[rumori] consume ground zero!

From: Jon Leidecker (wobblyATdetritus.net)
Date: Fri Aug 25 2000 - 20:02:15 PDT

forgive the cross-post if you're also on plunderphonic, but these liner
notes are just inspiring. Many of you have probably already read them but
as I'm finally listening to the 'consume' trilogy in it's entirety this
week I'm all on fire with the text at the moment and wanted to share.

Consume Ground Zero!

by Yoshihide Otomo

It's easy and maybe even cool to say "to hell with copyright." But of
course, things aren't really that simple. What exactly is the difference
between someone using your
performance on their own CD without your permission and making a load of
money, and GROUND ZERO sampling a revolution-era Pekinese opera to make a CD
that DOESN'T make money? It burns me that a Japanese television network
rotting in money can use my music without my knowing it, and I still don't
get a cent out of
it. But as long as a TV network is paying JASRAC (the one and only
copyright organization in Japan) I'm told it's not illegal. So am I allowed
to sample that TV channel
without paying a cent, and make a CD from it? And then, what happens when
that CD is sampled yet again by Stock, Hausen and Walkman?

The two main reasons for the existence of copyright are this. When a work
is created by someone, there is ownership in that work. And, if such
ownership exists, there
is the question of how to justifiably turn that into money. My problem is
about the fact that not all forms of creativity can be accredited to a
single entity. And if I'm
correct, what about copyright?

In the general flow of things, which do not consist of mere solitary
products bobbing along but of things sampled and re-sampled, how can
anybody say for sure who
created what? The first question needs to be directed to the idea that an
artistic work is born from a single entity's creativity. And so forth and
so on. So rather than to go
on talking about it, the idea is to go ahead and do it.

So it comes to this. GROUND ZERO samples the musical performance of a
Korean national treasure, Kim Suk Chul. Any artistic purist should fly into
a rage right
there. His superhuman playing is without question a product of his own
creativity, but it could also be that he is in fact a vessel for the voices
of gods or ancestors. So
GROUND ZERO takes and samples this brilliant music sacred enough to blow
away any puny ideas about copyright. Then we will have this remixed by a
number of
unique sampling artists and place the two versions on a "chopping board" of
consumption and sampling. Call it public sampling if you will. It's up to
you how you cook
with it. Mke it techno or enka or anything you like. What we want to see is
not style or perfection but something beyond that (that is, if there is
such a thing). The
jumble of criticisms and questions that may emerge should outbalance
today's definition of copyright together with its messy problems and
questions of creativity. Go
ahead and butcher this with your own hands. We can talk later.

Written in November 1996

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