Last night, I went to CCA to hear a talk by Paul D. Miller, a/k/a DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid. It was part of a lecture series intended for MFA students, so the art-historical and art-theoretical references were running at a pretty high level, to my delight. Miller spoke about “Rhythm Science,” riffing on the ways technologcal tools have allowed the “unpacking” of music and movement over the past hundred or so years. (I hadn’t realized that “deconstruction” had become a passe term, but it must be; several times, Spooky was obviously talking about deconstruction in the Derridean sense, but talked around the term.)
One notable aspect of the talk was the near-total absence of discussion of copyright law. Miller’s artistic practice, while implicating copyright law at every turn, is particularly unlikely to draw lawsuits because his copying is so transformative that the elements of the original are not recognizable. He’s certainly savvy about the law, and his answer to a question about Creative Commons was thorough and smart, but it seems the law just doesn’t enter into the artistic decisions he makes.
That’s the way it should be.
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