Monday, February 28, 2011

Homework


I think the issues of copyright are slightly more urgent than the government is willing to acknowledge. I'll admit, I'm not personally up to date with all the latest legislature- let alone legislature particular to this issue. But based on what I watched, it's kind of ridiculous. So, basically, an artist can funnel his/her creative spirit into a peice of artwork and upon finishing they are given two choices.... keep it to yourself or risk endless self-sabotage in the unforgiving cyberworld. Either way, the artist is in a lose-lose situation. The idea that someone could take your artwork, tweek it slightly, and sell it as their own (putting forth minimal- if any- creative effort) and make a substancial profit entirely at the artists expense is ridiculous. I suppose the logical side in me accepts the dog-eat-dog mentality.. I guess that's called capitalism? But the story that really bothered me was the little girl who's face was used as a deragatory ad across the world without her knowledge. That crosses multiple lines. Not only did the cell phone company exploit the creative rights to the photograph, but they undeniably exploited this young girls identity. Her face, the most identifiable part of the human anatomy, was literally covertly stolen and claimed by this company... using and manipulating her sense of identity and presenting it to the millions. That is absolutely ridiculous. Good for her, she should get as much money as she wants. It's just downright insensitive to the times and context for image hosting sites to be so careless and manipulative. It should never be legal for someone to usurp someones artwork for a profit. If I stole the shoe off your foot, changed the laces, and sold it again- would it not still be considered thievery? If I borrowed it to copy and make a shoe pile scupture purely for the enjoyment of others... that's art. Or, just take a few bucks out of the big wig budget to just pay the poor guy for his shoe!? ugh,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Sunday Adventure(s)


video

    Adventure is kind of a funny word. It comes with childhood implications of fantasy, but has snuck into my day to day life much more subtly and unannounced. This time, I suppose, it was a bit more planned than usual but I would say the things that weren't are what may truly classify it as an adventure. Firstly, I took this trip with a complete stranger. The friend who was supposed to come along bailed last minute (ce la vie) and I was stuck. So I chose to heir on the safe side and go with the "friend of a friend" instead of wandering the streets of Northeast Philly alone. Needless to say, Adventure One: making a new friend. 

   We took the subway and a bus to arrive at the bright, friendly neighborhood of 350 Erie Avenue- Home of the PSPCA. 
Adventure Two: Volunteering at an animal shelter. I went through orientation before winter break but had never volunteered officially before. In fact, being an animal person, period, is a new development. Who decides 18 years in that they have a thing for animals? Um, I guess me. I may find that it collects dust with the closet of past passions- ranking among irish dancing lessons and baking. Anyway, life has unfolded in some unfortunate ways of late and let's just say unconditional love is a fleeting thing, especially and exclusively for the two-legged animals. Humans- murder, rape, fraud, war, lies. Dogs- catch, sit, cuddle, roll-over, kisses. I think that's one point for the dogs. And yet, it's not enough. We have to bring them into our great lake of shit too.  Not cool, people.

    Upon entering the dog complex, you are practically smacked in the face with an unpleasant odor. Every single head in a long line of cages surfaces when you even approach the end of the isle. On both sides, for as long as you can see,  there are just faces staring at you with these big round eyes. Some just curl up in a corner and barely lift their heads- probably the veterans who know better than to get excited. Some jump up relentlessly. Some just sit patiently. Some are deceiving! Like the big ol' white pittie with mange (a parasite that destroys hair and skin) who, looking helpless and weak, snuck right by me and escaped when I opened the gate to give him some attention. After making a quick run and peeing in a corner, I finally got him under control.  I spent the rest of the time playing with some of the other dogs- some of whom were quite quirky. It's quite a rag tag bunch down there.

   Three hours later, I left tired and covered in hair (soon to be followed by absolutely freezing). In the end, the experience was really a bit unsettling. There's not much you really changed. That dog is still in a 5x3 ft cubicle. He still pees and poops where he sleeps and eats. He's still been abused. He still has problems. You can see the constant stress and anxiety that they all are coping with on a constant basis and it kind of made me anxious too. Maybe he lived out in the world just outside the doors. Aren't people living a bit like him out there too? Dirty. Anxious. Poor. Alone. Some may turn to violence for survival. He was really just too ill-equipped to come out unscathed (damn opposable thumbs!). But then again, does anyone?