“But on a different level, Rafman is actually recouping the showmanship of “the decisive moment.” His pictures wouldn’t thrill us if they looked like Winogrand’s, or even Frank’s. They thrill us because they look like Cartier-Bresson’s and Kertész’s and Brassaï’s. They’re so compelling because they seem to be taken when (1) the gesture or expression or relationship or anecdote in question is at its highest peak of intensity, and (2) the picture’s composition achieves (or retains) the appearance of a formal work of art. Our knowledge of Rafman’s process heightens our sense of every moment’s decisiveness, even when the stills lack the formal rigour of a Cartier-Bresson.”—Street Photography and Google Street View | Art21 Blog
“Distilled from an original 10,000 photographs that Ai shot in his decade here before returning to China, the selection of 227 black-and-white images portrays a New York plagued by AIDS and urban blight — a city in stark contrast to Ai’s native China. “I was actually kind of surprised that so many people call America a civilized society,” Ai said in an interview conducted for the exhibit. “It’s not all that civilized because each person still has a lot of burdens. Americans don’t enjoy life as much.””—Ai Weiwei Captures a Bygone New York | The New York Observer
“When the work is immaterial, we’re just its temporary holders. Accumulating fancy goods is absurd. We buy works to talk about them, and to stretch people’s notions of what art is…But some people want the opposite: a reassuring object with a big name.”—Collectors Who Spend Thousands on Artist’s Ideas - Newsweek
“They stopped at a booth with a work by veteran American artist Lawrence Weiner. It was nothing more than the words “2 Metal Balls 2 Metal Rings (Set Down in the Groove)” painted on the ground, loosely describing Weiner’s idea for a sculpture (seen at right). But when you buy a Weiner you don’t acquire the lettering itself, let alone the 3-D work it implies. You buy Weiner’s immaterial idea, as a certificate that lets you write his phrase in a room, or come up with the sculpture you think it describes. “When you take ownership, you can realize it any way you want,” says Victor Gisler, the Zurich dealer showing Weiner’s balls-y piece, priced at $160,000. In late June, the Museum of Modern Art in New York put a vintage piece of his on display as part of a major acquisition of so-called immaterial art. MoMA curators are eagerly backfilling a collection that has tended toward the material.”—Collectors Who Spend Thousands on Artist’s Ideas - Newsweek
“A story: In 1994, I was accepted into a major show called “100 Years of Street Photography.” One of the jurors was Colin Westerbeck, then curator at the Chicago Art Institute. I threw a whole lot of photos in a box and took them with me to the opening. As I walked in, there was one of my photos hanging between Stieglitz and Evans. I was floating on air. There I met Mr. Westerbeck and asked him if he would take a look at my pictures. He said that while he didn’t have time for a full critique, he’d take a quick look. He flipped through them without speaking and at the end he said “There are some very good pictures here, some ordinary pictures, and some I never should have seen. You need to be a much better editor of your own work.” I was brought right back down to the ground hard, and never forgot it.”—Richard Bram: In Color! | Street Reverb Magazine (via alexjdsmith)
“I know that you’re upset and you’re going to think I’m the bad guy in this situation, but allow me to explain my position: Your art is serious work. It’s too serious for the cafe. It’s dealing with real stuff, real emotions, loss, attachment, family, death. It belongs in a real gallery, where people are in a space to contemplate these things. The art that belongs in a cafe is fluffier stuff, stuff that doesn’t make people think about the tough questions in life: pictures of telephone poles, birds sitting on the wires, tapestries of heavy metal lyrics. Whimsical stuff.”—Deemed ‘Too Serious,’ Ritual Coffee Bans Artist’s Work: SFist
“What the artists on show in this exhibition also have in common is an upgrading of the amateur at the expense of the auteur. Their hero is no longer the technician, the expert or the professional armed with their specific savoir-faire, expertise or métier and in quest of a certain quality, but much more the amateur or collector, the impassioned practitioner of a hobby. At issue here is no longer the ‘death of the author’ proclaimed by Roland Barthes in 1968, but his simulated suicide. For the appropriationist working in the totally digital age, the point is no longer to deny his status as author, but rather to play-act or feign his own death in the full knowledge that he’s not fooling anybody. Clearly, then, the issue is one not of newness, but of intensity.”—Les Rencontres d’Arles 2011
“Sorry Andy Baio, and sorry Jay Maisel for this rough legal ride. I doubt it was a pleasure for either of you, and am saddened and irritated by a legal process that leaves both parties upset, society pissed off, and the world less one fine album cover. I’d like to remind everyone that copyright doesn’t exist in a vaccum: copyright is granted to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” Any fair use issue whose decision fails to promote the progress of science or useful art is a bad fair use outcome, and I think this is a prime example. It cost both Maisel and Baio a lot of money, harmed two artists, and left the spectators dissatisfied and concerned, and angry. There’s gotta be a better way.”—Fair Use of the Week: “Kind of Bloop”
Now, we’re a species of editors. We all recycle, clip and cut, remix and upload. We can make images do anything. All we need is an eye, a brain, a camera, a phone, a laptop, a scanner, a point of view. And when we’re not editing, we’re making. We’re making more than ever, because our resources are limitless and the possiblities endless.
