Negotiations

Through an ongoing Negotiations project the artist has committed to changing the archive's status from a private collection to a publicly available online resource. It is here that all original recordings (transferred from magnetic tape to digital) can be heard and freely disseminated. In the age of a depleted public domain and growing tensions around intellectual property rights, the artist's ownership of historical traces and our collective responsibility towards intellectual commons are brought to bear upon one another.

Negotiations project was collaboratively developed during the artist's residency at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, NY in the fall of 2009. A group of 5 curators studying at CSS, Michelle Hyun, Laurel Ptak, Michal Jachula, Nathan Lee and Mackenzie Schneider were engaged in lengthy negotiations seeking to gain permissions enabling the release of the Women's Audio Archive recordings into the public domain. The members of the group through writing, audio, and photographs have documented the process while attempting to secure each recording under a creative commons license. Laurel Ptak has dedicated herself to documenting all aspects of the bureaucracy involved.

The responses of those approached varied, depending on their relationship to the recording itself (private or institutional) and many have agreed to the new terms of use. You can follow one example of such exchanges conducted with the Donald Judd Foundation in NY by Michal Jachula. It had taken him three months and 23 emails to achieve a conditional Yes.

The project as a whole engages with questions of production of knowledge and culture of permission in the context of intellectual property and the commons.


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