Seminar: The Moral Rights of Authors in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism, London 14–15 June

by | 17 Feb 2017

True collaboration in philosophy then is a common movement toward a beloved world – whereby we relieve each other in the most advanced outpost, a movement that demands the greatest effort against the resisting element within which we are flying.


This public seminar will examine moral rights (droit moraux) in terms of the editioning, dissemination, exhibition, and archiving of bespoke works as part of an artist/author’s “life work” – privileging aspects of such singular works that are positioned at the time of their inception, or retrospectively, as forms of transmedia; i.e., works that cross disciplinary boundaries and utilize multiple mediatic platforms toward progressive and/or no discernible ends.

Attention will be focused on artists and authors, both alive and departed (especially those departed who are actually very much “alive” today), as agents of neo-Hegelian Spirit (Geist) – i.e., progenitors of an artistic or authorial repertoire of works (e.g., the ahistorical “life work,” the Romantic conception of “immortal works,” etc.) that constitutes a critique of conformity and/or utilitarianism as critical position in cultural production, against or in opposition to works that are, intentionally or otherwise, irreducibly in service to Capital.

The sessions will be conducted via multimedia presentations, with guest artists and scholars to present parallel works, on- or off-theme. Projected media and short presentations/performances of research associated with the convenor’s one-month BIH research project on the subject of moral rights as defined by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886; 1976) will occur during the two-day seminar both within the sessions and between sessions.

Legal, extra-legal, and “illegal” aspects of copyright and copyleft, moral rights, open-access and open-source works, block-chain production and distributed ledger, author-based collecting societies versus Copyright Management Organizations (CMOs), etc., plus the historical trajectory of the same, are to form the subtending chord for the overall thematic of the moral rights of authors in the age of cognitive capitalism.

Registration is essential and each day requires separate registration on the links below.

DAY ONE – Wednesday 14 June, 12:00-5:00pm

Chris Marker’s Posthumous Archive – An examination of French filmmaker and multimedia artist Chris Marker’s 2013 posthumous bequest, foremost the disposition of the contents of his studio as assimilated to the Cinémathèque Française, Paris, and whether the lion’s share of the latter should have gone to IMEC (l’Institut mémoires de l’édition contemporaine), Abbaye d’Ardenne, Saint-Germain-la-Blanche-Herbe, Normandy, for proper archiving and subsequent scholarly inquiry, versus to the Cinémathèque Française, for mediatic exploitation as cultural capital (cultural patrimony) via quasi-statist affirmation.

Free event, open to all: Booking will open shortly

DAY TWO – Thursday 15 June, 12:00-5:00pm

Transmedia and the Multiple Arts – An examination of the shift from analog production of written and visual works to forms of New Media in the 1980s and the subsequent post-digital shift to transmedia in the 2000s, plus attendant intellectual property rights issues, including aspects of editioning, disseminating, exhibiting, and archiving digital and post-digital works. An analysis of the contemporary art world as a parallel stock market, the session includes a look at the proliferation of art biennales and art fairs worldwide and the relationship of the vectorial class (those who own and control the mediatic platforms) to the artistic precariat (those who provide the “labor”/artistic product or content for the art world as parallel stock market). Pride of place will be given to the Franciscan conception of “the right to have no rights,” as detailed in Giorgio Agamben’s The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life, trans. Adam Kotsko (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013) – i.e., the right to renounce all personal rights while preventing others from appropriating such renounced rights.

Holy poverty destroys / the desire of riches / and avarice / and the cares of this world.

Francis of Assisi

Free event, open to all: Booking will open shortly

This two-day seminar is convened by Dr. Gavin Keeney, BIH Visiting Research Fellow (June 2017). Gavin is founder of Agence ‘X’, an author and artist’s re-representation bureau founded in New York, New York, USA, in 2007. He has a PhD in Architecture from Deakin University, Australia. His thesis project, “Visual Agency in Art and Architecture,” was conducted sur travaux and resulted in two multimedia exhibitions, “‘Shadow-lands’: The Suffering Image” (2012) and “‘Shadow-lands’ II: Not-I/Thou” (2014), and two books, Dossier Chris Marker: The Suffering Image (2012) and Not-I/Thou: The Other Subject of Art and Architecture (2014). More recently he conducted multimedia and performative experimental design seminars at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India, as part of a one-year teaching fellowship in the Faculty of Architecture.

Further information and booking can be found here.


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