Elephant Magazine – Logos & Protest

The latest issue of Elephant Magazine is out and is focused on brands and copyright:

I’m With The Brand


Are brands out to get us? Could our food, sartorial, satirical and political choices now all be considered as brand alliances? Most importantly, do we secretly really love the idea of being defined in this way?

In Issue 27 Elephant investigates the paradoxical relationship that a host of the art world’s new generation of makers have with brands. We meet Chloe Wise, Antonio Roberts, Jemma Egan, Holly White and Rachel Maclean to discuss the changing face of branding and the rise of subliminal messaging.

In this issue I was interviewed by Molly Taylor about my how I relate to logos, copyright and brands:

Logos & Protest


Antonio Roberts doesn’t like being told what to do by big corporations with clever lawyers. A proponent of free culture, the Birmingham-based glitch artist explores notions of ownership and copyright—often by testing the limits of the latter.

How is copyright affecting the way that artists are able to create and distribute works that remix or reuse images belonging to other people, particularly brands?

I’m not against copyright, I just think it reaches too far. For smaller artists, other people appropriating their work isn’t so much of a problem because if you’re not making much money, you haven’t got much to lose. Whereas for the larger corporations like Disney, they see it as losing them potentially millions and millions of pounds. So I chose Disney for the Transformative Use piece because they have really lobbied to get copyright terms extended in their favour.

Read the interview text on the website and pick up a copy of the issue now!

Common Property feature in Elephant Magazine

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.