Opening: Copy It: Nur für Diebe und Raubkopierer
Mirja Busch, Andreas Niegl, Klaus Urbons, The Rapid Publisher, Raqs Media Collective und Jürgen Stollhans
Legalise it! Legalise the copying of everything, everywhere, always. Abolish copyright! Abolish intellectual property rights! Without the process of copying we would not exist. Evolution is one continuous process of copying. Species multiply; they adapt and change. Cells divide; growth is duplication. Only through copying can there be diversity. Children learn to speak by copying adults. Each process of learning is a process of copying, in which we try to imitate something that others have done before us.
Every lesson makes us into copyists; every word is a plagiarism.
We believe that plants reproduce through seeds that they scatter in all directions. But is that still true? Fewer than 10 corporations dominate the world seed market today. By patenting plants, these companies further expand their influence on global food production. The patenting of life continues as well, despite prohibitions against it.
A patent is a legal title that bars the commercial exploitation of an invention by third parties. The same applies to copyright: it is an instrument of the market to secure profits on things one played no part in bringing about. Art belongs to everyone. Knowledge belongs to everyone. Memory belongs to everyone. The call for a public, freely accessible and collective culture of remembrance corresponds to the call for unrestricted access to cultural artefacts. There are many ways to get around copyright. This interactive exhibition shows you how.
COPY IT recreates public places that store and disseminate knowledge and narratives – be these libraries, graffiti walls, copy shops or studios. Every work demands playful engagement and alertness of visitors – the pieces want to be read, copied, reused, looked for, portrayed. As a direct provocation against privatization and control of accesses to knowledge, COPY IT pays tribute to various philosophies, imaginations and means of copying.