Instagram, an artist and the $100,000 selfies – appropriation in the digital age:
The article raised the important question: whether art on Instagram is considered as art or not. We have seen examples in class of a black and white photo that a man was standing in front of forests holding stick in his hand. Another artist remix it by replacing the stick with guitar and photoshop the man`s face and body to blue. We had discussion in class that almost all people agree that the latter piece would hardly be considered as a different work of art. From my perspective, the successfulness of this remix was the strong contrast between the modern elements such as guitar and dated style of background that he did not give credit for. And the issue in the article has the same issue. Richard Prince’s exhibition, New Portraits was simply adding his comment on the original artwork on Instagram and selling it at a high price. Although he claimed that “he not only added his own opaque comments under individuals’ pictures before he took screen shots, but also reported previous comments as spam, ensuring they disappeared (when viewed on his own account), pushing his own comments to the top – thereby arguably altering the original work”. However, even if his comments were brilliant and awesome, one of the main elements that make his remix successful is the original art piece. Therefore, what he claimed does not hold and what he remixed would not be considered a real art piece from my perspective.
Whats more, Prince did not ask permission nor share the benefit he got from selling the art work. And this brings about another issue that whether Instagram is a public domain where you can manipulate everything that was posted on it. There are regulations on Instagram and same with Weibo, the Chinese social media, that anyone who felt uncomfortable of others using your work can file a report and waiting for Instagram to examine their report. But we can imagine the efficiency of that. The demand clearly outweighs the supply. I know in Weibo tons of bloggers right did not get effectively emphasized that even bloggers who especially established used to defend for those rights existed. And I can imagine how many cases were still unsolved in Instagram. Prince can serve as a case for us to concentrate on this problem arises with social media and probably advance our critical thinking of IP rights.
Everything is a Remix, Part 4:
I have to say that I really enjoyed the entire series created by Kirby Ferguson. He had started the whole series with tracing of history and evolution of remix culture by tacking different of collaborative collections. The last part of the series,titled ” system failure” elaborate on the essential issue of remix—the progressing “intellectual property” issue. It makes a timely comment on SOPA culture and timely comment of ACTA debates.
One quote I like from the series claimed that “Our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity. Instead, ideas are regarded as property, as unique and original lots with distinct boundaries. But ideas aren’t so tidy. They’re layered, they’re interwoven, they’re tangled. And when the system conflicts with the reality… the system starts to fail.” It can be a really good start on the psychological paradoxes of how we justify doing the copying but resent being copied. The work explores the dislocation of copyright and reminds us that the original Copyright Act of 1790 was entitled “An Act for the encouragement of learning” and to also examine on the idea of upholding an ideal of a rich public domain with shared knowledge open to everyone.
the Yes men are revolting
I had enjoyed the time watching “the Yes Man Are Revolting” which offered a resonant understanding of these culture jamming ideas of them. In the beginning of “The Yes Men Are Revolting,”, the two are focusing on global warming and pretended to be political officials. Bichlbaum announces on behalf of US Chamber of Commerce that they are going to work against on global warming and the other one supports him by arriving in a giant inflatable ball. When Bonanno can’t get in, he ventures to the Capitol with other SurvivaBall folk, and hurls himself down the landmark’s steps. The meaning behind this culture jamming idea is huge because they have incorporate the idea of relationships and jobs and a good way to show their activism, too. They have wrapped itself up as an ode to friendship and the teamwork required to create change.
Issues with “The Yes Men Are Revolting” mostly arise from the potential that this documentary’s wider scope invites. The overall Yes Man community inspires curiosity which extends far more than regard it as comedic documentary as entertainment. Their hoaxes with footage of news channels believing it can run with simply dressed-up madness and have unexpectedly making a point that is more rewarding more than any significant comedic experience. Personally, I can see Bichlbaum & Bonanno to be not only entertainers but also activists who have done a great job at character-building.
clay shirky, “defend our freedom to share”
In his TED talk, professor Shirky made a convincing point on the serious problem of Stop Online Piracy Act(“SOPA”) /Protect IP Act(“PIPA”) which is the shift of burden of proving things or finding evidence. Though the two heavily debated pieces of legislation that dominated blog headlines these past few weeks, lawmakers will continue to work to pass bills with the intent to combat online piracy. With that in mind, professor revisits the potential consequences of passing SOPA in its current form. He had began telling the story of a bakery unable to let children draw pictures of television cartoon characters for their cake decorations. He said in the TED talk that, “In the end, the real threat to the enactment of PIPA and SOPA is our ability to share things with one another,”He then gives an abbreviated history of the media lanscape and the legislation it lobbied for along the way.
He then made his point:“It turned out, we’re not really couch potatoes, and we don’t really like to only consume. We do like to consume, but every time one of these new tools came along, it turned out we also like to produce and we like to share. And this freaked the media businesses out, it freaked them out every time.” PIPA/SOPA marked the shift of burden of proving things. Under those, all consumers are treated as illegal unless they made their way to prove themselves as innocent. Therefore, the burden of proving themselves innocent have moved the burden to us, consumers. Professor Shiry claimed that PIPA/SOPA are indeed problematic and I agreed with that. The restrictions and burdens can have a negative effect on remix art. Just as Shirky claimed at the end of the talk, people are not satisfied to be a consumer only. However, they want to consume based on what they had produced.
lawrence lessig, “remix: part 3”
I really appreciated that Lessig offers in his article a different perspective that the copyright law should actually be changed in order to generate good remix pieces, unlike other readings we read before. He not only stated his ideas about how to make RO and RW culture better off in the future and listed five potential improvements of the copyright law. In his first change about the law, he stated that we should use a matrix to illustrate and deregulate amateur creativity. I appreciate the matrix since this can reduce costs for remixing and therefore people will be more incentived to create more remix pieces. The second change Lessig proposes is about the maintenance of the copyright licenses. He claims that the copyright law should grant the fair use for file sharing. The third change Lessig argues is to simplify the copyright law. Last but not least, he claims that the copyright law should grant the fair use for file sharing, if it is for non-commercial purposes.
I agree with Lessig that those five changes will eventually reduce a great amount of legal procedure for commercial work. What`s more, Lessig shows a lot of unsatisfactory towards the government. However, Lessig seems to be a little too aggressive on this point. The line of reasoning of his claim appears to be a little bit flawed. Overall, Lessig elaborates on the idea of remix but he took an aggressive position on reforming law. He claims that “If copyright regulates copies, and copying is as common as breathing, then a law that triggers federal regulation on copying is a law that regulates too far”. I think that he should have concentrate a little bit more on rights of original artists.