Friday, September 7, 2012

"Is Art Off Limits?"

No one can truly stifle art, but I do think that creativity is being hindered in today's world. In the past, creativity was greatly encouraged, but nowadays the arts struggle to gain support in some places in the world. However, where it is allowed to flourish, creativity is able to expand in ways beyond our wildest dreams and much of this is made possible through the free sharing of media.  I don’t see this form of sharing as stealing either.  It seems to me as though artists have merely complained about their work being “stolen” for the cash benefits they receive.  In RiP! A Remix Manifesto, Girl Talk made a very clear point when he said that it has become more about the money than the simple enjoyment of making music/art.  Wealth is no longer “in the products of the mind” but in the hands of the copyrighters.  These laws have been entirely manipulated for profit, and it is in turn hindering our ability to create and discover as artists.  

Now, I can understand groups such as the Balanchine Trust, which preserves and upholds the choreography put forth by George Balanchine in the twentieth century.  In order to perform and/or film Balanchine choreography, one must first gain permission from the Trust.  This, to me, seems reasonable, given the fact that his work is being preserved and not withheld.  Unlike the restrictions of copyright laws, the protection of Balanchine’s work still serves as an outlet for inspiration and creativity.  People can freely see and experience his works and create new movements based on his creations, but there will never be an exact replica.

With so many advances in technology, the amount of software sharing has skyrocketed.  Though some may see this as alarming, I see it as no surprise.  For ages, people have found ways of creating “labor saving devices.”  We are a progressive human race that is always striving for efficiency, and the sharing of media simply enhances that ability.  After reading through Jonathan Lethum’s article and watching RiP!, I have come to believe that rather than slowing down this growing process, we should embrace this new “copyleft” culture that has come up and charge full speed into the next era of artistic creativity.

For this week's project, I chose to “remediate” a dance on fluidity.  A girl had filmed this dance, and I chose to take her concept and translate it into a still photo.  Working with her original composition rather than something I had created on my own was different but still fun to do.  It gave me the opportunity to expound upon her original idea and recreate it into my own piece of art, while still portraying fluidity.

I wasn’t quite sure how to go about capturing a video in a single still shot at first.  I began to list things that could be considered “fluid.”  The list in my head started to grow from expected things such as water to more uncommon sights such as fabric.  While I thought about these options, I decided to take my camera and walk around campus.  It turns out the Franklin Institute wasn’t joking when they said that walking can “clear your head” and help you think better.  As I walked around, I found the images I needed to portray my version of fluidity.  The first was a giant leaf outside the commons.  The curves of the leaf mimicked the way a waterfall might flow over a ledge, and the veins within the leaf simply added to this similarity.  After snapping a few shots of the plant, I kept walking around to see if I found anything else that might parallel the girl’s dance.  I found a small shallow stream where I found a more “cliche” picture of fluidity.  This stream fit the girl’s concept almost more closely than the leaf.  She had talked about feeling as though she was underwater when she danced, and this snapshot was almost a perfect visual of how it might be to move underwater.  After finding the pictures I needed, I debated molding them into a collage, but after thorough contemplation, I decided they were powerful enough on their own.

Overall, I think this week's assignment was a success, and I learned a lot more than I expected to.  I hadn’t realized that the battle with copyright was such an intense one, but after reading through the conceptual material and learning other people’s viewpoints on the issue, I am ready to discover even more in the weeks to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment