My latest Guardian column, "Warhol is turning in his grave," describes the photography ban in place at the Pop Art Portraits show at the National Portrait Gallery in London. It's an amazing show, and practically every work hung in it violates someone's copyrights, trademarks, or both (this is pop art, after all). In a stunning display of either Dadaism or irony-impairment, the gallery has hung the show with a "no photography" policy (not a "no flash photography" policy, either), and the even extend the ban to the "no photography" signs themselves, which, they claim, are copyrighted works.
Any gallery that bans reproducing Warhol on the grounds that you'll violate his copyright should be forced into an off-site, all-day irony training session.
So what's the message of the show? Is it a celebration of remix culture, revelling in the endless possibilities opened up by appropriating and reusing images without permission?
Or is it the epitaph on the tombstone of the sweet days before the UN set up the World Intellectual Property Organization and the ensuing mania for turning everything that can be sensed and recorded into someone's property?
Does this show - paid for with public money, with some works that are themselves owned by public institutions - seek to inspire us to become 21st century pop artists, armed with cameraphones, websites and mixers, or is it supposed to inform us that our chance has passed and we'd best settle for a life as information serfs who can't even make free use of what our eyes see and our ears hear?
Peter Biddle writes, “I get I myself into trouble. I don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that I find more ways to happen to bad stuff. I actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°F heat.”
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal is at it again with a smart, funny, and very relevant look at how we construct our beliefs, build our reality tunnels, and why we react so forcefully when the core assumptions of that belief system are threatened. Read the rest of it. Nice touch that there are two version, […]
I was recently interviewed about the weekly Recomendo newsletter I write with my Cool Tools colleagues, Kevin Kelly and Claudia Dawson. Here’s an excerpt: What is the goal of your newsletter? To give our readers a weekly list of 6 things we love — travel tips, books, TV shows, clothes, tools, websites, podcasts, and so on. We […]
Toaster ovens are the perfect appliance for small things like toasted sandwiches and roasted garlic (try it!), but anything more involved usually requires a full-sized conventional oven.However, despite its small size, the Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven can handle anything from baked pastries to broiled meats. This kitchen appliance has a minimal countertop footprint, and cooks […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]