We have an internet full of inspiration: The profound, the beautiful, the disturbing, the ridiculous, the trivial, the vernacular and the intimate. We have next-to-nothing cameras that record the lightest light, the darkest dark. This technological potential has creative consequences. It changes our sense of what it means to make. It results in work that feels like play, work that turns old into new, elevates the banal
Work that has a past but feels absolutely present. Work that has a past but feels absolutely present. We want to give this work a new status. Things will be different from here on…
“In the time I spend talking about copyright issues, it’s always seemed that it was a certain group of photographers who get much more worked up about these things than anyone else. I very much understand why this is. In many cases, photographers are self-employed, and they’ve come to believe that copyright is their sole way of making a living (I believe they’re wrong on this, but they believe it strongly). So anything that takes away from copyright protections — including such legally enshrined issues as fair use — are seen as being serious threats. Again, I think this is somewhat short-sighted and wrong, but I understand where the feelings come from.”—If Jay Maisel’s Photograph Is Original Artwork, Then So Is The Pixelated Cover Of ‘Kind Of Bloop’ | Techdirt
"The growth of the Internet and the proliferation of sites for searching out and/or sharing images online—Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, Google Images, eBay, to name only the best-known—now mean a plethora of visual resources that was inconceivable as little as ten years ago: a phenomenon comparable to the advent of running water and gas in big cities in the nineteenth century. We all know just how thoroughly those amenities altered people’s way of life in terms of everyday comfort and hygiene—and now, right in our own homes, we have an image-tap that’s refashioning our visual habits just as radically. In the course of art history, periods when image accessibility has been boosted by technological innovation have always been rich in major visual advances: improved photomechanical printing techniques and the subsequent press boom of the 1910s-1920s, for instance, paved the way for photomontage. Similar upheavals in the art field accompanied the rise of engraving as a popular medium in the nineteenth century, the arrival of TV in the 1950s—and the coming of the Internet today."
“Kind of Bloop was one of Kickstarter’s early successes. It helped, well, kickstart that company. More importantly, it stood on its own as a work of art. It was written about in Time and Wired and numerous other places. It was experimental and daring, like Davis himself. And the album art transforms Maisel’s iconic image in much the same way that the music itself transformed Davis’ tunes. It is financially-enforced censorship that is a shameful blow to artistic expression and belies how little the court system and traditional artists appreciate or understand the digital era.”—Kind of A Dick Move
“Unfortunately, Baio’s post does nothing to dissuade me that Maisel is a joyless putz. Seeing this kind of behavior from large clueless companies is almost expected but from a a fellow creative artist? Inexcusable. Surely some reasonable arrangement could have been made without visiting enormous stress and a $30K bill onto a man with a young family. Disgusting.”—Andy Baio was sued for Kind of Bloop
If you’re borrowing inspiration from any copyrighted material, even if it seems clear to you that your use is transformational, you’re in danger. If your use is commercial and/or potentially objectionable, seek permission (though there’s no guarantee it’ll be granted) or be prepared to defend yourself in court.
Anyone can file a lawsuit and the costs of defending yourself against a claim are high, regardless of how strong your case is. Combined with vague standards, the result is a chilling effect for every independent artist hoping to build upon or reference copyrighted works.
Posting other people’s images without credit when you know who created it is not cool.
Reblogging the work of artists/photographers/writers and actively removing their credit is even worse.
The set-up of Tumblr encourages this somewhat - it’s easy to instantaneously reblog without giving much thought to where an image came from. And it seems to have led to the rise of a culture of people who just reblog things they think are cool as if to say “look how good my taste is”. Which, you know, that’s up to you, that’s fine, but consider this; each image you’re reblogging was created with love and time and hard work. The person who made it deserves to have their hand in its creation acknowledged and respected. If they’ve added some text along with the image, chances are because that is part of how they want to present the work.
I really wish Tumblr’s reblog feature wouldn’t allow the reblogger to remove any of the content, only add to it, but it doesn’t. So it’s up to you. Don’t be a jerk. Keep the credit in, keep the text in. Show a little respect to the people who create the things you like.
the watermarks on every photo on their site makes them a little difficult to treasure…
Yeah, I think they need to take a different approach to their archive and the internet. Just think how people would edit the work on blogs and such. It’d help build a whole new audience for their work.
Allegedly (for about 5 years now) they have a new website in the works so hopefully we’ll see some changes.
“So I do have this conviction that if people could somehow put themselves in the place of other people viewing their photographs in the future, their work would improve. That audience includes your heirs, your friends, your future self. I’ve been taking pictures all my life, but there are so many things, so many people, so many places, that were important to me, that I don’t have pictures of. In the future, neither you nor anybody else is going to care a whit about how saturated your reds are or how little noise you’ve got in the shadows. They, and you, are going to care what’s in the pictures—the stories behind them, what they meant to you, why they were important. I simply believe that if we were to try to second-guess posterity, it would make our work better.”—The Online Photographer: More on Image Permanence