"Giving What You Don´t Have" is a project by Cornelia Sollfrank that has started on the premises of the Post-Media Lab. Initially it has has been assisted collaboratively by the PML but soon outgrew the confines of the lab to take on a critical life on its own.
Find the final iteration of the GWYDH-project here >>
» Giving What You Don’t Have is an ongoing artistic research project exploring the relationship between art and the commons. Focus and methodology have been shifting in the course of the project according to new insights and evolving requirements. The idea for GWYDH has grown out of my PhD research, in which I explored artistic practices which are based on the reworking of existing material and thus generate conflicts with copyright. During this research, I realised how limited the discourse on appropriation is and shifted the question from what artists can TAKE, to the question of what artists can GIVE, in the sense of what they can contribute to the free circulation of art and culture. [...]«
On the basis of filmed interviews Cornelia Sollfrank explores the frontiers of peer-to-peer production and distribution. Artistic research project commissioned by the Post-Media Lab, Leuphana University.
Artists and creative producers play a central role in the discourses on copyright and intellectual property; at the same time, artists’ voices are rarely heard. Usually, it is representatives of collecting societies or media corporations and other legal experts who claim the authority to speak on their behalf – in order to argue for stricter copyright laws.
GWYDH aims to counterbalance this misrepresentation of contemporary artistic and cultural production. Using the interview format, the project collects and presents statements from artists whose practice reflects complex copyright-critical attitudes. However, the artists included in the project no longer work on the assumption of artists’ privileged status, but rather consider themselves to be part of social movements for open access and free culture – unlike appropriation artists, for example, who have claimed, and still do, to be “superusers” deserving special rights and copyright exceptions for their appropriative practice.
The artistic practices introduced in GWYDH involve the development of forms of authorship and work concepts that are able to elude the dictatorship of private property in the realm of culture and clear the space between life and art to become a habitat for all.