241 Things

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Studium Generale 1000things lectures, The Hague

241 Things

Céline Manz wrote her thesis on the friction between art and law when it comes to copying and appropriating - a rather relevant expression for art to emerge and develop. Being at risk for being sued when using certain images or trademarks (think about the case of Louis Vuitton against Nadia Plesner who "used" imagery of Louis Vuitton) Manz offers two options: either to stop using appropriated images or to continue using them - supported by “The Appropriator's User Guide”. If you prefer the second option, please continue reading.

General

What is the use of your appropriated material?

I appropriated material for

  • Private use only => No authorization required
  • Study or teaching purposes => No authorization, but credits required
  • News reporting, to illustrate a review, a critic, to underline historical, biographical or scientific facts => If the material is unmodified, authorization is mostly not required, but the credits
  • Other kind of use => I go on with this list

Do you have basic informations on the work you have appropriated?

  • I know the author of the work
  • I know the year the work has been made
  • I know the nationality of the author

Has the right of the author or copyright owner expired?

List with the different countries copyright lengths [link]

Are you using unprotected material?

  • My source is Public Domain, so I can use it as I like
  • My source has a Creative Commons remix-license. The author has to be credited, but I can use CC-BY and CC-BY-SA for commercial purposes and CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-SA for non-commercial purposes2

Did you check the copyright legislation of the work you used?

Search facility for national laws and treaties on intellectual property to find out the country's copyright law of the appropriated work [link]

Nature of appropriated content

Does my work contain potentially protected material by copyright?

Copyright is an automatic right which emerges with the creation of an original artistic work. The protection includes every original representation of authorship, despite its artistic merit, quality or value. An original creation of human mind is not limited to works of art, but can also be a technical guide, a manual, an engineering drawing etc.

Yes = permission required
My work contains for instance:

  • Artistic works: paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations etc
  • Literary works: Books, newspapers, magazines, catalogues etc
  • Advertisements: Commercial prints, billboards, labels, logos etc
  • Dramatic works: Dance, play, mime etc
  • Audio and audiovisual performances etc
  • Technical drawings: Maps, charts, globes, diagrams etc
  • Motion pictures: Film, documentary, TV advertisement etc
  • Works of applied art: Wallpapers, carpets, jewelry, fabrics, toys etc
  • Digital content: Computer programs, animations, digital files etc

Yes = no permission required
My work is based on or uses:

  • a general idea, method, style, procedure or concept
  • historical, biographical or scientific facts or daily news
  • law texts and/or the outcome of official government works
  • quotes from protected works.No permission, provide the source of the quotation and mention the author

Yes = permission maybe required, if they're trademarked
My work uses:

  • Names, titles, single words, headlines or other kind of short phrases

Note: A logo, single words or whole sentences can be trademarked!

Use of appropriated content

What do you need the appropriated material for?

Yes= permission required
I reproduce it for not private use. For instance under one of these forms:

  • photograph
  • print
  • photocopy
  • digital scan
  • digital copy

I provide public access or distribution, for instance:

  • in an exhibition
  • in a publication
  • in an advertisement
  • on a website
  • as digital content in emails
  • as a postcard
  • as a flyer
  • as a performance
  • in a public screening

I use the work as a base for translation, adaption, modification or alternation

I will make financial benefit from it

Credits1

When do I need to credit the author and/or copyright owner?

I will display a work which is copyright protected in public, for instance:

  • in an exhibition
  • in an advertisement
  • on a website
  • |as digital content in emails
  • as a postcard
  • on a flyer
  • in a publication
  • as a performance
  • in a public screening

Where can I find out who is the owner of the copyright?

  • Copyright notice on the bottom, on the back, or along the image
  • If the image or text has been published under a brand, it is most likely that the brand is the holder of the copyright
  • If the author is not the owner of the copyright, permission of both can be required. In some cases, for instance, when using material from the website of a museum, both artist and museum need to give their permission.

Disclaimer

If a written permission can't be obtained, there is the possibility to add a disclaimer to the image. Important: This will not allow you to use the content – you could still be sued for infringement. But in case a third person makes unauthorized use of your work the disclaimer can limit your legal liability.

“This work/image/photograph cannot be modified for commercial or advertising use, nor can it be copied or reproduced in any form without the artist’s permission. Non-commercial use only.”3

The content of this checklist refers to content of the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO (website) and the supplements given from Annelies Lesuis, lawyer at Crowd Creation Company and Copyright 2.0.

