I think it is quite provocative and dangerous to conflate conceptual art
practice with the notion of a patent (which is a legal device) or a
I attended a talk with a representative of Superflex a few weeks ago at
South London Gallery which also had a lawyer who has done some great work
with radical art - Daniel McClean. Some of these issues and questions were
covered but at no stage was there a straightforward conflation of patenting
with concepts - obviously what Superflex have done is go beyond concept into
production of goods and services for sale which of course then leads into
realisation of objects within a market (with all the legal systems thereby
I hope that some of the parsing apart of this kind of conflation can be
activated within the process of this Yasmin discussion - and that we may
also put a finger on some examples where artistic 'invention' has led to
patenting (as the list is very small at present). We should also take into
account the role of design which has a much clearer and much more
straightforward relationship, here.
> Dear Yasminers,
> I wish to thank Roger Malina for the opportunity to moderate the
> discussion on artists as inventors and our six accomplished
> discussants for their participation: Derek Hales, Sylvie Lacerte,
> Arantxa Mendiharat, Hideki Nakazawa, Barbara U. Schmidt, and Colette
> My interest in artists as inventors stems from my curiosity about the
> intersections between contemporary art and utility patents. I
> discovered through research that this seemingly narrow terrain was
> actually an expansive area, which could encompass a wide range of
> practices that went far beyond artists' patents. For instance, it
> could include elements as diverse as the novel achievements of an
> innovator whose self-patent works were reclassified as "visionary" or
> "outsider" art (William W. Adkins) and a patent institution that
> collects contemporary art and displays it in the workplace with the
> progressive idea of stimulating discussion, productivity, and
> integration (the European Patent Office).
> However, the topic of artists as inventors is focused on the
> relationship between the roles and practices that are conjured by the
> terms. To this end, I will share comments on the subject by the artist
> Jakob Fenger, who is a member of Superflex, which invented (with Jan
> Mallan) a biogas system. In a conversation via Skype on 12 February
> 2009, Fenger told me that "all good artists are inventors," adding
> that "a concept for a piece is like an invention," and that in his
> opinion there is "no difference between inventing and art-making,"
> referencing the creative process as the link between these two
> I look forward to a lively discussion on the topic of artists as
> inventors throughout March.
> Robert Thill
> Yasmin_discussions mailing list
> Yasmin URL: http://www.media.uoa.gr/yasmin
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HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
HOW TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.