On 29th February I’ll be leading the workshop at Maker Monday at Birmingham Open Media.
Glitch Art describes the process of misusing and reappropriating
hardware and software to make visual art. In this part theory, part practice workshop we will consider ways in commonly used programs can be misused to interpret various data in different ways.
For the practical part of the workshop you’ll need a laptop/computer (Mac/Windows/Linux) with the following software installed:
Tickets for the event are free, so get in on it now! There’ll be pizza as well 🙂
On 14th February Studio International published a feature written by Nicola Homer about the soon-to-end Common Property exhibition at Jerwood Space:
Common Property is the 22nd in a series of Jerwood Encounters exhibitions. Since 2008, the majority of the programme’s shows have been curated by artists, who have contributed insights into areas in which they have concerns. This year, Hannah Pierce, an artist and curator, has brought together six works by emerging and mid-career artists, to explore the issue of copyright in the digital age. The exhibition title is a reference to American artist Sol LeWitt, who said in 1973: “I believe that ideas once expressed, become the common property of all.”
This subject of copyright is a timely one. In October 2014, a change to UK legislation came into effect, allowing the parody of copyrighted works, on the premise that the parody meets two criteria: to evoke an existing work, while not rivalling the original, and to be considered humorous. Although the law is similar in Belgium, in January 2015, a Belgian court found the Antwerp-born artist Luc Tuymans guilty of plagiarism. His painting, A Belgian Politician (2011), in which he had used a photograph of the politician Jean-Marie Dedecker taken by Katrijn van Giel for a Belgian newspaper, was ruled too humourless to be a parody.
In the third commissioned piece, Transformative Use (2015), which is derived from a Disney character, artist and curator Antonio Roberts – like Knox in her painting Reproduction – displays an interest in the terminology that surrounds copyright. In addition, he exhibits a new series of brilliantly coloured video works that derive their titles from songs that have been the subject of court cases involving copyright infringement.
Read the full feature here. This exhibition’s been gettin’ quite a bit of a attention…
Elephant Magazine published a a review of the Common Property exhibition by Robert Shore on their blog on 10th February.
Roberts mentions the ‘Amen Break’, a six-second drum loop taken from a 1960s recording by the funk and soul group The Winstons which, according to whosampled.com, has been sampled 1,862 times since—without a single royalty or clearance payment being made to the original musicians for its use. ‘It’s basically been in every hip-hop song since the Eighties,’ says Roberts, who is pleased that a recent crowdfunding campaign raised £24,000 for the Winstons’ frontman Richard Spencer. At the same time he’s clear that artists and musicians should be allowed to work more freely with copyright-protected sources where the uses are, to repeat the term mentioned above and employed in the courts (just in case you find yourself summoned), ‘transformative’. ‘It’s not plagiarism,’ he says. ‘It’s cutting and pasting. Culture is made in that way. People take it and morph it into something new. If you had to pay for everything, it would be impossible.’
Read the full feature on their website.
Following the opening of the Common Property exhibition at Jerwood Visual Arts I was interviewed by Filippo Lorenzin about the exhibition and my views on copyright in general. On 8th February this interview was published on the Furtherfield website.
I think Copyright as a whole is in a terrible state. As Cory Doctorow suggests in the exhibition programme (which is in itself an excerpt from his book “Information Doesn’t want to be Free”) Copyright as we know it isn’t written for artists or any individual. Its verbose terms and complexities cannot be understood and are probably not even read by most of us. They are written for other lawyers. If, in order to go about our creative business, we are expected to read and understand the terms and conditions and law – it is estimated that it would take 76 days to read all of the Ts and Cs of websites we use – what time do we have to be creative?
Read the full interview on the Furtherfield website.
On 21st January I went to London Art Fair to take part in a discussion about Copyright and Intellectual Property and the Common Property exhibition at Jerwood Space. If you weren’t there, or you were and wanted to refresh your memory, the audio is now online.
The discussion featured myself, Hannah Pierce, Curator of Common Property, Shane Burke, current PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London, and Shonagh Manson, Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation. The exhibition runs from 15th January – 21st February,
On 6th February I’ll be part of the TRANSFORMERS screening happening at the College Art Association Conference in Washington DC.
Computer programming is an often invisible force that affects many aspects of our contemporary lives. From how we gather our news, maintain our libraries, or navigate our built environment, code shapes the interfaces and information they connect to. Artists who work with these languages as material can critically excavate code and its effects. The works included in this screening include animation and video that are produced through the use and manipulation of code and/or data.
The selected works will be screened during CAA on Saturday, February 6th from 9:00am- 10:30am in the Media Lounge and is simultaneously available online through the New Media Caucus Vimeo Channel.
The screening is organised by Darren Douglas Floyd, Artist/Filmmaker, Mat Rappaport, Artist, Columbia College Chicago, and A. Bill Miller, Artist, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater. My contribution is a shorter live performanec of the Sonification Studies performance I did at glitChicago in 2014.
I’ll update this post with the new video once the event is over. Video below:
On 15th February there will be a tour of the Common Property exhibition at Jerwood Space. To end the tour I’ll be doing a Sonification Studies performance tailored to the exhibition.
An Exhibition Tour of Jerwood Encounters: Common Property led by curator of the exhibition, Hannah Pierce, and Jerwood Visual Arts’ Writer in Residence, Tom Overton.
As a finale to the tour Antonio Roberts, exhibiting artist in Common Property, will perform Sonification Studies. Using Pixel Player (a piece of software created and released by the artist) Roberts will, in real time, translate a selection of images into audio and glitched visuals.
Pixel Player is an update of Pixel Waves, also created and released by Antonio Roberts. It was developed after a visit to The Cyborg Foundation in Barcelona in 2013, and allows the sonification of images based on the colour/RGB values of individual pixels.
Sonification Studies has previous been performed as part of the exhibition, glitChicago, Chicago, 2014..
This event is free but booking is required via Eventbrite
On 20th January a-n published an article/interview/writeup with myself, Hannah Pierce and Owne G Parry. The article focuses on the Common Property exibition and more broadly asks for our thoughts on the state of Copyright. One excerpts from Hannah Pierce discussing the motivation behind the exhibition:
“I remember going through art school and never at any point having any conversations around copyright or what it meant to be working with somebody else’s image. I was really interested by this lack of knowledge that we have; I thought that a really good way to work that out would be through a show.”
And one from me discussing the four video pieces:
His second installation, featuring four video pieces, is inspired by four songs that have been at the centre of copyright lawsuits. “I thought, how can I share this song and get away with it. How else can I share this song with the world?”
The copyright conundrum this throws up goes to the heart of the debate around creative ownership in the digital age. “It’s still the same song, the data is still the same data, it’s just being reinterpreted,” says Roberts. “So, is that an infringement of copyright?”
Head over to a-n to read the whole article.