July 18, 2008 - Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) - Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System
July 18, 2008

Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System

Negativland and Tim Maloney (US)
Gimme the Mermaid, Video, 2002

Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System
Art in the Age of Intellectual Property
19 July – 19 October, 2008

PHOENIX Halle Dortmund, Germany


‘You can’t use it without my permission … I’m gonna sue your ass!’ shouts Disney’s Little Mermaid with the angry voice of a copyright lawyer in the video Gimme the Mermaid (4:49 min., 2000).

The video by Negativland and Tim Maloney is one of twenty eight works included in ‘Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System: Art in the Age of Intellectual Property’, an exhibition presented by Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV). It is part of Work 2.0 – Copyright and Creative Work in the Digital Age. In the framework of Work 2.0, HMKV – together with the Berlin-based collaborative partner iRights.info/mikro e.V. – explores the relationships between creative work, intellectual property law, and technology. www.iRights.info

How does the changing notion of (creative) work relate to ‚intellectual property’? Today we live in a post-industrial society where the goods being produced are no longer material (like steel, coal, etc.), but immaterial. The Ruhr Area, with its vast deindustrialised landscape, paradigmatically stands for this transition from the Industrial Age to the information or knowledge society. However, there is a significant difference: Immaterial goods such as knowledge and information can be reproduced without loss. Therefore, in order to function in a value-added chain, the distribution of these immaterial goods has to be restricted. This is effectuated with the aid of intellectual property (IP) law, namely copyrighting, patenting, and trademarking.

David Rice’s perfidious short story ‘Anna Kournikova Deleted By Memeright Trusted System’ – from which curators Inke Arns and Francis Hunger have borrowed the exhibition title – deals with the concept of intellectual property: In 2067 stars – such as ex-tennis player Anna Kournikova – have their ‘brand’ protected by a satellite-based system that identifies unlicensed look-alikes and eliminates them via a strong laser beam. During a trip to the Pacific Rim, not officially cleared, the ‘real’ Anna Kournikova is identified as an imitation of herself and is consequently eliminated by the system.

The exhibition in the PHOENIX Halle, measuring 2,200 square metres and located on the grounds of the former steelworks Phoenix-West, puts forward the thesis that the increasingly strict application of intellectual property law hampers the development of culture as a whole. It proves increasingly difficult to impart this culture by employing images, logos, or soundbites of this very culture.

The artists represented in this exhibition explore the question of art in the age of mechanical reproduction positioning itself differently in a post-Fordist era permeated with digital networks than in Fordist, analogue times to which Walter Benjamin has referred. Artistic techniques like cut-up, sampling, détournement, appropriation, copying, remixing, plagiarism, and repetition are employed.

Participating artists:
Daniel Garcia Andújar (ES)
Walter Benjamin (US)
Christian von Borries (DE)
Christophe Bruno (FR)
Claire Chanel & Scary Sherman (US)
Lloyd Dunn (US/CZ)
Ramon & Pedro (CH)
Fred Froehlich (DE)
Nate Harrison (US)
John Heartfield (DE)
Michael Iber (DE)
Laibach/Novi kolektivizem (SI)
Kembrew McLeod (US)
Sebastian Luetgert (DE)
Monochrom (AT)
Negativland and Tim Maloney (US)
Der Plan (DE)
David Rice (US)
Ines Schaber (DE)
Alexei Shulgin & Aristarkh Chernyshev (Electroboutique) (RU)
Cornelia Sollfrank (DE)
Stay Free (US)
Jason Torchinsky (US)
Lizvlx & Hans Bernhard (UBERMORGEN.COM)
& Alessandro Ludovico
& Paolo Cirio (CH/AT/IT)

Curated by:
Inke Arns
Francis Hunger

A comprehensive bilingual catalogue (German/English)
will be published in early September 2008.

Hartware MedienKunstVerein
PHOENIX Halle Dortmund
19 July – 19 October, 2008
Thu + Fri 11-22
Sat + Sun 11-20

How to get there / map:


Work 2.0 — Copyright and Creative Work in the Digital Age
is a project by

Hartware MedienKunstVerein, Dortmund
iRights.info, Berlin

Supported by:
mikro e.V., Berlin
AG Informatik in Bildung und Gesellschaft, Institut fuer Informatik der Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin

Funded by:
Kunststiftung NRW
Der Ministerpraesident des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen
Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung
Kulturbuero Stadt Dortmund
NRW Kultursekretariat Wuppertal
Kulturwerk der VG-BILD-KUNST GmbH, Bonn

Media partner:

In cooperation with:
RUHR.2010 Kulturhauptstadt Europas

Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV)
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