From our sponsors:
Negativland w/ Daniel Menche + Cascadian Knights
August 29, 2014
7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. show | $15 ADV, $20 Doors | All Ages
More info: crystalballroompdx.com
1332 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209
Since 1980, the 4 or 5 or 6 Floptops known as Negativland have been creating records, CDs, video, fine art, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sounds, images, objects, and text. Mixing original materials and original music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture and the world around them, Negativland re-arranges these found bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural archaeology and “culture jamming” (a term they coined way back in 1984), Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.
Over the years Negativland’s “illegal” collage and appropriation based audio and visual works have touched on many things – pranks, media hoaxes, advertising, media literacy, religion, the evolving art of collage, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, creative anti-corporate activism in a media saturated multi-national world, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, and artistic and humorous observations of mass media and mass culture.
While it is true that, after being sued, Negativland became more publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation’s copyright laws (more recently finding themselves being brought to Washington DC and Capitol Hill as citizen lobbyists for copyright and art issues), Negativland are artists first and activists second. All of their art and media interventions have intended to pose both serious and silly questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda and perception in the United States of America. Their work is now referenced and taught in many college courses in the US, has been written about and mentioned in over 150 books (including “No Logo” by Naomi Klein, “Media Virus” by Douglas Rushkoff, and various biographies of the band U2), cited in legal journals, and they often lecture about their work here and in Europe.
Since 1981, Negativland and an evolving cast of characters have operated “Over The Edge,” a weekly radio show on KPFA FM in Berkeley, California. “Over The Edge” continues to broadcast three hours of live, found sound mixing every Thursday at midnight, West Coast time, with online access. In 1995 they released a 270-page book with 72-minute CD entitled “Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2.” This book documented their infamous four-year long legal battle over their 1991 release of an audio piece entitled “U2”. They were the subjects of Craig Baldwin’s 1995 feature documentary “Sonic Outlaws” and created the soundtrack and sound design for Harold Boihem’s 1997 documentary film “The Ad And The Ego,” an excellent in-depth look into the hidden agendas of the corporate ad world and the ways that we are affected by advertising. In 2004 Negativland worked with Creative Commons to write the Creative Commons Sampling License, an alternative to existing copyrights that was widely used by many artists, writers, musicians, film makers, and websites. In 2005, they released the elaborately packaged “No Business” (with CD, 15,000 word essay, and custom made whoopie cushion), and debuted “Negativlandland” – a large visual art show of over 80 piece’s of their “fine art” works, video, home-made electronic devices, and a life-sized animatronic Abe Lincoln robot, at New York City’s Gigantic Art Space. That art exhibit continues to change and evolve and has traveled around the country, showing in Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Richmond and Los Angeles.