Konstfack, Konstfcuk, Konstfuck. Now its reputation tumbles down one step more to the point of “definitely no return whatsoever” by issuing legal scrutinizing of all artworks for this year’s graduation show. Student Magdalena Nordin will not be participating with her work since it infringes on several accounts of copyright infringement. The Konstfack lawyer Anders Stening has obviously just done his job (soulless as it may seem) but principal Ivar Björkman and head of the art department Olof Glemme should consider if they are fit to stay on their position as this explosive news spreads around the country and blog world. Cultural critic Martin Aagård writes a comment in Aftonbladet believing that artists now will (after the recent Swedish art scandals) be knowledgeable in both media spin and law. I beg to disagree. Although I wish he was right. Artists will not bother creating a forum for fighting the political and legal upsurge, but rather find ways of circumventing legal issues and moral fallacies along the way. This is both a sad and realist remark.
Hopefully some artists and cultural workers will not stand by and let Konstfack turn its cowardly head down, but rather start checking out www.artlaws.com and stirring up some heat in this undercooked stew.
Susan M Bielstein, lecturer on art, architecture and literature as well as working as an editor at Chicago University Press writes a radiant introduction to an aesthetic field that is not, as one might believe, a praise to freedom of choice for artists, but rather a complex system of permissions. As editor she has lots to say about the different ways which artists and artists are interlocked in a web of permission, fair use, copyright and the public domain. I have no general objections to the right of a piece of work, but I do take issue when the right to own and be rewarded as author infringes on the right of re-use, remix and reinterpretation.
One answer suiting these crazy times that Bielstein got after asking for permission to reproduce an artwork for a book was: “I’m sorry. The picture you asked after carries a curse.”
From the book Permissions – A survival guide. Blunt talk about Art as Intellectual Property.
For some interesting updates on art copyright and economics don’t miss the talk by Daniel McClean: Santiago Sierras ”DEATH COUNTER” at Magasin 3 the 8th of May. McClean has previously edited the great book Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, 2002. Read it!
Eh… does someone even remember what Anna Odell was supposed to be doing at the Konstfack graduate show?