[rumori] RE: fair use and art vs. advertising

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 21:37:59 PST

well said, but the point we're after here is should we (artists, anyone) be
able to refuse to be in someone else's advertising, but not allowed to
refuse to be in someone else's art. If we think we should, and I think we
should, we require this distinction. The line between art and ad is not
personal, arbitrary, or fluid. One use of art is an end in itself, the
other is not. As long as its content is an expression uncontroled by the
format provider, it is art, whether it is in a museum or on a billboard,
and I would prefer free appropriation for both. When the art is put in the
service of something NOT included in the art itself, the product using it,
controling it, scripting it, or modifying it for the purposes of this
it's advertising. This distinction can keep reluctant art out of
advertising, and our perceptions of possible ulterior motives behind all
the art we see in ads clear.

The impact ad appropriation has on former stand-alone art is not ignorable.
Ads can ruin a formally great song for you. Guilt by association runs
rampant. The art used becomes suspect of insincerity. It DOES make a
difference who is paying for this art to be in front of you and, more
importantly, why. When I see art in ads, I want to be assured that it's
attachment to this extraneous thing outside itself was paid for and the art
gave its permission to be there. Beyond that, they can be just as original
and creative as they can be with that willing material.

You are right, this IS the old-world view of copyright control, but I am
applying it's limited good sense to a limited variety of usages called
advertising, where I think they should still apply, but I would remove any
such constraints against free appropriation in the creation of all new art
other than advertising. Thus, in my mind, a distinction between what is art
and what is advertising (regardless of how much or little ART either may
employ within them) is necessary.


>I'm a fan of your work, and usually very close to your point of view in
>the various arguments we've seen fly across PHO. I'm a creative
>professional, a critical studies grad from CalArts, I've released
>several records on indie labels years ago, and I've had artworks
>exhibited in museums from MoCA to Cologne. I'm very sensitive to the
>subtleties that exist in the relationship between the creative process
>and the patron, and I've personally experienced pretty much the full
>gamut (from fine artist to punk rocker to graphic designer to agency
>consultant and back again. Lather, rinse, repeat).
>While I feel that you're usually a very perceptive and forward-thinking
>guy, I think your comments below can be interpreted as distinctly
>old-school and conservative.
>The boundary between what is advertising and what is art is personal,
>arbitrary and fluid. This borderline is under constant assault by both
>sides and that's good --- it makes for "better" advertising (more
>entertaining, more thought-provoking, more challenging) and
>dissemination of "art" experiences outside the proscribed places where
>art is supposed to happen. I think you're terribly mistaken when you
>suggest that defining this borderline would be "the easiest of all legal
>distinctions to maintain." Is it art because it's in a museum and
>advertising because it's on a billboard? We've seen the artist-as-brand
>as a creative strategy from the early days of the last century ---
>finally blown up and made XXL by Warhol and his kids like Jeff Koons.
>Many artists sustain a comforting moral fiction that there's good money
>and bad money. It assuages guilt to believe that money from an
>enlightened patron or politically correct institution is somehow less
>dirty than money from a big bad corporation. Of course in many instances
>the corporation is only one step removed in this transaction --- the
>institution that can afford to fund the artist is likely flush with
>government funds or tax-deductible corporate endowments.
>Money really only comes from one place: people that already have it. The
>artist's obligation is to commit themselves to the *uncompromising*
>development of their art, not parsing the business status of their
>Collage and appropriation is creative action and creative thought. The
>test should be whether a work is sufficiently original and creative to
>be called the artist's own, not how a work is being used or where the
>money for it is coming from.
>Best, Tom Dolan
>FYI factiod: The Verve earned NOTHING for plays and licensing of their
>hit (and noted Nike commercial) "Bitter Sweet Symphony"? The song, which
>was a original arrangement and featured original lyrics, music, and
>vocals, was built on a brief sample from an orchestral recording of the
>Rolling Stones "The Last Time" --- of course the final Verve track
>sounds nothing like the Stones composition. [hear it at
>-4642357] Guess who got all proceeds generated by "Symphony"?
>> Don Joyce wrote:
>> Everyone leaps to the commercial's heavy use of collage and how
>> fair use would be there - Correct! - I ALWAYS STIPULATE THIS EXCEPTION
>> pay and get permission for everything of others they use because they
>> aren't making art, they are making ads. That would be the easiest of
>> legal distinctions to maintain under fair use for collage. No
>> need apply.

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