The Future of Art

Submitted by martha on January 13, 2011 – 8:53am
Yesterday I heard Tony Clement, Minister of Industry on the CBC. He was commenting on the CRTC decision to uphold usage based internet billing. He claimed that his interest was in ensuring a menu of options for Canadians. He also called upon Bell to share. What is curious to me about these comments is that he seems deaf to the calls from artists to ensure some remunerative potential from digital access to their work in the form of some kind of levy. Artists would also like a menu of options including support for their work, their spaces to create, and a royalty pool/or levy. The government’s position in C-32 appears to be one that adopts the industry view requiring TPM’s and strong anit-circumvention language at the expense of more choice, and enhanced opportunitties to share that many creators want and need. Those who like this bill are not those who will have to litigate over its meaning, or more pointedly have the most at stake when it is litigated. In the past week I have met a painter whose work was digitized from an opening invite and circulated in commercial contexts without knowledge (let alone a fee), a writer who self-published who found her work was being printed on demand by a US based entity without the rights to do so, and lastly a respected European media artist who is wanting to tour a work that uses fragments of other works. This is not an academic discourse this is practical reality. I am teaching copyright again and hope to post some of the students comments in the coming weeks.

Last month January 15th, was World’s Fair Use Day. Dan Lynch of Negativland spoke about his creative process. He said that for him the camera is a kind of sampler. He uses the camera as a collector of images that he then can sample from to make his work. Over the course of the discussion one question came up: Is the act of creativity in the code or the art? I finally saw the Social Network. A story not about code but about the social relationships that falter when we see only code. This is a very challenging question for many yet it is one way of looking at the impact of the digital realm upon art-making. For some this has meant considering the Future of Art. For more thoughts (and less) check out:  Oliver Laric.

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