Barbara Kruger and the Public Domain


Last night Francesca and I went to see the artist Barbara Kruger speak at the San Francisco Art Institute. Kruger is known for, among other things, stark photo-and-text collages that appropriate the language of consumer culture to comment on it.

After the talk, Francesca (our resident art expert) gave Kruger a Creative Commons t-shirt and explained what it is we do.

“Oh, sounds like Lawrence Lessig,” Kruger said.

“He’s our chairman,” Francesca and I said in unison.

“Wow, if you have to have a hero, he’s as good as anyone I can think of,” she said. “Please tell him that I use his book to teach my grad school courses.”

Having endured and prevailed in a copyright litigation (over the image above), Kruger can appreciate the benefits of free culture.

2 thoughts on “Barbara Kruger and the Public Domain”

  1. Pissed Off Artists Allegedly Urinate on Kruger Art

    A group of artist protesters calling themselves “The
    Infinity Lab” were arrested Thursday after witnesses
    reported acts of vandalism on the new Barbara Kruger
    Installation commissioned by University of California
    San Diego’s Stuart Collection.

    The protesters chanted, “Another formulaic Kruger”,
    as one of them allegedly urinated on the
    installation’s floor text. Campus police arrested the
    3 protesters as they continued to mock the

    Thursday’s protest may have inspired another
    disturbing act of vandalism this time reported at Los
    Angeles County Museum of Art on Friday. Apparently, a
    protester threw bags of fecal matter at Kruger’s mural
    in the Eli Broad Collection.

    Due to the two acts, there is elevated security
    around all of Barbara Kruger’s public artworks. So
    far, Kruger has not been available for comment.

  2. hey “veronica”, swell of you to post the press release for the oh-so-clever protest all over the place. yawn

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