Art, Revolution and Ownership will be featuring three conversations. Participants include artists in our exhibition, Communications scholars from SFU, as well as Intellectual Property Law scholars from McGill, Queens, and UWO.

September 8th, Conversation W2 Atrium SFU Woodward’s

Join choreographer James Gnam, the dancers, Tina Piper, Laura Murray, Martha Rans and Mark Hosler for a conversation. Tina Piper, Director of McGill’s Centre for Intellectual Property, considers the extent to which the improvisational, ephemeral and ever-changing nature of many contemporary art forms can possibly be described by the language of intellectual property law.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 1 – 5 pm, Waldorf Hotel.

Conversations: “Whose Voice is it Anyway?” and “The Status of the Thing”. Both will be moderated by Mark Hosler.

1:00 – 2:30 Conversation One: “Whose Voice is it Anyway?” (Authorship and Art Practice in the Digital Age
Diyan Achjadi, professor Emily Carr University of Art and Design, printmaker and animator, and artist Sonny Assu share their perspectives on authorship and its relevance to their work. What is an authentic voice? Whose voice is it anyway? Why does it matter? Laura Murray, co-author Canadian Copyright: A Citizen’s Guide, Faculty of English, Queen’s University and Geof Glass, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Communications, SFU, contribute their thoughts. Laura Murray will talk about the relationship (or lack thereof) between what “appropriation” meant in 1990s debates over race and indigeneity and what it means this millenium’s preoccupation with remix and mashups. Authors and users belong to communities; works belong to authors; culture belongs to all of us. Belonging seems to be understood in very different ways. What are the shortcomings of the discourses around free culture? Is it time to go back to the author? How?

3:00 – 5:00 Conversation Two: The Status of the Thing (Copyright and Digital Materiality)
Debates over copyright within crafting communities are particularly thorny, jumping as they do from notions of a common shared history that should be open and welcoming to all, passing through the idea that as a gendered pastime crafting is regularly devalued – something its practitioners should work against, to more recent arguments that there are lucrative opportunities for professional crafters and designers that need to be protected through the copyrighting, patenting and trademarking of designs and processes. Kirsty Robertson, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Visual Art at UWO invites the audience to consider a series of case studies that examine “embroidery pirates,” open source embroidery projects, controversies over trademarked fabrics, and traditional techniques in order to trace changing notions of ownership in crafting communities. The work of both Ben Reeves, painter, and Faith Moosang, photographer, approach abstraction in ways that challenge the legal definition of similarity. They discuss their work in light of some of these thorny questions.

Drinks & post-conversation reception at the Waldorf’s Tiki Bar to follow.