+On Friday the US Copyright Office released the “Resale Royalties” report, which is an attempt to move towards the establishment of a “Droit de suite” mandate similar to that in France. This is a right guaranteed to visual artists that makes sure the artist receives a percentage of the pay each and every time the work is resold, in sharp contrast to the “first-sale doctrine”, which is currently the de-facto copyright law in the United States, which only grants the artist rights to profits on the initial sale.
+William Kentridge, the venerable South African artist who is no stranger to Bay Area art lovers, gave an interview to the Art Newspaper in the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death. The artist, whose work has long investigated the socio-political atmosphere of his home country, stated “I don’t think that Mandela let the country down, I think the country let Mandela down: everybody was too greedy and too selfish to make the kind of sacrifices that were needed to transform the society.”
The interview can be read here.
+The London based artist-activist group “Future Interns” staged a successful protest against the Serpentine gallery. Their central concern was over an advert the esteemed art establishment had placed for a “Research Assistant” position that had a job requirement of full-time work. The protest took place inside the gallery, where the young protesters dressed in Santa Claus outfits and held up a banner reading “All We Want For Xmas is Pay”. They handed out copies of the job advert with a note inscribed under it outlining British National Minimum Wage standards and the conditions under which someone must be paid for their work, for which Serpentine was clearly in breach of.
+ Google, in its inexhaustible attempt to dictate how we view everything, from information and data searches, to books, consumer products and the planet itself, has launched “Open Gallery”, an online platform for arts institutions, small galleries and artists themselves to present their work and virtual tours of exhibition spaces. The ambitious project is part of the “Google Cultural Institute”, which held its physical inauguration on the 10th in Paris, where it was met with an icy reception, with the French culture minister Aurélie Filippetti canceling her keynote presentation over unresolved arguments over Google’s’ data mining. France has been outspoken against such cultural initiatives, including “the Google fund”, which they view as attempts to undermine national cultural initiatives, and to create a monopoly on cultural institutions, essentially determining how federal cultural sectors engage with them.
+The White House announced Thursday that Obama has nominated the chairman of TriStar productions, part of Sony Pictures Hollywood conglomerate, to be on the National Council on the Arts, one of the main managing agencies of the N.E.A.
+EBay will make its third attempt to establish itself in the professional art market, although the details remain speculative as to how it will manifest itself, following a failed attempt to establish itself as an online auction site in a joint venture with Sotheby’s over a decade ago , and coming months after Amazon launched its online art marketplace to criticism among art’s professionals, it comes as no surprise that substantial details have not emerged.
+The controversial art media mogul Louise Blouin sent an incomprehensible email to all international Blouin employees, supposedly outlining the media monoliths’ proposed changes. One of the more notable changes was announced via a communiqué of Louise Blouin Media’s Vice Chairman Bruce Ferguson, whose December 4th email to the company’s international bureaus terminated the contracts of 25 international freelance writers, a majority of its international correspondents. Louise Blouin Media publishes Artinfo.com, Art+Auction, Modern Painters, Gallery Guide plus more.In 2010, writers who were stiffed formed an informal group called “WAAANKAA”, “Writers Angry At Artinfo Not Kidding Around Anymore.”
+Artforum will soon move all of its content online, allowing subscribers to review its content a month or two after the print version is out, and digitizing its entire archive.
+Early Monday morning two Damien Hirst “Dot Paintings” were stolen from London’s Exhibitionist Gallery. “Oleoylsarcosine” and “Pyronin Y”, worth $29,480 and $24,565 respectively were taken directly from the gallery wall after the thief forcibly broke open the galleries’ front doors.
Contributed by Peter Dobey