Daniel Garcia Andujar
Christian von Borries
Claire Chanel & Scary Sherman
Ramon & Pedro
Negativland and Tim Maloney
Alexei Shulgin & Aristarkh Chernyshev
Art in the Age of Intellectual Property. The exhibition puts forward the thesis that the increasingly strict application of intellectual property law hampers the development of culture as a whole. It proves increasingly difficult to impart this culture by employing images, logos, or soundbites of this very culture (for instance, sampling in hip hop, which has already been made impossible by aggressive copyright lawyers threatening any use of sampling with legal action).
‘You can’t use it without my permission ... I’m gonna sue your ass!’ shouts Disney’s Little Mermaid with the angry voice of a copyright lawyer in the video Gimme the Mermaid (4:49 min., 2000).
The video by Negativland and Tim Maloney, situated at the exhibition entrance, is one of twenty eight works included in ‘Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System - Art in the Age of Intellectual Property’, an exhibition presented by Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV). It is part of the project "Work 2.0 – Copyright and Creative Work in the Digital Age". In the framework of "Work 2.0", HMKV – together with the Berlin-based collaborative partner iRights.info/mikro e.V. – explores the relationships between creative work, intellectual property law, and technology (http://www.iRights.info).
How does the changing notion of (creative) work relate to intellectual property? Today we live in a post-industrial society where the goods being produced are no longer material (like steel, coal, etc.), but immaterial. The Ruhr Area, with its vast deindustrialised landscape, paradigmatically stands for this transition from the Industrial Age to the information or knowledge society. However, there is a significant difference: Immaterial goods such as knowledge and information can be reproduced without loss. Therefore, in order to function in a value-added chain, the distribution of these immaterial goods has to be restricted. This is effectuated with the aid of intellectual property (IP) law, namely copyrighting, patenting, and trademarking.
David Rice’s perfidious short story ‘Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System’ – from which curators Inke Arns and Francis Hunger have borrowed the exhibition title – deals with the concept of intellectual property: In 2065 stars – such as ex-tennis player Anna Kournikova – have their ‘brand’ protected by a satellite-based system that identifies unlicensed look-alikes and eliminates them via a strong laser beam. During a trip to the Pacific Rim, not officially cleared, the ‘real’ Anna Kournikova is identified as an imitation of herself and is consequently eliminated by the system.
The exhibition in the PHOENIX Halle, measuring 2,200 square metres and located on the grounds of the former steelworks Phoenix-West, puts forward the thesis that the increasingly strict application of intellectual property law hampers the development of culture as a whole. It proves increasingly difficult to impart this culture by employing images, logos, or soundbites of this very culture (for instance, sampling in hip hop, which has already been made impossible by aggressive copyright lawyers threatening any use of sampling with legal action).
The artists represented in this exhibition explore the question of art in the age of mechanical reproduction positioning itself differently in a post-Fordist era permeated with digital networks than in Fordist, analogue times to which Walter Benjamin has referred. Artistic techniques like cut-up, sampling, détournement, appropriation, copying, remixing, plagiarism, and repetition are employed.
Participating artists: AGENTUR/AGENCY (BE). Daniel Garcia Andújar (ES), Walter Benjamin (US), Christian von Borries (DE), Christophe Bruno (FR), Claire Chanel & Scary Sherman (US), Lloyd Dunn (US/CZ), Ramon & Pedro (CH), Fred Fröhlich (DE), Nate Harrison (US), John Heartfield (DE), Laibach/Novi kolektivizem (SI), Kembrew McLeod (US), Sebastian Lütgert (DE), Monochrom (AT), Negativland and Tim Maloney (US), Der Plan (DE), David Rice (US), Ines Schaber (DE), Alexei Shulgin & Aristarkh Chernyshev (RU), Cornelia Sollfrank (DE), Stay Free (US), Jason Torchinsky (US), UBERMORGEN.COM & Alessandro Ludovico & Paolo Cirio (CH/AT/IT), a.o.
A comprehensive, bilingual catalogue documenting the exhibition in the PHOENIX Halle Dortmund will be published in early September 2008 (German/English, with contributions by Inke Arns, Martin Conrads, Florian Cramer, Francis Hunger and a preface by Susanne Ackers and Volker Grassmuck).
Friday / July 18, 2008 / 19:00
Opening of the exhibition Anna Kournikova Deleted by Memeright Trusted System — Art in the Age of Intellectual Property. From 21:00 Christian von Borries plays music made from other music
Friday / September 26, 2008 / 20:00
Christian von Borries - we play what we want
A live music event involving students from Dortmund’s Music School, 2008 (premiere)
September 26 - 28, 2008
Creative Work and Copyright
Conference in the framework of the project
Work 2.0 - Copyright and Creative Work in the Digital Age
PHOENIX Halle Dortmund
Hochofenstraße / Ecke Rombergstraße - Dortmund-Hörde
Thu + Fri 11:00— 22:00 Sat + Sun 11:00— 20:00
4 euro / 2 euro reduced