the text below reminded me eadweard muybridge (british photographer)
and étienne-jules marey's (french scientist and photographer)
chronophotography & motion studies (interestingly enough they had the
same life span - 1830 to 1904). these studies were first intended as
scientific research but later they turned into very valuable works of
art that were quite innovative for their time (even for today
actually:) same is valid with harold e. "doc" edgerton's high speed
stroboscopic flash photography that started as scientific study on the
motion trends of (in)animate matter.
so i guess these studies had to be patented for the new trajectory
they opened to the world of photography and art (and maybe they are:)...
On 26.Mar.2009, at 01:33, email@example.com wrote:
> Dear Yasminers,
> I tried to follow this discussion as carefully as possible and thank
> you all for many inspiring and valuable comments. With my last
> statement I would like to refer to Roger's question no.8: "Under
> circumstances does "invention" mean "fiction"? Apologies if some of
> the following aspects have already been discussed.
> I would draw on a concrete example, namely on the work by Kirsten
> Pieroth, an artist based in Berlin. She is working with methods and
> strategies of conceptual and appropriation art. In her works common
> objects are being removed from their learned contexts by means of
> subtle manipulations, re-placements and appropriations of ritualized
> behaviour and brought into a state of mimicry or camouflage, out of
> which numerous levels of interpretation are being opened.
> In a series of works from 2003-2004 Pieroth focuses on the inventor
> Thomas Alva Edison. Part of this is an installation based on a letter
> by the American inventor that reads: "I regret that a previous
> engagement prevents me from accepting your kind invitation to dinner
> at your home, on Thursday evening, September seventeenth." Pieroth
> the ambivalent question whether Edison 'invented' the excuse to
> scholar in charge of Edison's papers, who thought an invention likely;
> David E. E. Sloane the great-grandson of the inventor agreed. Pieroth
> therefore asked a patent attorney about registering Edison's probably
> invented reason for his nonappearance. He refused in particular as he
> could not recognize a considerable achievement that is required in
> order to take out a patent.
> Another piece relates to a photo from 1927 showing Edison sleeping on
> his workbench. There is a thick wooden border on the table, and the
> photo is signed with "Thomas A. Edison" exactly there, as though
> had signed the table. Pieroth produced a wooden workbench likewise
> bearing the signature of the inventor, this time forged by the artist.
> This installation raises questions like: Can there be invention
> without accident? Is not invention, including artistic invention, a
> contingent coincidence of associative processes? As Pieroth tells
> "amusing stories came to be associated with that as well. Edison
> was someone who signed his name a lot, which is why there are so many
> signed documents in circulation. I found photos where he signed
> cement, for example. He also had his signature registered as a
> trademark, which is still there on old phonographs. He could very well
> have done that with his work table too, then that would have been the
> signed workbench as a predecessor to the trademark."
> [image: http://www.cca.rca.ac.uk/thismuchiscertain/exhib_pieroth.html]
> Another installation titled "From the Laboratory of Thomas A.
> based on a replica of Edison's personal workshop in his second
> complex. Nine years after Edison's death, the wooden building was
> transported from West Orange, New Jersey, to Dearborn, Michigan, to
> the museum park of Henry Ford, who had bought it. For this, every
> single board was taken down and numbered, and then the entire
> disassembled house was transported and rebuilt. Pieroth obtained the
> wood and cut it to fit the measurements of the house, and then this
> was exhibited unassembled. All the construction material that was
> needed was there: nails, paint, roofing, and so forth. Pieroth
> reproduced the lathes, boards, and window and door frames that would
> presumably be necessary for a reconstruction of the laboratory shed.
> They were piled on the floor of the exhibition space and stacked along
> the walls. One is free to produce a copy of the laboratory shed. But
> what will this reconstructed shed then be? A copy, a forgery, or an
> invented art object?
> [more information an images: http://www.portikus.de/ArchiveA0123.html]
> I would argue that Pieroth compares invention to fiction in three
> 1.) A invention is perceived as such by a system of rules and
> conventions, i.e. as a social construction (so far she follows
> Duchamp's traces).
> 2.) The artist used the figure of Thomas Edison as a point of
> departure for extensive research into the notion of 'invention' in
> relation to production and reproduction, intellectual property and
> verifiable authenticity. Thus she questions whether existing rules and
> conventions are appropriate to recent principles and practices – be
> in the field of art or other domains of innovative production
> 3.) Last but not least, Pieroth also mentions Edison's marketing
> talent, i.e. his ability to "invent" not only excuses but also an
> inventor persona with the corresponding inventor's legends.
> Thank you again to all Yasminers for the interesting discussion and
> Roger and Robert for constant input and careful moderation.
> Dr. Barbara U. Schmidt
> Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
> Kollegiumgasse 2
> A-4010 Linz
> phone: +43.732.7898.274
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