Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Understanding Fair Use

Luke sent me a very informative link from Boing Boing yesterday. If you’re not in the habit of making video, you can skip this post.

I won’t pretend that Fair Use is riveting. But it’s something you need to understand if you want to sample material that isn’t your own.

This piece is available in full here and the Centre for Social Media has a lot more to help you get your head around Creative Commons law and Fair Use.

Why does any of this concern me? Well, it affects my VJing work, for one. I’ve not yet met a VJ who doesn’t use a single sample in their set. Neither have I met a VJ who’s entirely comfortable about their legal footing in doing so.

But a VJ should aspire to sample less and less as they develop. There’s a lot of insight in the book and DVD by D-Fuse and Michael Faulkner on this subject.

And whatever you’re doing, whether it’s original or sampled, it should be transformative. That’s the whole point.

I think reading up on Fair Use is an effective way to quality control your work and ensure you stand out from the YouTube mash-ups. I’d recommend it.

Painting with Light

A lovely photoblog post over at Fubiz triggered this spot of digging.

Ryan Cashman shot his light-paint piano player in San Diego. High five to Ryan!

This was a live performance by AntiVJ Lab in Bridwell Prison, Bristol, earlier this year.

And the best I’ve found so far are Japanese crew PIKAPIKA. Unfortunately, all their most high-res work is on Revver and I’ve not cracked the embedding yet.

If you’ve got time, you should really check it out here.

Scunthorpe Revisited – On Steroids

The Scunthorpe Problem. Ring any bells?

Back in 1996, residents of Scunthorpe, Penistone and Lightwater were left in the dark by AOL when their town names were blocked by obscenity filters. Apparently Google did the same.

Thanks to the galloping speed of progress, we have an enhanced version of the Scunthorpe Problem. And here it comes courtesy of the right-wing press.

America’s OneNewsNow site has been autoreplacing the word “gay” with the word “homosexual”, rechristening Tyson Gay as the Fastest Homosexual on Earth.

Putting to one side the agenda of OneNewsNow, this raises a much broader question. The word vs. the image. While PCism continues to butcher the word, our visual filters are dropping and dropping. Aren’t they…?

Two counterpoints to conclude on here: a recently banned Heinz commercial, and the words of Paul Virilio. See what you think – which is harder? The word, or the image?

…in a rapidly globalizing world there is no longer, strictly speaking, either Right or Left, and … since the fall of the Berlin Wall, these things no longer have any meaning. All that remains is the great audiovisual dilemma, the conflict between the soft (the word) and the hard (the image).

Paul Virilio, The Information Bomb