Imperica – Copyright, Culture, and Creativity

Imperica recently released the first issue of its digital magazine. I’m happy to have contributed an article called Copyright, Culture, and Creativity. The article focuses on how large commercial corporations appropriate and exploit internet cultures and aesthetics.

Beginning to understand copyright on even a basic level can be a career in itself and take years of study. Just as no users of technology read the terms of service, no artist spends their time studying the Statute of Anne in order to understand Copyright. And why should they? We’re in the business of creating art, not law.

It is this naeivtiy and lack of understanding which corporations, with their teams of copyright lawyers, can exploit in order to push the boundaries of what is acceptable. Artists, which includes anyone creating anything (yes, even a tweet is your work of art), do not have the luxury of being able to call upon the advice of expensive legal teams every time they create an artwork.

One such example of this exploitation is Left Shark. This high profile case centers around a meme born out of Katy Perry’s performance at the 2015 Superbowl. The performance featured Perry performing with dancers in costumes, including two sharks positioned either side of her. Viewers noticed that the shark on the left appeared out of sync with the other one, appearing even slightly drunk. The internet loved this and quickly Left Shark was born, with the memes appearing almost immediately.

It’s a good article to read to gain a greater understanding of the concepts behind No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The magazine also features some great articles and essays from Philip Ellis, Catherine Young, Ana Mendes, and more (they’re also looking for contributions for issue two. It’s available to buy now for £/$/€2.

No Copyright Infringement Intended, 7th April – 21st May

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be curating the No Copyright Infringement Intended exhibition at the Cube Gallery at Phoenix, Leicester, taking place from 7th April – 21st May.

Image: Still Not Sure if Art or Copyright Infringement by Emilie Gervais

No Copyright Infringement Intended is a group exhibition exploring the relationship between copyright and culture in the digital age, investigating how the concept of ownership and authorship is evolving and coming into conflict with outdated copyright and intellectual property laws.

Since the 1990s the internet has provided the opportunity for mass copying, redistribution and remixing of content – profoundly changing the way culture is produced and shared and sparking legal battles and debates that still rage on. Today, the increasing availability of technologies like 3D scanning and 3D printing have extended the ability to digitally copy and reproduce to the physical realm.

For many people now, mass sharing, copying and remixing seems like a natural form of self expression. Rather than embracing this change and using it to their advantage, rights holders and lawyers often resort to reinforcing outdated laws – penalising those who copy – and placing barriers on technology’s ability to share information and content freely.

Meanwhile, among artists there is widespread misunderstanding of copyright and how it affects their work. The phrase “No Copyright Infringement Intended” is often used as an attempt to avoid repercussions of copyright infringement. The phrase has no legal standing, but its widespread usage shows a lack of awareness of existing laws and the consequences of breaking them.

Featuring 10 national and international artists working across a range of creative practices, the exhibition highlights the ongoing tension between production and copyright, considers the new artistic, social and political possibilities created through this tension and suggests new ways forward for artists, rights holders and the wider creative community.

The exhibition features work by Nick Briz, Emilie Gervais, Nicolas Maigret, Christopher Meerdo, Jan Nikolai Nelles & Nora Al-Badri, Duncan Poulton, Fernando Sosa, Andrea Wallace & Ronan Deazley.

In addition to the awesome exhibited works there will be a panel discussion and curator’s tour. More information on those to follow.

Many thanks to Phoenix/Chris Tyrer for inviting me to curate this exhibition and Arts Council England for their support 💯

Black Hole Club 2017 launch, 3rd March

Black Hole Club officially returns on March 3rd with a takeover of Digbeth first Friday’s event at Vivid Projects. The night will feature the work of members both new and existing.

The Black Hole Club returns with a night of experimental new work in progress featuring performance, video, slides and assemblages. Focusing on the world around us, the works explore brutalism and taxonomies of the city ; ritual assemblage and incantations; states of mind; narratives of water and the body … and a golden glitter bath.

