APPROPRIATION BEYOND THE OBJECT
Open call exhibition selected by Ben Vickers, Alana Kushnir, Helen Kaplinsky and Ami Clarke.
21st June – 4th August 2013
The selected works all take very different approaches to the open call out, and we hope that in combination they will enable us to begin a conversation about what might be meant by ‘appropriation beyond the object’, that touch on structures emergent with new technologies, both historically and contemporary, that shift our relations and alter our contractual agreements with one another, both subtley and significantly.
Project Space: Ovidiu Hulubei, Scott Mason (with writing by: Harry Burke, Annie Davey, John Hill, Pedro Neves Marques, Sally O'Reilly, Frances Scott), Arnaud Desjardin and the Everyday Press and Erica Scourti.
Scott Mason’s screensaver accumulates several interwoven fictions taking the subject of The Moment between Creativity and Commodification: by artists/writers: Harry Burke, Annie Davey, John Hill, Pedro Neves Marques, Sally O'Reilly and Frances Scott, that in combination, although grammatically correct, are hard to read as anything other than image.
Erica Scourti’s work integrates back into the world it emerges from, as others use her uploaded stock video footage, which she enacts in response to the simplistic stock photo key words ‘woman’, ‘nature’ and ‘alone’, and as some measure of their success, find their way into several new music video productions, presented in the project space.
Arnaud Desjardin as artist and publisher: The Everyday Press, considers alternative methods of distribution for his sometimes bootleg publications, through a more socially amenable exchange, that question issues of copyright and the right to knowledge, whilst introducing just as absurdly complex contractual arrangements via IOU’s. There will be 25 copies of the publication No Land for exchange over the exhibition period.
Starting from Maurizio Cattelan’s work Bidibidobidiboo 1996, Ovidiu Hulubei’s drawings try to explain the reasons why the squirrel commits suicide, touching on issues of: “social media and the production of social relations, legal structures and new issues of copyright, structures of the gallery, art market, and beyond”… before fate finally catches up with him, again.
Reading Room: Steven Paige, Michael Hampton, Cristina Garrido.
Steven Paige’s pamphlets re-engage historically with the political potential of pamphleteering, which played a vital part in many political upheavals: The Popish Plot, the Exclusion Crisis, and briefly the English Republic. Several writers of the time including Spinoza and Descartes are appropriated as activists, their text performing a call to arms, the format of the pamphlet valued for its political instrumentality. The pamphlets will be distributed for free from BR at 8am to a packed platform of commuters throughout the exhibition period.
Michael Hampton presents a reader: A Prettier Type of Woman! of the notorious1994 US Supreme Court ruling, documenting the case of Campbell, aka Skyywalker, et al v Acuff-Rose Music, Inc with minimal intervention; the merest trace of artistic suggestion, which will be available for browsing in the reading room. Hampton has just written a feature for Art Monthly about mock and modified newspapers, which may also be of interest with regards these ideas.
Cristina Garrido presents two copies of her self-published book THIS IS ART NOW VOL.1 (2013). Curating virtual objects from Google’s 3D software SketchUp Warehouse or Components Database, into virtual SketchUp scenarios as exhibition spaces, she seeks to raise questions regarding systems of legitimation and attribution of value in a globalized art world touching on conditions of immaterial labour, the status of the art object, and authorship. Seven art critics and writers have contributed texts on the practice of each ‘artist’ inventing a context for their work, and details of the artist and their work, translated into English Spanish and German.
Off-site: SE Barnet tweeting @BRartreader #masslyobserved.
In the first half of the 20th century, a movement called Mass Observation was begun by an artist, a filmmaker and an anthropologist. Through diaries and questionnaires, observers became recorders, capturing the everyday existence of their own lives and the lives of those around them. Working with the archive at The University of Sussex, SE Barnet eschews notions of expert culture, instead emphasizing misuse and universality, tweeting @BRartreader #masslyobserved, selected lines of text from the 1937-38 Day Surveys throughout the exhibition.
Promotional video: Toby Huddlestone.
Taking on the language of music videos, film-trailers and tv adverts, Toby Huddlestone produces something hovering between that of an artwork and a promotional video, echoing the framework(s) of popular culture and shifting the location of 'the exhibit' within the exhibition, to be found on the website www.bannerrepeater.org.
During the exhibition we will also be distributing the booklet "On Wikileaks, Bitcoin, Copyleft - Three Critiques of Hacktivism" which collects the writings of the Wine & Cheese Appreciation Society of Greater London and the Kittens Editorial Collective on activism in the digital realm. The piece on Wikileaks critiques its appreciation of the bourgeois-democratic state which persecutes it. The article on Bitcoin deals with the political economy of the digital currency and critiques the Libertarian ideology driving it. Finally, the piece on free software and other digital commons portrays how copyleft software licences are still expressions of appreciation for the social conditions we are forced to live under.
