December 10, 2009 by Lew Rosenbaum
Diana Berek in 2 Arts & Crafts Fairs Dec. 12 and 13 2009 — see http://dianaberek.wordpress.com/ or search this blog for Diana Berek!
Mess Hall is a place for visual culture, creative urbanism, sustainable ecology, food democracy, radical politics, and cultural experimentation. We are networked with other intiatives like ours in Chicago, the U.S. and abroad.
1. Friday, December 11, 6 – 9p: “Gifted”
Twelve Chicago artists explore the concept of a gift economy in “gifted,” an exhibition of free distribution. The December 11th experience at Mess Hall in Rogers Park presents various forms of sustainable art through community-driven works, educational scenarios, patterns, and handmade objects. Artists Jerico Prater, Cori Williams and Elspeth Vance engage the community through on-site projects: Prater provides a method to communally craft wallpaper, Williams supplies context and materials for community castle-building, and Vance collects and disperses secrets. Experiential workshops by Etta Sandry and Camila Rosas invite participants to cook and eat; Sandry offers solutions for the public to preserve local food while Rosas shares her heritage through pancakes. Richard Chiang demonstrates recycled origami-folding techniques and Abbie Wilson facilitates the playful use of public spaces through the distribution of “guerilla swings”. Christina McClelland, Bridges Black and Felisa Prieto present patterns: McClelland through commuting schedules, Black in the form handmade emergency ponchos, and Prieto through assembled fabric scraps. Melissa Leandro engages participants by sharing accessories that comment on social trends, and Josie Gluck offers agricultural beads for temporary adornment and future growth. United by their common goal to distribute sustainable art, these twelve artists come together for one night at Mess Hall. Come to participate, leave “gifted.”
2. Saturday, December 12, 6-9p: Celebrate! Celebrate? The Politics and Tactics of Visualizing a People’s History
Curated by Aay Preston-Myint and Nicolas Lampert
“Celebrate! Celebrate?” features four different poster series that visualize various people’s history and invites the viewer to contemplate the politics and the tactics of graphically celebrating people and events from the past. Significantly, how do these images operate? Do the images affirm our struggles, inspire, teach, and critique? Do they simplify history and rob struggles of their complexities? Do they accomplish both? The show invites these questions, varied opinions, historical context, and more.
“Summoning A New Queer Reality” is a collection of prints featuring queer revolutionaries, tricksters, activists, and troublemakers from the contemporary era and the recent past, all of whom have helped make the world a weirder, more beautiful, and safer place. The series was conceptualized and edited by the organizers of Chances Dances, an LGBTQ DJ crew, artist/activist platform, and microgrant foundation, and was drawn and printed by Aay Preston-Myint at the No Coast Collective studio in Chicago, IL.
“Celebrate People’s History” is an on-going poster series curated by the Brooklyn-based artist/activist Josh MacPhee. The Celebrate People’s History poster project began in 1998 and has produced over 50 two-color posters by different artists that each highlights an historical example of popular struggle and resistance. The posters have been put up in the streets around the world, appeared as postcards, and have been displayed in homes and classrooms as a teaching tool. The series is distributed by the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative.
“Whacked Ladies: Female Victims of Political Assassination” is a print series by Milwaukee-based artist Makeal Flammini. The 21 woodcuts and papercuts focus on women from around the world who have been assassinated or murdered for various political, social, and religious reasons.
“Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas” are images from an upcoming 2010 book on Microcosm Press by the Justseeds Artist’s Cooperative. The book is aimed at a high school audience and features black-and-white illustrations and short text celebrating various individuals from the Americas who worked for social justice.
6932 North Glenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
[Screen print artist and photographer Chris Drew has become one of the best known artists in the streets of Chicago. His skillful prints, made often with recycled materials, printed on equipment he can carry in his knapsack, covers the gamut of subject material, from urban landscape to critique of the war in (insert country here). Based in the Uptown Multi-Cultural Art Center, Chris has been carrying out his mission in this city passionately for a quarter of a century. The mission has over the years included providing screen printing workshops, promoting the concept of making wearable (and inexpensive) art (and that everyone is an artist), and an international competition for anti-racist screen print art. Sue Ying Peery first introduced me to Chris Drew when I arrived in Chicago in 1997. She paid him her highest compliment, explaining to me that he was a "low to the ground" artist -- had his fingers on the pulse of the most destitute of our city, was part and parcel of the movement of the poor. He was the embodiment of those who, not out of moral condescension but out of sheer necessity, fought for their rights and the rights of all. Today Chris continues that tradition and that is one reason I consider this battle so important. Please visit his blog to see more of his writing ---Lew]
How many Chicago police does it take to arrest an artist? Watch this video to find out. Here’s the link to the YouTube video by Nancy Bechtol showing what happened. You judge if a felony was committed.
