Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Never Mind the Bollocks: Shepard Fairey's Fight for Appropriation, Fair Use, and Free Cultre (Part Two)

This is the second part of an essay written by cultural report and USC Annenberg student Evelyn McDonnell, being reprinted here with the author's permission.

Barack Obama "Hope" poster, original...Image via Wikipedia"Hope"

It was into this battleground that Fairey wandered with seemingly noble intentions. Since the mysterious and ambiguous days of the Andre stickers, Faireyʼs work had become increasingly political. Influenced by punk and Constructivism, he unabashedly referred to his work as propaganda. He made a series of posters attacking George W. Bush and the war on Iraq during the 2004 election. He also created posters for the campaign of Ralph Nader.

For the 2008 election, he decided to take a different tack.

Never Mind The Bollocks: Shepard Fairey's Fight for Appropriation, Fair Use and Free Culture (Part One)

One of the many highlights of my first semester in LA was the chance to see and meet Shepard Fairey. who I regard as one of the most significant visual artists of our times and a focal point for debates about the politics/poetics of appropriation and fair use. Fairey spoke on stage with my new colleague, Sarah Banet-Weiser.

I have been following Fairey for some time since he was an art student at the Rhode Island School of Design and "Andre the Giant has a Posse" stickers started to appear on lamp posts and underpasses around Boston. At first, I envisioned the stickers as a new kind of fan art -- since I was deeply into the World Wrestling Federation at the time -- and only gradually came to understand them as a form of culture jamming. Now, having seen and talked with the guy, I suspect they were an odd blurring between the two -- a bold experiment in tapping the power of participatory culture to spread images across the planet and relying on local contexts to shape what those images meant to participants. Pretty cool.

Connect/disconnect - thoughts on the Amman Mobile Data Innovations workshop


(Above, a representative of the Iraqi government presents a concept for a mobile-phone-based child safety reporting program)

Since a few weeks have gone by, I thought I'd post some of my thoughts about the MobileActive/UNICEF workshop on Mobile Data Innovations in Amman. Several people, including JD Godchaux of NiJeL and Robert Soden of Development Seed, not to mention Josh Levinger from here at the Center for Future Civic Media have published thoughtful articles about the workshop, but I have to admit the experience remains unsettling in my mind.

#GoogleCN News Roundup

Editor’s note: I’ve cross posted this entry on the Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw blog.

Today Google announced that they will slowly withdraw their search functionality from a censored China, or in their words:

We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.

I’ve decided to amass together a collection of the most relevant and interesting points of view and facts coming out of today’s news.

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