[-empyre-] art and ethics

Christiane Robbins cpr at mindspring.com
Sat Jan 23 04:20:35 EST 2010

Actually, I find the unleashing of corporatist art to be among the  
very least of worries as a result of yesterday's ruling.

I'm certain that others can offer a far more delineated and informed  
accounting.  However, in the interim, for those of you unfamiliar with  
this stunning ruling ( some are referring to it as a coup ) from  
January 21, the US Supreme Court basically has overtly transformed our  
democracy to that of an oligarchy - all under the aegis of the  
guaranteed right of free speech to all " individuals , " including  
"corporate personhood."

Specifically, and in abbreviated form, the Fourteenth Amendment to the  
US Constitution was created at the conclusion of the Civil War  
granting basic rights to freed slaves.  Since that point in time it  
has often been utilized by attorneys representing corporate interests  
to extend additional rights to businesses far more frequently than to  
freed slaves. Prior to 1886, corporations were referred to in U.S. law  
as "artificial persons." However, in 1886, after a series of cases  
brought by lawyers representing the expanding railroad interests, the  
Supreme Court ruled that corporations were "persons" and entitled to  
the same rights granted to people under the Bill of Rights. Since this  
ruling, the States have lost the legal structures that allowed for  
people to control corporate behavior.  In other words, corporations  
came to acquire rights reserved for individual citizens.

The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday that corporations (and unions,  
lest they not be counted!) now have no limits on their financing  
political campaigns to any political campaign or candidate.   
Connecting the dots is rather a simple task in this situation.  And  
this was all done to ensure free speech...

I'm hoping that  others can parse this issue for a better  
understanding -


On Jan 22, 2010, at 8:26 AM, Timothy Murray wrote:

>> Nick, could you explain your reference to the recent Supreme Court
>> ruling to our -empyre- community, since a major proportion of our
>> -empyreans- live outside the US?  I'm also wondering why you think
>> that a ruling regarding political lobbying (if this is what you're
>> referencing) would unleash a genre of corporatist art.
> Thanks so much.
> Tim
>> international participants...but how to de-link these states seems
>> impenetrable - like the recent Supreme Court ruling that will
>> certainly unleash a whole new genre of freely circulating
>> corporatist art, no?
>> nick
>> From: Johanna Drucker <drucker at gseis.ucla.edu>
>> To: jhaber at haberarts.com; soft_skinned_space <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au 
>> >
>> Sent: Mon, January 11, 2010 8:12:46 PM
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 62, Issue 13
>> John,
>> Much different. I agree.
>> I do want to make a space for art that is not tasked with being the
>> moral conscience of the culture too.
>> Johanna
>> On Jan 11, 2010, at 4:09 PM, John Haber wrote:
>>> The analogy to rebranding is very interesting indeed, in an  
>>> excellent
>>> post.  Let me ask more about it, though.  Now, to me it's only an
>>> analogy, and of course whatever venting we may wish to have about
>>> torture and Israeli policy aren't instantly illuminating regarding  
>>> art
>>> except as a kind of red flag.  (Hey, there's injustice in the
>>> world, so
>>> don't let it happen in this realm.)  Indeed, it could actually
>>> disguise
>>> the problem, by suggesting distinct realms after all, which the  
>>> whole
>>> problematic of complicity in art is supposed to question.  Thus, my
>>> question would be this:  if the political analogy is silence, then
>>> does
>>> that open possibilities for art, in which making visible is part of
>>> the
>>> game?  Now, I realize that acknowledging something, as argued well,
>>> doesn't make it go away.  But it's still different from silence.
>>> John
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
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>>> <http://www.subtle.net/empyre>http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
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>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
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> -- 
> Timothy Murray
> Director, Society for the Humanities
> http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/
> Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
> http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu
> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
> A. D. White House
> Cornell University
> Ithaca, New York 14853
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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