Where Am I? What Day Is It?

Got all that? Also, I will be having a launch party at my new studio once I get my crap all moved in. More info TBA but keep July 11th open if you are interested. I just got back from a trip to Michigan and came home to a slew of emails and phones calls all urgent and crap (why did everyone decide they needed everything from me on Saturday for everything?) so I will have a recap and photos involving lots, and lots of beer shortly. Is it bad that I totally forgot my birthday was this week too? Like Thursday or something? I haven't looked at a calendar so I have no idea what today is even. My only reminder were a few gifts I got in the mail today. Maybe I'm ignoring the fact I'm now going to be over 30 (eeep!), but presents are nice and make it slightly less painful, gimmeh more presents! Or not, whatever is good for you.

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Photos & Cameras

After starting our celebrations on Friday night and ending them last night I think I feel normal finally. I'm pretty sure I did it a little too hard this weekend and my IQ points went down a tad. A brain fart isn't supposed to last for two whole days, is it?

Today I had a photo shoot with Herbert Ascherman Jr. for his artist series. Spiral kimono, saber tooth tiger skull, an oversize gilt frame and me with a champagne hangover? It's like I'm back in L.A. almost isn't it? I'm quite impressed with how fast the process was (less than an hour) and Herbert is great at directing people like me who will look bored and slouched over if not posed properly. We tried to do something that will look like one of my portraits, he also managed to talk me into taking my shirt and bra off for a few shots — I'll let you know how it all came out.

My new digital camera arrived and it is black, and shiney, and small, and it almost gave me an orgasm. So far I have just been doing pictures of the cat, but I'll test some artwork out tomorrow. Going from 2 mega pixels to 13.6 mega pixels is like a whole new world for me. I really don't know how I've survived!

On the agenda this weekend in the Land of Cleve?
Pecha Kucha at MOCA on Friday, and
The Screw Factory Open Studios on Saturday.

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Fair Use and Copyright fun-time

The past few days I have had an issue. An issue I have never had before, because most people, designers, galleries aren’t all — shall we say — amatuer jackasses.

A photo of me, taken when I was 16 years-old, was stolen from a private MySpace photo album, and used as a promo flyer for a sexy-time burlesque art event at this silly gallery. The image was hardly changed, a logo and some text added, and the best was the gallery trying to tell me it was a drawing. Funny, since the pixles and size and lines matched right up. So now, they were insulting my intelligence.After numerous attempts to get my image removed and back & forth with this gallery that they would remove it, what did they do? They made it…smaller! Oh, gee, what’s that little b&w girl with the fan there, huh? Did you think I wouldn’t notice?

I wasn’t up to having a lawyer draft a C&D letter, but this is retarded. I love how they dragged this out for a 2 days so they could still use it to promote the event tonight. These people are now knowing doing something illegal, copyright infringement and fair-use violation is shitty, and it is double shitty when you outright ignore and flaunt it to the rightful owner. This said to me that the gallery was flat out mocking me. This all could have been resolved if they had only asked in the first place. I have taken major steps into correcting this (notifying Photobucket, their webhost, MySpace flagging and so forth) and had a lot of help from friends and artists who thought this was bullshit, but that could only do so much given the time frame I had. The image was finally removed in the late evening, but only after the gallery was informed that by California law they owed me $750.00.

The question is, do I now go and add watermarks to ALL of my images online? Do I worry this could happen again? Not really, in all the years I’ve had my work or photos online, I have never had an issue but once. This gallery is obviously amatuer hour. They should know and hold dear those copyright laws, and a person such as myself shouldn’t have to ask 4 times for an image to be removed only to be jerked around. Is that that kind of gallery you would want representing you? If they break the law this way and won’t own up to it, what else do they do possibly? Withold payment? Put artist money in the stock market? Make unauthorized prints? If you are in business for artists, to then ignore the basics of how to go about properly is amazing to me.

Remember kids: as easy as it is to steal an image because you are lazy or unoriginal, it is just as easy for the owner to find out about it! I am mildly ashamed that I have to live in an age where this can run so rampant, that we even have websites like www.youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com. That this generation needs a whole website just to say, “Ha! We caught you!” is sad if you think about it.

Originality, ideas, remember when people had those?