1Creative Commons

2Moral right of Authorship right: “The author's name appears in relation to the work whenever the circumstances allow you to” etc. OR alternatively ask the author for his permission to not credit him.

3Verbauwhede, Lien: Legal Pitfalls in Taking or Using Photographs of Copyright Material, p. 10

Celine Manz her thesis "What do you know about art, you're not a lawyer" [Read]

Molnar Structures de Quadrilateres

Cubic Limit, plotter drawing, ink on paper, 1977

P148, "inschrift", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1973

P-133, "cluster phobia", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1972

144 Trapèzes (16 variations), plotter drawing, ink on paper, 20x25 cm, 1974

P91, 1971, plotter drawing, ink on paper, 50 x 50 cm

P-122, "scratch code", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1972

P-71, "serielle zeichenreihung", plotter drawing ink on paper, 40cm x 50cm, 1970

T.V.C. 20 68179 71, 1971.

Quadrate, 1969/1970.

Plotter drawing, ink on paper, 1965

51/80 Scratch Code, 1970-1975.

P-050/R, "a formal language", Ink/paper/wood, 1970, 100cm x 100cm

Molnar Structures de Quadrilateres

During the fifties and sixties of the last century, the first pioneers in digital art used computers to realize their visual experiments to create algorithmic art. They would write computer programs, otherwise known as algorithms, to generate images, usually by using advanced programming language such as COBOL or Fortran, but also by using machine language. They would often work in the dead of night, whenever a university or research institute would grant them a few hours to make calculations on their expensive IBM-mainframes. These computers were built for computing punch cards, which meant that using them to make visual art became an abstract and mathematical procedure that called for the formulation of rules to determine the construction of an image. The computer carries out the algorithm after which the output is made visible on a plotter (a drawing machine) connected to the computer.

Cubic Limit, plotter drawing, ink on paper, 1977

Artists in this field of visual computer art, such as Ben Lapofsky, Lilian Schwartz, Frieder Nake, Manfred Mohr, Edward Zajec and Vera Molna, were strongly influenced by cybernetics and closely linked to the informational aesthetics developing during that time. It became evident that composing algorithms that performed repeatedly to produce the same image was not particularly artistically interesting, however valuable this development would appear for the later advancement of computer graphics. Much more interesting are the algorithms that, when repeated, produce different results. Although the first generation of computer artists created an output of unique plotter drawings, their main artistic interest lies in fundamental research into composition. They also touch upon complex questions concerning the essence of the artistic practice, by often bluntly addressing the question of authorship with computer generated plotter drawings. The question, what is art, is approached conceptually through an algorithm that automatically spits out one unique drawing after another, as though produced on a factory assembly line. Generally, the question was answered by assigning authorship and artistry to the actual formulation of the algorithms. The construction of algorithms for artistic purposes was seen as a scientific form of visual research that opened up a new stage for the development of art.

P148, "inschrift", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1973


The works made by these pioneering computer artists is closely linked to the avant-garde movements of the sixties (like GRAV, de Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel), and conceptual art. After all, Joseph Kosuth and Sol Lewitt likewise made works that consisted of formulations. Indeed, the end of the sixties saw a short-lived convergence between computer art and conceptual art. The computer artist's attitude towards technology was incomprehensible to those involved in conceptual art and classical art criticism, and was to some even suspect. Nevertheless, many computer artists (like Frieder Nake) were even more radical in their rejection of the bourgeois art system than the conceptual artists, who were operating within the galleries and museums.

P-133, "cluster phobia", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1972

The innovations made by the first generation of computer artists are simple when compared to what’s possible now, fifty years later. But their experiments laid the foundation that makes the prefab box of tricks possible. What's more important - for art, that is - is that the computer artists also pioneered in the exploration of conceptual questions that still remain fundamental for computer art.

144 Trapèzes (16 variations), plotter drawing, ink on paper, 20x25 cm, 1974

P91, 1971, plotter drawing, ink on paper, 50 x 50 cm

P-122, "scratch code", plotter drawing ink on paper, 50cm x 50cm, 1972

P-71, "serielle zeichenreihung", plotter drawing ink on paper, 40cm x 50cm, 1970

T.V.C. 20 68179 71, 1971.

Quadrate, 1969/1970.

Plotter drawing, ink on paper, 1965

51/80 Scratch Code, 1970-1975.

P-050/R, "a formal language", Ink/paper/wood, 1970, 100cm x 100cm