What happens when you fight for freedom in Chicago? The entire corrupt system exposes itself, from the bottom to the top. The felony charge leveled against me came from the top down. A corrupt judge had to sign on to papers knowing the law was being misapplied. The Cook County Attorney’s Office has to attempt to prosecute this knowing that they are misapplying a law. The Chicago Police Department’s public relations division had to prepare a bogus press release for the SunTimes.
Please write a comment. I am taking comments by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and all comments will be part of a future art exhibit with the Art Patch Project designs.
Please care enough to comment. Take a moment to help me? I need you to show that you know it is not a felony to tape record your own arrest. Preserve your right to tape the police in public. Don’t let these people threaten to send me to jail for 4-15 years on a class one felony without even commenting. This is the least you can do. Then tell a friend to comment, too. Show them you value our freedom.
Today in court, strangely, the court is pressing full steam ahead with the prosecution of me for the felony recording of an officer during my own arrest but they dropped the two charges they originally arrested me for regarding selling art in the Loop! Please help me understand how this works…?
I apologize to Rosemary Sobol of the Suntimes. I broke a basic rule and flipped on the messenger. I don’t even know how much freedom she had to edit or investigate the wire article she posted. The police controlled that discourse. They put the info on the wire. Of course she couldn’t interview me – they had me so far buried in the system that even my wife couldn’t even talk to me. Ha-ah…. sorry. I laugh looking back. I hope others can, too. I apologize Rosemary Sobol. I was wrong!
The law I quoted was changed to broaden it in 1994. I may be the first, or one of the first, to be prosecuted in this manner under this changed law. I will seek that information, if not for legal purposes then for creative. This is and remains a free speech case of interest to the world, in my humble opinion.
I apologize to Rosemary again and thank her for pulling the item off the wire and placing it in a prominent location. I went down to the Loop with the best of intentions in mind – you know – do your civic duty – fight the laws that are wrong within the court system, as we are taught. The separation of powers, the legislature legislates and the courts determine the interpretation of the constitution and by testing the law we can make change …. but the police, and the system, and the top down interests that must be involved have shaken my faith.
However, to the world, an artist selling $1 art items becoming a felon for trying to protect himself from police brutality looks just like what it is. A railroad job. The world must wonder, “Where does Obama come from? What is this ridiculous charge?” The idea really is laughable on the world stage.
It’s no laughing matter in Cook County. Illinois could very possibly make a felon out of me. Wakeup. Freedom is not free. I am not free to protect myself from abuse by the police in Chicago without risking becoming a felon. But this fight this is something I will never apologize for. It is to help you protect yourself some day from abusive police. Or do you think we do not have that problem in Chicago?
Please give my apology to Ms. Sobol. Thank you for giving us a forum.
Please use this forum to express how you feel about this railroad job if you haven’t already. I am taking comments by e-mail at email@example.com.The comments from this forum will be a part of a future art exhibit with the work from the Art Patch Project someday.
Sincerely – C Drew
[From time to time the Rock & Rap Confidential asks this provocative question -- not to tell us we don't need music, but to provoke us into thinking about why an industry is necessary; or perhaps more significantly, why a capitalist, corporate, for profit industry should be given license to suck the life-blood out of our culture. But hell, that's the same question we ask about health care and education -- Lew]
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 2009 18:47:38 EST
Geist: Record industry faces liability over `infringement’
By <http://www.thestar.com/business/columnists/94542–geist-michael>Michael Geist Internet Law Columnist
Published On Mon Dec 7 2009
Chet Baker was a leading jazz musician in the 1950s, playing trumpet and providing vocals. Baker died in 1988, yet he is about to add a new claim to fame as the lead plaintiff in possibly the largest copyright infringement case in Canadian history. His estate, which still owns the copyright in more than 50 of his works, is part of a massive class-action lawsuit that has been underway for the past year.
The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $60 billion. If the dollars don’t shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.
The CRIA members were hit with the lawsuit in October 2008 after artists decided to turn to the courts following decades of frustration with the rampant infringement (I am adviser to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, which is co-counsel, but have had no involvement in the case).
The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as “exploit now, pay later if at all.” It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences.