Selecting panel bios:
Ben Vickers is a writer, network analyst, curator, technologist and luddite. He makes a living and finds a vocation in understanding how systems of distribution, both human and other, come to affect our personal perception of reality. Vickers is currently Curator of Digital at the Serpentine, co-runs LIMAZULU Project Space, is an active member of EdgeRyders, leads Brighton University's Professional ‘Reality' Development Program and facilitates the development of unMonastery, a new kind of social space designed to serve the local communities of towns or small cities throughout Europe in solving key social and infrastructural problems.
Alana Kushnir is a freelance curator and art lawyer based in London. She is completing the MFA Curating program at Goldsmiths and prior to this, was working in Melbourne, Australia at the law firm King & Wood Mallesons, where she specialised in competition and intellectual property law. Her curatorial practice and research explores the intersections of intellectual property law, curating and art practices influenced by internet culture. Recent curated exhibitions include TV Dinners at BUS Projects, Melbourne (2012), Acoustic Mirrors (co-curator) at the Zabludowicz Collection, London (2012), Paraproduction at Boetzelaer|Nispen Gallery, Amsterdam (2012) and Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument (co-curator) at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2012-13). She has presented her research in a wide range of contemporary art publications and academic journals, including the Journal of Curatorial Studies, Leonardo Almanac and the self-published exhibition-zine, Paraproduction.
Helen Kaplinsky is a London based independent curator, tracing the confluence of contemporary art and the history of design. She has worked with the Arts Council Collection since 2011, having received a fellowship with the collection whilst studying Curating MFA at Goldsmiths University from 2009-11. Upcoming projects include a residency with Flux Factory (NYC), Muscle Memory and Auto Couture (both London). She lectures in Art and Design at City Literacy Institute. Her current research concerns consumer technologies, the Romantic imagination and post-fordism.
Ami Clarke both facilitates the running of Banner Repeater: reading room and project space, on Platform 1, Hackney Downs train station, opening up an experimental space for others, whilst dually sharing the goal in her practice to explore ideas that come of publishing, distribution, and dissemination: how the performance of language increasingly impacts upon daily life. BR commissions new art-writing for the imprint: UN-PUBLISH ISSN 2045-8266: a series of critical works published on paper, determined by ideas of shifting time and labour relations the co-evolution of humans and technology, that bear witness to epigenetic affects that may come of these new conditions of time. She is also a co-founder of the Diagram Research, Use and Generation Group (DRUGG). Upcoming projects include Data-Pool 3, and Low Animal Spirits.
Talks and screenings throughout the exhibition period:
Alana Kushnir will be holding an Open Reading Group Session: Appropriation Law Basic.
Wednesday 26th June
Taking the exhibition's inclusion of Michael Hampton's reader A Prettier Type of Woman! as its starting point, Alana Kushnir will host a reading and discussion of several notorious copyright infringement court decisions which have grappled with the notion of artist-led appropriation over the past 20 years. Cases will include: A Prettier Type of Woman! - Campbell v Acuff-Rose, Rogers v Koons, Blanch v Koons and the latest case on point, Cariou v Prince. The discussion will question the relevance of these decisions in light of continuing developments in appropriation practices, particularly in light of the proliferation of new works influenced by the cut and paste culture of the internet.
Talk between selecting panel: Ben Vickers, Alana Kushnir, Helen Kaplinsky, and Ami Clarke.
Wednesday 10th July
Treating the talk as a conversation focussed on the video series Giving What You Don‘t Have, in which Cornelia Sollfrank discussed Artistic Research into Copyright-Critical Practice, interviewing Kenneth Goldsmith, Dmitry Kleiner, Marcell Mars, and Sean Dockray, we will be discussing the issues raised by the interesting new idea of appropriation beyond the object, specifically discussed by Sean Dockray of aaaarg.org.
Google and the World Brain. By Director Ben Lewis, with q+a afterwards with Ben Lewis, and the Publishing Forum reading group with X Marks the Bokship, Arnaud Desjardin from Everyday Press and Ami Clarke – all welcome!
Wednesday 17th July
In 2002 Google began to scan millions of books in an effort to create a giant global library, containing every book in existence. But over half the books Google scanned were in copyright, and authors across the world launched a campaign to stop Google, which climaxed in a New York courtroom in 2011.