By Ogova Ondego
Published July 15, 2016
Exactly seven days ago, ArtMatters.Info received a Press Release from Germany on the subject, “The Arts in Crisis over Copyright?”.
Though the statement, announcing the launch of a fair, conference and network hub called THE ARTS+ at the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 19-23, 2016) set me thinking about ‘copyright’ and how it facilitates or hinders creativity, I did not process it immediately. After all October is three months away.
But can the issue wait any longer when we see news publishers assaulting the eyes of consumers with their ‘AEIOU’, ‘ABC’ and ‘123’ names across their photographs and videos? Like British singer Adele scolding a fan for filming her during her performance as she did in the Italian city of love, Verona, on May 29, 2016? We in the media and information field only know too well that we may be stopped at any time, without notice, from taking still photographs and videos at some public events. Mostly over copyright.
So THE ARTS+, a five-day fair and one-day conference that is touted as being the ‘first international marketplace for the business of Creativity’, shall be launched at the world’s largest book fair in the German town of Frankfurt in October.
Held on the theme, ‘The 4th Industrial Revolution’, the inaugural event is expected to focus on new business potential for the creative and cultural industries fueled by the latest digital technologies, including 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Among the speakers lined up are what THE ARTS+ describes as “international artists, architects, museum curators and directors, copyright specialists, IP lawyers, industry experts and pioneers from tech start-ups and certification providers.
According to the Press Release sent out on July 8, THE ARTS+–a partnership between media entrepreneur Christiane zu Salmand the Frankfurt Book Fair–shall focus on the benefits of digital technologies for art and culture and discuss intellectual property issues.
As already alluded to above, ‘copyright’ is disrupting the way we create and consume music, print and film in this our digital age.
Among issues to be tackled will be whether art ownership will become a phenomenon of the sharing economy, the role of crypto-currencies and cloud-based data storage, whether virtual reality programmers will be the architects of tomorrow, smartphone owners be the new film producers and who can benefit from these technologies.
Well, don’t blame me; I am just trying to keep as close to the statement of THE ARTS+ as much as possible (for copyright’s sake!?).
“Signs of the digital revolution can be seen at all levels of the international cultural economy,” THE ARTS+ says. Here, “participants will discuss new business models and synergies between the arts and technology.”
â€œThe kind of disruptions that affected the music, film and publishing industries are now reaching the art market and other cultural sectors,â€ says zu Salm, a media entrepreneur. â€œIn almost all areas of creativity there is a need to renegotiate intellectual property. This brings uncertainty but also exciting business opportunities which can benefit even established players.â€
Zu Salm, an art collector who is said to have ‘spent many years investing in innovative business models for the media industry’, says it is time for the “international creative economy” to have a place where questions related to the business of creativity can be discussed.
â€œTHE ARTS+ will have more than 2,000 sq m of exhibition space to make this subject matter tangible,â€ says Holger Volland, Vice President of the Frankfurt Book Fair. â€œVisitors to the area can experience virtual reality or 3-D art; they can visit the Museums Hub or the Creative Hub, and learn more about digital platform providers. Over the five days there will also be workshops, labs and presentations. We are especially proud of the high-profile line-up for our conference, when weâ€™ll discuss important topics such as intellectual property, and examine the specific applications of digital technology in art. Weâ€™re looking forward to contributions by the renowned collector of media art, Julia Stoschek, and by Bas Korsten, the creative director behind â€˜The Next Rembrandtâ€™, as well as keynote speeches by bestselling author and web futurist, Jeff Jarvis, and star architect and MIT professor, Carlo Ratti. There will also be lectures by the multiple award-winning media artist Joachim Sauter, and by Robert Norton, the former CEO of Saatchi Online who now uses blockchain technology to certify artworks at his start-up in California.â€
The Frankfurt Book Fair, that is reported to receives at least 270000 visitors and about 10000 rights traders from the film, games, online and publishing industries.