Featuring: Pete Ashton, Alex Billingham, David Checkley, Elizabeth Cuffley, Ferric Lux, Patrick Goodall, Barry Griffiths, Jaime Jackson, Sian Macfarlane, David Poole, Kate Spence and Sarah Walden.

I’ve been running Black Hole Club since 2015 and have organised events for it including I Am A Strange Loop, a Dirty Video Mixer workshop, a visit to Interact Labs at Phoenix in Leicester, various Crit Clubs, and more!

There’s still time to join this year. Contact antonio@vividprojects.org.uk for more information.

The Arts in a Digital World Summit, 15th – 17th March

From 15th – 17th March I’ll be in Montreal, Canada to participate in the The Arts in a Digital World Summit.

Digital technologies have a major impact on how we work, communicate and engage with our community, with citizens, with the world , and the arts sector in Canada is no exception. How can the arts be amplified, adapt and thrive in the digital world? The Canada Council for the Arts is organizing The Arts in a Digital World Summit to answer these questions and more.

The Summit will initiate a series of crucial conversations within the arts community. To get the conversation started, we have invited some 250 artistic and administrative leaders in the Canadian arts sector, as well as digital experts and strategic thinkers, to represent the vast diversity of the sector and to contribute to the testing and understanding of our new Digital Fund for the arts.

Participation in the event is by invite only (soz) but some of the events will be streamed via the Summit’s website.

Art and Tech Social: Command-line image manipulation with ImageMagick, 7th March

On 7th March I’ll be delivering a short workshop at BOM on using ImageMagick for image manipulation.

Join us for local food and drinks from Southside and get hands-on making with a bunch of like-minded folks interested in art and tech. This new monthly event aims to inspire emerging creatives and offer peer-to-peer tech support in a friendly, collaborative environment. Each workshop is different, featuring a different guest speaker and activities.

ImageMagick is a suite of command-line utilities for manipulating images. Most of its capabilities can be found in programs with a graphical user interface (GUI) such as GIMP or Photoshop. ImageMagick differs in its ability to use algorithms and programming to quickly batch process a number of images, add effects, convert between common and uncommon file formats, apply filters, generative special effects, and more!

In this workshop Antonio Roberts will introduce you to the using the terminal to perform tasks usually carried out by GUI programs. By the end participants will have learnt:

  • how to install ImageMagick
  • How to convert between file formats
  • How to view advanced metadata
  • How to apply a variety of effects to images
  • How to optimize files for print and internet
  • How to create animated gifs with only a few keystrokes

The workshop is free to attend. To take part you should bring a Mac or Linux computer. ImageMagick does 100% work on Windows but the way the terminal/command line works is very different from Unix systems. For those without a Mac or Linux computer please contact louise@bom.org.uk. If you’re feeling brave you can install ImageMagick prior to the start of the workshop.

Steve Davis DJ Set- 4th March

On 4th March Steve Davis – yes, the six-time Snooker world champion – will be doing a DJ set at Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham and I’ll be providing his visuals 🙂

Steve Davis – the legendary sporting phenomenon from the 80s who took snooker to new heights and as presenter of The Interesting Alternative Show on Pheonix FM brought prog and jazz oddities to his cult audience, now turns his hands to the decks. As a hobby which he claims has spun out of control, his notorious 2016 Glastonbury set at the 500 capacity Stonebridge bar was mobbed by a curious turned shocked and enthralled crowd. With a packed out DJ diary since, Steve has continued to woo party goers from Bluedot to Bloc Festival. Drawing from an eclectic array of influences: Magma, Caravan, Oscar Perry, Soft Machine and Gong to name but a few – Steve spins together a unique set in his quest to deliver the music he loves to lovers of the party.

Support comes from Graham Dunning. Tickets are only £15.

