[rumori] don joyce interview

Jon Leidecker (wobblyATdetritus.net)
Sat, 15 Apr 2000 21:46:29 -0700

nice interview mister nelson. It's good to push Don sometimes and you
probably didn't even go far enough. In many ways, 'NO copyright' is the
only logical way to respond -- copyright is usually no longer about
ownership by the artist. People respond with sympathy to the notion that
'the artist's rights MUST be respected' but the main people making that
point are usually corporate lawyers defending the intellectual property
values owned by anyone but the artist.

When earlier Neg albums displayed the copyright symbol, it seemed like a
reasonable way to announce themselves as the 'authors' of the finished
soundworks contained within. When they were on SST, the copyright symbol
appeared as a matter of course, sitting their quietly if with some irony.
Their whole 'NO copyright' agenda has evolved as a (somewhat pathologically
extreme) reaction to the Island/SST lawsuits, and it does serve as a loud
way to get people to think about the situation.

But this was all designed originally as a system that could channel money
to the actual artists involved, ideally that is what it does, so there is
understandably quite a violent reaction to their polemic when they insist
on it being demolished. And I'm not sure there's been enough written or
reasoned out quite as yet to reasonably respond to these fears... Don is
taking increasing pains to distinguish collage from simple 'piracy' but as
a solo voice he is by nature much too extreme a voice to win the trust of
many people who are waking up to the issue now.

As the press continues to churn out Negativland coverage, and as it warms
to the Controversial Subject of wronged sampling artists in general, it's
alarming just how streamlined the coverage is getting, it really is just
the same article over and over and over. The issues are too deep to fit
into a 1-3 page article to begin with, and end up revealing themselves
usually as simple promotional devices for the particular artists receiving
the coverage, which is very frustrating. Don't want the issue to calcify
before the debate has really even been joined...

With that in mind, nice article...

Also, Steev and I were talking about this the other day... his 1983 tape
'Kissing Jesus In The Dark' clearly reads (c) 1982/3 JOHN OSWALD (CAPAC).
Steev reasons that his later work and writings (starting with 85's
'Plunderphonics') essentially revoke this earlier position -- he was tellin
me Oswald prolly just wasn't THINKING and wrote that little (c) as a simple
reflex... I dunno... I suspect it was a well reasoned, provocative way of
declaring personal authorial ownership over the piece using the
Insitutional Way, and remain unconvinced he'd do differently now... huh


>Speaking of which, City Pages (local alternative weekly) just printed my
>interview with Don Joyce today (Hi Don). They edited the hell out of it, but
>I think its a pretty good interview. Also - the intro only bears a passing
>resemblance to what I sent them. Never fear, the important part, the
>interview itself, was left mostly intact. Nearly every question and answer
>appears fairly close to what was actually said. :)
>heres the link:
>I tried being the devil's advocate a little bit - Steev might remember a lot
>of the questions from the transcript I sent him of a long email debate I had
>with several coworkers recently. They were trying to challenge me to think
>critically about how I freely use copyrighted material, and though I've made
>up my mind about the subject, and felt reasonably sure what answers Don would
>have, it seemed like it would make for a good interview.
>be kind. its the first time I've ever interviewed anyone.
>Escape Mechanism
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