Final Project Proposal

The arts represent an outlet of human expression, usually influenced by culture, and driven by human creative impulse. [1] Intellectual property (IP) is a legal concept which refers to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized. [2] A copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. [3]

Through my artistic practice I can express my thoughts and feelings, for me to witness and the community I am part of. Art also works as means for human interaction, a reason to place yourself within society. I have come to believe that intellectual property has nothing to do with the process involved, while the legal concept is based on commodification, the assumption that financial profit should be gained from a creation of the mind.

By recognising exclusive rights to an individual for their creation, you introduce obstacles, essentially building walls around it, that limit the public’s interaction with that creation. From a slightly different point of view, “copyright was created to provide incentive for creators to create without fear of being exploited, thus ensuring a culturally rich society.” [4]

“The computer is the twenty-first century’s culture machine. It’s a dream device, serving as the mode of production, the means of distribution, and the site of reception.” [5] Intellectual property originates three centuries back, where people interacted with unique artefacts, instead of abstract digital objects.

Through an interactive installation I aim to produce and exhibit works of art that their source is questioned, thus my authorship too. It is the aim to challenge established practices and let people participate into an ambiguous activity of copying digital objects, something that is also dubbed as piracy by the IP industry.

Content produced distributed and consumed on digital environments, – by default – can be copied, remixed and shared with no particular skills required by the end-user.

Everything created for this installation will be available, without constraints to the public and be distributed via print and electronic media.

List of References
[1] Wikipedia (2014) The Arts [online] available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_arts [20 March 2014]

[2] Wikipedia (2014) Intellectual Property [online] available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property [20 March 2014]

[3] Wikipedia (2014) Intellectual Property / Copyright [online] available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property#Copyright [20 March 2014]

[4] Briz, N. (2011) Piratical Practices [online] available from http://nickbriz.com/files/PiraticalPracticesTheory.pdf [20 March 2014]

[5] Lunenfeld, P. (2011) The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as a Culture Machine. Massachusetts: MIT Press

Dream portfolio edit

Choose 6 photographs you would put in a dream portfolio that inspire you or influence your work.
Click on images to view source.

Simon Norfolk – Supercomputers, IBM BlueGene L
I chose this photograph because of the subject. Since my very first interaction with computers I have been fascinated with their application one way or the other.
I stronly believe the invention of Computers and the Internet are only equivalent to the wheel, electricity and plastic. Computers though are not necessarily used in all useful and moral applications. That is the subject of Norfolk’s “The Supercomputers”. The servers depicted below are part of IBM’s BlueGene L, which spends a lot of it’s time to design America’s Nuclear weapons. The second important reason I pick this photograph is the aesthetics. I like the relation of the converging lines, with the ones that make up the frame. This photograph hopefully sums up my fascination with perfect framing of the subject and minimalism. I usually spend a lot of time compositing my frame in order to produce an absolute result. Relative some times appears better, but absolute can have a somewhat more unreal feeling.
2013.10.01-15.16.05
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Bart van Damme – Maasvlakte (flickr)

Bart van Damme is a  Dutch artist who photographs man-made landscapes. His latest project (book) in Maasvlakte area documents the extension of the Port of Rotterdam which is built on reclaimed land. Many parts of the Netherlands are below sea level and massive engineering works have been undertaken over the years to reclaim major parts. I have particularly chosen the photograph because of my fascination with industrial buildings and nature. Bart’s framing and composition of a subject is very similar to how I would do and this is a reason for appreciating his landscapes. Most of his photographs give off a peaceful and ethereal feeling. Some times they even look like paintings, which reminds me of Pictorialism.

Maasvlakte
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Matthias Heiderich “Heartbeatbox” (flickr)
I discovered Matthias on flickr and ever since I have favourited many of his photographs. I chose this lamp posts composite so I can show you in context why I like them. Again, if you take a look at the way he photographs buildings, they are distinguished by a minimalistic and almost unreal, “retro-futuristic” feel. The colour hues and saturation are quite consistent throughout his work, like if he is using a specific lookup table, or color profile. Or maybe he is?
Untitled
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Hugh Manon “eaubscene” – cachemash (flickr)
eaubscene creates mostly glitch aesthetics like the one below. Glitch is when a machine, computer does not operate as it should. In this this image the glitch artefacts are created with help from an old version of Photoshop where a bug is exploited to cashemash. This image is probably a mash of a still from a film and a glitched image. I chose the image because of the glitch aestetics which is a subject I have been researching for about 2 years, practicing as well. Another reason I choose this image is the pairing of the old film look signifying the mechanical age, with the new look signifying the electronic means of production. These blocky, chunky aestetics reveal the nature of digital.
Glitch Art: It’s my duty to defend you, but I can’t do anything for you unless you talk to me.
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Jose Irion Neto – Thoreau Glitch Portrait (Glitch Moment/ums, 2013)
This image has also glitch atefacts, although much different than above. The reason I chose is the specific aesthetics of this portrait which happens to be the Henry David Thoreau. The original is a daguerreotype from Benjamin D. Maxham taken in 1856 and appropriated in 2011. Also the fact that it’s situated in a frame hanged in gallery, shows the development and promotion of the glitch/computer aesthetics in the art world.
The glitch makes the computer itself suddenly appear unconventionally deep, in contrast to the more banal, predictable surface-level behaviours of ‘normal’ machines and systems. In this way, glitches announce a crazy and dangerous kind of moment(um) instantiated and dictated by the machine itself.” Rosa Menkman, curator. The Glitch Moment/ums of Furtherfield Gallery happened in London, June 2013. A very interesting moment as glitch art has been mostly exhibited online which is its natural environment.
Thoreau Glitch Portrait - Jose Irion Neto
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Mishka Henner – Pumped, animated gif

Pumpjacks across the United States photographed from space. Mishka Henner has spent time photographing -capturing screenshots- off Google Maps and Street View. His subjects usually depict systemic infrastructure, networks, and concentration of power using visually compelling imagery often reminiscent of the abstract expressionism movement. I consider Miska’s work profound, because of the aesthetics but also the information deriving from the data it’s based on. Unlike many art critics, I appreciate his work because it signifies the transcendence of photography into the digital domain, which has happened a long time ago, but some refuse to accept. From a different perspective, Mishka works with computer generated photographic archives. These large archives were created void of any judgement, emotional trigger and awareness of aesthetics, when “looking” at their subject through the lens(es). The lack of human interaction left space for the artist to experiment. These images have been freed up, while subversively, their meaning and purpose has been altered irreversibly. I chose the animated gif instead of a single image because it shows a common point between all the pumps. Most of them seem to be situated in beautiful fertile land, which contradicts their destructive, ugly product -oil.
Pumped (Animation) - Mishka Henner

Appropriation Task

 

According to Wikipedia’s wiki, the art of Appropriation
“can be understood as the use of borrowed elements in the
creation of a new work.”

In class, we had a session on Appropriation which we were
given several examples of other artists in order to visually
understand the meaning. Right after the lecture was over
we exchanged photographs with the one who sat next to us,
in my case Paulina. We were told to make something
new out of the available content. I gave my photographs
to Paulina and got hers. I start browsing through them in
order to find an idea, how to combine them or just
manipulate  them. To be honest it proved to be more
difficult than I expected as the content was unknown
unknown to me and I did not know how to link them
together. Though as were unknown to me, I was
emotionally detached from them, so I could actually
do whatever I wanted to without any second thoughts.

I picked two photographs that seemed to be more
familiar with my point of view on landscapes.

Paulina Patrykowska
Paulina Patrykowska
Paulina Patrykowska
Paulina Patrykowska

 

After looking at them for a while, an old photograph of
mine came in mind. It was a film double exposure I had
done with a Diana F+. Actually it was a double exposure
by mistake, but the end result was quite pleasing.

 

So having this photograph in mind I did the same thing
with Paulina’s photographs.

Tech Specs:
I joined them in Photoshop on different layers and did
some colour correction on both of them but separately,
in order to achieve a “unified” exposure. Frame them
with a black border and…voila!

 

Enough information I gave out already. I will let you find
the connection by yourselves.

Though the word appropriation had been new to me, the
art of appropriation wasn’t. I think that most people have
done that at least once in their lives, for any reason. It’s
something that we encounter in our everyday lives, as much
as we do with photographs. It’s a quite respectable form of
art that has always been part of human history. Even more,
its ideological foundation can be found anywhere, not just
as a form of art. To be influenced, to imitate and eventually
copy something or someone’s actions or work is the key
to human evolution. It’s the only reason we left the caves
a long time ago.

For several reasons in our current social structure we are told
that appropriation is equal with plagiarism and theft!

Trying to stop our evolution for the sake of money and
profit is like trying to block a river’s flow. One day eventually
it will break free. It is its natural progression.