Thursday, November 21, 2013


"diverse perspectives of a movable event"
Oliver Laric, Versions, 2009, single channel video
For our final night of  screening and discussions we looked at the work of artist Oliver Laric, and his various media essays all known as Versions, where he traces multiple histories of the practice of copying in art making, challenging  the notion of *the original* and leading us particularly into the present moment with the digital production and circulation of images. 

We then checked in some *very* current events via  THIS MASHUP of  Toronto mayor Rob Ford /Chris Farley   (heh, great job, internet!) 

And on to some other early 21st century media recuperations :
Keith Sanborn's  Operation Double Trouble (2003), a detourned version of a propaganda film called Enduring Freedom, originally made by the US Marines and US Navy,

Bobby Abate's One Mile per Minute (2002), which he began working on soon after the attacks of September 11th out of disgust for the corporate branding of the disaster on various news stations .

Artist-activist Joseph deLappe's intervention into the online game America's Army, Dead-in-Iraq (2006-2011) where he individually listed each American casualty of the war by name, using the games text messaging,

Peggy Ahwesh's appropriation of the game Lara Croft's Tomb Raider, She Puppet (2001 )
the earliest of  Phil Solomon's Grand Theft Auto appropriations, Crossroads (2006)
(formerly called  Untitled for DG)

She Puppet, Peggy Ahwesh ,2001

And lastly -- a couple cherries on top:
Sweet Dreams, shot on location in Second Life by yr fearless leader
*bonus track*
an inspiring and super fun new work by video/audio artist Sara Maganheimer called  MICKRYS  with numerous appearances by those pesky anthropomorphized mice.

Next and final blog post will be the student remix projects, YAY!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Group presentation week on all the above categories with amazing examples! We listened to a general explanation of REMIX culture stemming from musical forms from Beethoven to Lee Scratch Perry, though remix video is a highly popular way of taking on contemporary media these days--here's a whole site dedicated to the latest in political remix videos of all kinds.  MASHUP remixes made using two distinct sources like The Dark Side of the Rainbow (try this at home), VIDDING and the grandmother of fannish vids Both Sides Now (1975) by Kandy Fong,  SUPERCUTS, a term coined by blogger Andy Baio in 2008 to describe obsessive works as The Usual Suspects --  also check this supercut we didn't watch in class but is mentioned in Ed Halters article below : ARTIST LOOKING AT THE CAMERA (2006) by Guthrie Lonergan who raided the Getty Images Archive for his sources as we can tell by the watermarks he leaves intact. Lastly we investigated MEMES,  actually short for mimesis, and according to the dictionary literally means  "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture".   We learned about 4chan as ground zero for memes, and looked at examples that ran the gamut - lolcats to pop culture references to political current events --like "Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop”, a photoshop meme based on a photograph of the police officer who offhandedly pepper sprayed a group of Occupy protesters at the University of California Davis in November 2011. 

We ended the session with Buffy vs. Edward by pop culture hacker Jonathan Mcintosh, a remix/mashup as a pro-feminist visual critique. He has extensive liner notes on youtube, like 

Many remix videos carry a CC license and use this warning on their material:

FAIR USE NOTICE:This critical and transformative remix video constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law.

Yes, you too can keep up with the exciting and rapidly changing world of internet phenomena at  Know Your Meme.

+++Read for next week: Ed Halter's RECYCLE IT! (2008) from The Museum of the Moving Image's website for a nice lively read of our beloved and rebellious subject +++

Friday, November 8, 2013


Aaron Swarz and Lawrence Lessig
Today we listened to lawyer and activist Lawrence Lessig explain a few things  in his 2007 TedTAlk  "Laws that Choke Creativity" .  Lessig is the author of several books, like The Future of Ideas (2001), Free Culture (2004), and Remix: Making Art and Commerce thrive in a hybrid economy (2008) . He has  transformed intellectual property law as a founding member of  Creative Commons, an organization dedicated to building better copyright and copyleft  practices through principles established first by the open-source software community
The winner of Creative Commons 2003 moving image contest  is Justin Cone's Building on the Past--licensed as (CC BY), one of the many attributions for their different types of licenses that you can tailor to your specific desires. Watch his movie and see how it works.

Please download Lessig's The Future of Ideas: the fate of the commons in a connected world and READ the preface and PART 1, this will be helpful with concepts and vocabulary for your group presentations next week!

Some other projects and works discussed this week :

Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age, a visual, audio and video show featuring works that challenged the expansion of copyright law and the policing of creative expression. They distributed CDs and DVDs freely of works that had trouble with copyright infringement--we watched quite a few of those in class, like "State of the Union" (2001) by Brian Boyce, "Gimmee the Mermaid" by Tim Maloney, made after hours at Disney for Bay Area experimental audio collage group Negativland who ran into some serious legal trouble with their record The Letter U and the numeral 2. The argument they claimed was FAIR USE.

The last and earliest piece we watched from the Illegal Art DVD was Todd Haynes' cult classic Superstar, released in 1987 but suppressed for many years.