ban on speaking publicly about it. You should read the story, and when you do, consider that this happens all the time and we usually never hear about it."

Update: Mat Honan at Gizmodo has more, including this quote from Baio, "My lawyers and I firmly believed that I was legally in the right. But it doesn't matter, fair use doesn't protect you unless you're willing to pay to defend yourself. The average copyright case costs $310,000 to litigate when there's less than $1 million at risk."

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Kickstarter Projects We ❤

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In conjunction with Rhizome's brand new curated page on Kickstarter, we are featuring select projects from the site on the blog. If you would like to let us know about your fund raising efforts on Kickstarter, shoot us an email at editor(at)rhizome.org


►INDEX Festival

The Index Festival will transpire in August 2011 in New York City.  Our aim is to bring together individuals and groups who cognitively  engage media culture. We welcome the interdisciplinary, shared and accessible culture we are coming to live in as a result of digital technology. Our mission is to focus on projects that blur the vocabulary of science and art, dissect the media that describes our culture today, and to disseminate out from the [cultural] institution, and further into the multi textural international landscape.

The Index Festival website and blog will offer all the scheduling for this event as it becomes available. However, the project is expanding and the blog will also offer curatorial statements and micro-reviews of individuals we are working with and who we believe are actively engaging the current digital climate. This site will proudly promote these individuals and their work as we believe it necessary to help share and continue thinking and discussing the ways in which media and technology impact our lives.

► you.here

We are a group of artists organizing the exhibition you.here. you.here  will be a combination of curated works and collaborative works created by us as we examine how we manage connections and navigate our lives through real and virtual space.

If you hear a tree fall in a virtual forest, were you there?
 
A machine is anything that allows us to tremendously exceed the limitations of our bodies. Through the evolution of technology and eventual/inevitable automation we become less ...

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Kickstarter Projects We ❤

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In conjunction with Rhizome's curated page on Kickstarter, we are featuring select projects from the site on the blog. If you would like to let us know about your fund raising efforts on Kickstarter, shoot us an email at editor(at)rhizome.org


►PRISM index - Handmade Mixed-Media Art Book

PRISM index is a limited edition, handmade, silkscreened, mixed-media book that compiles the work of a wide spectrum of artists into one place. The name serves as an acronym for print, images, sounds, and movies.

The goal of this publication is to create a collage of current art/culture scenes from throughout the US and the world. As a network for artists, this project seeks to establish a platform for multi-media sharing through the tactile, aural, and visual experience of print, images, sounds (CD), and movies (DVD) and to extend and elaborate those expressions through its online presence. PRISM index intended to create something that could not be thrown away, skimmed through, replicated, or forgotten.

Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. Packaged in archival sleeves.

►Ende Tymes Festival of noise and experimental music

A festival dedicated to noise and experimental music, Ende Tymes will feature over 40 artists in live performances, video screenings, workshops, discussions, and sound installations. With an emphasis on bringing in out-of-state artists to interact with established locals, the Ende Tymes Festival will expose younger artists and fans to older and more distant artists.  The festival will occur June 24-26 at the Silent Barn (a DIY music venue, established 2005) and Outpost (a video post-production resource center for artists, established 1990), both located in Ridgewood NY. 

The artists will present work that engages with the many forms of noise and experimental music: drone, avant-garde, electro-acoustic, harsh noise, digital & analog synthesis, soundtracks, installations.  In addition to the musical performances at Silent Barn, there will be screenings at Outpost of videos by selected artists as well as those chosen from the pool of a public call for works, including some with live performance. 

►Important Projects

Important Projects is an independent artist run exhibition space in Oakland, CA. We started the space in November of 2009 with the intention of creating an exhibition platform that we (being artists ourselves) would want to participate in.  

Our space focuses on single projects and solo shows. At the core of the program is the belief that solo shows are an integral aspect to the development of an individual’s artistic vision. But we maintain an open program that encourages discussion, collaboration, and our bottom line is that we put the intentions of the artists we work with first.

The gallery is currently a small room on the second story of our house.  The size and location of this room provide a very specific context. Visitors who come to the space are invited into our backyard, into our home, and ultimately into our hearts. These are the days of our lives y’all!

As we move forward with the space, we want to maintain this level intimacy. An important part of Important Projects is that the gallery is part of a home. But one of the gallery's founders is moving on to earn his M.F.A., and we feel that a change is in order. We want to move the space and adjust our program so that Important Projects will no longer be a part of our home, it will be our home. The space will evolve so that it is not only an experimental space, but also an experiment in living.

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Kickstarter Projects We ❤

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In conjunction with Rhizome's brand new curated page on Kickstarter, we are featuring select projects from the site on the blog. If you would like to let us know about your fund raising efforts on Kickstarter, shoot us an email at editor(at)rhizome.org


►Moore Pattern — a kinetic optical-illusion sculpture

Jeff Lieberman, host of Discovery Channel's "Time Warp," designs kinetic sculptures based on perceptual an physical principles. He wants to mass produce Moore Pattern- a kinetic optical-illusion sculpture. Moore Pattern is based on a moiré pattern, a type of interference pattern, which Lieberman generates with two of the same shape placed backwards and rotating in opposite directions.

►Moviesandbox - an open-source 3D animation tool

Moviesandbox is an Open-Source, Real-Time 3D Animation tool. It allows you to quickly sketch and animate 3D Characters and Props. Its focus is on ease of use and modularity. The idea is that you can simply draw objects in 3D space and animate them later on with the built in timeline.

You can also script puppeteering and camera behaviour using a graphical scripting system. And in addition, Moviesandbox can receive data from outside applications allowing MIDI-Controllers, Kinect sensors, Milkscanners and Arduino hacks to control all aspects of your animation in real-time!

Friedrich Kirschner began working on this project since his 2008 Fellowship at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. He would like to spend two months of working to turn it into a tool for wider release, including a linux version.

►Tweet Land - The first set of games that play with reality!

Tweet Land is a real time game developed by award winning Costa Rican developers. Every time someone tweets something the tweet affects the gameplay of Tweet Land by triggering certain action-keywords, such as "car accident" in your racing game. Because it is altered ...

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