Instead, the names of the songs on the CDs are placed on a “pending list,” which signifies that approval and payment is pending. The pending list dates back to the late 1980s, when Canada changed its copyright law by replacing a compulsory licence with the need for specific authorization for each use. It is perhaps better characterized as a copyright infringement admission list, however, since for each use of the work, the record label openly admits that it has not obtained copyright permission and not paid any royalty or fee.
Over the years, the size of the pending list has grown dramatically, now containing more than 300,000 songs.
From Beyonce to Bruce Springsteen, the artists waiting for payment are far from obscure, as thousands of Canadian and foreign artists have seen their copyrights used without permission and payment.
It is difficult to understand why the industry has been so reluctant to pay its bills. Some works may be in the public domain or belong to a copyright owner difficult to ascertain or locate, yet the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Bruce Cockburn, Sloan, or the Watchmen are not hidden from view.
The more likely reason is that the record labels have had little motivation to pay up. As the balance has grown, David Basskin, the president and CEO of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd., notes in his affidavit that “the record labels have devoted insufficient resources for identifying and paying the owners of musical works on the pending lists.” The CRIA members now face the prospect of far greater liability.
The class action seeks the option of statutory damages for each infringement. At $20,000 per infringement, potential liability exceeds $60 billion.
These numbers may sound outrageous, yet they are based on the same rules that led the recording industry to claim a single file sharer is liable for millions in damages.
After years of claiming Canadian consumers disrespect copyright, the irony of having the recording industry face a massive lawsuit will not be lost on anyone, least of all the artists still waiting to be paid. Indeed, they are also seeking punitive damages, arguing “the conduct of the defendant record companies is aggravated by their strict and unremitting approach to the enforcement of their copyright interests against consumers.”
Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. He can reached at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com or at michaelgeist.ca
[Sound is said to be superb. The CD can only be purchased on the Greenpeace website with full proceeds going to the organization. I'd get it for the Phil Ochs alone . . . Lew]
Liz Campanile Public Relations Greenpeace news alert
Greenpeace Canada is set to release an exclusive two-disc, re-mastered live recording Amchitka, the 1970 concert that launched Greenpeace, featuring Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and the late Phil Ochs. The concert, a fundraiser to protest U.S. nuclear bomb tests near Amchitka, Alaska is available exclusively through Greenpeace and all proceeds will benefit the organization. “We are pleased to offer this musical slice of history to Greenpeace
supporters and music lovers around the world,” said Bruce Cox, Greenpeace Canada’s executive director. “This CD is a piece of musical magic. It contains never before heard songs, duets and chatter that capture the confidence and hope of the times. It carries a timeless message that change is possible.” The concert, which took place at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia on 16 October 1970, was organized by former trial lawyer and activist Irving Stowe. As co-director of the Don’t Make A Wave Committee, he raised enough money to send 11 peace activists by boat, christened The Greenpeace, to the Aleutian Island of Amchitka. The activists were unsuccessful in stopping the tests, but their voyage in 1971 marks the birth of the worldwide organization known today as Greenpeace. “The Amchitka voyage would not have happened without the concert, and so we owe a debt of gratitude to Irving Stowe, and the talents of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs for generating the momentum that ultimately launched Greenpeace,” continued Cox. “The activists that traveled to Amchitka set the example that has guided and defined Greenpeace: non-violent direct action to protect our environment and motivate societal change.” The upcoming release features concert performances by then-rising Canadian star Joni Mitchell and a 22-year old James Taylor. Protest singer, Phil Ochs kicks off the CD. Earlier that year Mitchell had been named Top Female Performer of 1970 by Melody Maker magazine and Taylor had released his major breakthrough album Sweet Baby James. Of the historic concert, Amchitka emcee and Canadian broadcaster, Terry David Mulligan says, “The crew of ‘The Greenpeace’ took hold of our hearts and minds and pulled all of us along. As always, music carried the day.” Greenpeace is an independently funded organization that works to protect the environment. The organization challenges government and industry to halt harmful practices by negotiating solutions, conducting scientific research, introducing clean alternatives, carrying out peaceful acts of civil disobedience and educating and engaging the public. For more information on Greenpeace visit http://www.greenpeace.org.
For more information on the Amchitka release and press materials please contact Liz Campanile 908. 301.1946, firstname.lastname@example.org or Spencer Tripp, Communications Director, Greenpeace Canada 416. 605. 8408 email@example.com 334 N. Chestnut Street*Westfield, NJ 07090* 908. 301. 1946