Face Making

Le blog de l’artiste peintre franco-américaine Gwenn Seemel. Les articles sont en anglais et en français, et souvent ils sont bilingues.

Why I make art / Pourquoi je crée l’art

2011 . 08 . 22 - Comments / Commentaires (3)

I have just one reason for making art, and that reason isn’t money or credit.

Je n’ai qu’une raison pour créer l’art, et ce n’est ni l’argent ni la reconnaissance.

Why do you make art?

Pourquoi est-ce que vous créez l’art?

- For art or for money? / Pour l’art ou pour l’argent?
- “An artist’s job is to tell the truth.”
- The definition of art

- Culture imitates. / La culture imite.
- Gagner sa vie avec son art
- Imitate this. / Imitez ceci.

CATÉGORIES: - English - Français - Practice - Uncopyright - Video -

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(3) Comments / Commentaires: Why I make art / Pourquoi je crée l’art

-- Leonard Kirke -- 2014 . 02 . 08 --

Gwenn, I loved this as always. Though I would like to point out that, technically, copyright wasn’t created as an incentive for artists (though that bit of marketing is what has kept support for it going through the last few centuries). I’m sure you’ve probably read about things like the Statute of Anne, The Licensing Act of 1662, etc. in which copyright was primarily established as a form of government control, censorship, and publishing monopoly. I think it’s worth noting this difference, because the idea of copyright as inherently designed for the protection/benefit of artists is a pretty pervasive myth.

That aside, I loved this video, as I love all your videos and writings (and did I mention your paintings?!). I can’t believe I’ve never actually commented on here until now! Keep up the fantastic work, my friend.

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-- Gwenn -- 2014 . 02 . 09 --

You’re right: I shouldn’t have said “invented.”  That said, as I understand it, the decision to include copyright in US law was made with the idea of incentivizing creativity.  There was some question surrounding copyright because the founding fathers had been having such a gay old time (and had been making so much money) violating British copyright law.  Of course I say all of that, and I’m not sure where I read most of it!  Maybe in Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture?

Thank you for all your kind words and for your most excellent point!

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-- Leonard Kirke -- 2014 . 02 . 09 --

That’s true, too. I think copyright’s adoption into U.S. law (correct me if I’m wrong…I can’t think of my exact sources off the top of my head either, haha) was a result of the founding fathers basically buying into the marketing of copyright as pro-artist, not pro-publisher. They just didn’t see how art could work within capitalism any other way, even as they saw the harm the monopoly caused. I recall reading somewhere that Jefferson referred to copyright as a “necessary evil,” and I got the impression that overall he, at least, saw the very real harm it causes to a culture. Though a pro-copyright person would probably call me out as speaking from bias here, and I’m not one to speculate too much on the intentions of historical figures, I get the feeling that Jefferson probably would’ve been moved by the Free Culture argument had he known of it.

I recently read a bit on Wikipedia about Victor Hugo, who was influential in the Berne Convention/the establishment of international copyright law. What surprised me is that even he had quite a bit to say about the harm of copyright; he just seemed to think, like Jefferson, that it was a “necessary evil.” In both of these cases, too, copyright didn’t last a bajillion years, either. I’m sure that both of them wouldn’t approve of the lengths to which copyright has been extended today.

Embarassing Fact: I’ve never actually read all of “Free Culture” by Lessig yet. I need to get on that!

Thanks again and keep up the great work, Gwenn!

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