[-empyre-] art and ethics

Gerry Coulter gcoulter at ubishops.ca
Sat Jan 23 07:44:55 EST 2010

Not to worry Christiane -- Americans will continue to get the politicians they deserve (as do we all)


From: empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Christiane Robbins [cpr at mindspring.com]
Sent: January 22, 2010 12:20 PM
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] art and ethics

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.


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?


From: Johanna Drucker <drucker at gseis.ucla.edu<mailto:drucker at gseis.ucla.edu>>
To: jhaber at haberarts.com<mailto:jhaber at haberarts.com>; soft_skinned_space <empyre at gamera.cofa.unsw.edu.au<mailto: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


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.


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
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
that open possibilities for art, in which making visible is part of
game?  Now, I realize that acknowledging something, as argued well,
doesn't make it go away.  But it's still different from silence.

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Timothy Murray
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell Library
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

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