Algorave Nottingham, 12th February

On 12th February I’ll be on visuals duty for an Algorave taking place at Rough Trade in Nottingham as part of the Festival of Science and Curiosity

“The scene at an algorave is often what you’d expect from any good techno night – a dark room, engaging visuals, a decent, bass-heavy speaker set-up, and lots of people ready to dance… performers at algoraves respond to each other and the audience in real time, often projecting the lines of code onto the walls as they type. It’s coding as improvisation and experiment…” – The Wire magazine

Reaching over 40 cities over the past couple of years, Algorave is an “algorithmic rave”, where music and visuals come from code, constructed before your eyes. Originally coined in Nottingham, Algorave returns after 6 years, replenished and resplendent with a roster of exciting new algorithmic performances.

The event, running from 15:00 – 21:00, will feature Calum Gunn, ALGOBABEZ, Anny, Belisha Beacon, Heavy Lifting, Qirky and Littlelifeform, with myself and Rumble-San on visuals.

Tickets are only £5. Y’all can read an interview with anny if you need further convincing that Algoraves are awesome

Short Circuit – Terminal 2 – 10th February – 9th March

After appearing first at Stryx in September 2016 the Short Circuit exhibition will be making its way to A plus A Gallery in Venice from 10th February – 9th March.

Short Circuit is an ambitious international touring group show devised by British independent curator, Aly Grimes, and consists of nine new media artists and collectives in an attempt to re-assess the archetypal framework of a travelling exhibition. It proposes a new experimental model of display realised in three different locations across Europe to include Birmingham, Venice and Copenhagen. The project’s structure aims to investigate new ways that exhibition spaces can present touring shows in the Digital Age and will manifest as a highly experimental research project susceptible to failure. It might glitch, trip, malfunction or ‘short circuit’.

This iteration will have updated versions of Unauthorised Copy and Exposed, both of which appeared the first exhibition.

Exhibiting artists include myself and Emily Mulenga, Juneau Projects, The Cool Couple, Kensuke Koike and Ryts Monet, Honey Biba Beckerlee, Johan Knattrup Jensen, and David Stjernholm.

Algorave Birmingham, 3rd December

On 3rd December I’ll be curating and performing at the Algorave at Vivid Projects.

Algorave Birmingham

An Algorave is a party where electronic music is generated live from algorithms. The word was coined around 2012, initially as a joke, but has since taken hold with Algoraves taking place in over 40 cities around the world.

At an Algorave the creation of algorithms are brought into the experience of the music itself. This is done using specially made “Live Coding” environments such as SuperCollider, TidalCycles, Gibber, ixi lang and Extempore. This processed opened up by projecting the code on screens around the venue, so audience members can see how the music they hear is being made. This is often complimented by algorithmically generated visuals projected alongside the code.

The Birmingham Algorave will feature a diverse range of artists from across the country performing noise, rave, electronic and glitch audio.

The event will feature Canute, Algobabez, and Charles Celeste Hutchins on audio and Coral Manton, Ryan Hughes, hellocatfood (y’know, me) on live visuals. This will be complimented with a video installation featuring work by Ryan Hughes, RITUALS, Chez.io, Sam Wray, Dario Villaneuva, Sarah Walden, cappel:nord, and catweasel.

Algorave Birmingham runs from 19:30 to 23:00 on Saturday 3rd December. Tickets are only £5 plus booking fee (more on the door). Get yours now!

MozFest, 28th – 30th October

I’m happy to announce that myself and Nick Briz will be co-artists in residence for MozFest 2016 from 28th – 30th October via the MozEx exhibition.

For those not in the know MozFest is an annual event celebrating free culture and a free and open internet:

mozfest

Every autumn for the last six years, the global community working for a free and open internet has converged to create, make and design strategies and tools to support and protect our essential internet freedoms.

The Festival has grown to become one of the most prestigious events on the internet calendar, so much so that around 1,700 people attend from more than 50 countries every year. MozFest focuses on five key themes that are crucial to the free and open internet.

Our participation comes as a result of the MozEx exhibition/fringe event. The exhibition, which is a partnership between MozFest, V&A and Tate, has already had a fringe event as part of the festival – the Digital Artists Show ad Tell – and a publication which showcases the work of artists that links between art, society, and the digital world.

Myself and Nick will be there for the whole festival so come and say hi!