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March 8: School of Art Presents Festival on Copyright Issues, March 30–31


Eric Sloss

Carnegie Mellon's School of Art Presents
Festival on Copyright Issues, March 30–31    

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art will host "You're Not the Boss of Me!" a two-day interdisciplinary festival addressing copyright issues in contemporary culture, March 30–31 in the College of Fine Arts building and other locations throughout Pittsburgh.    

Artists, critics, lawyers and filmmakers will discuss copyright, criminality, fair use and transgression in contemporary American culture as they relate to issues of cultural ownership and heritage. The festival will consist of performances, film screenings and lectures.    

The festival will open at 7 p.m., Friday, March 30 with a keynote lecture by James Boyle, the William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University Law School. Boyle's talk will be held in the College of Fine Arts' Kresge Recital Hall.     

The festival will continue with a panel discussion on artists committing unlawful acts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 31 in the Kresge Recital Hall. The discussion will be moderated by Kathy M. Newman, associate professor of English; and Melissa Ragona, assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon. Panelists will include Jacob Ciocci, a member of the artist collective Paper Rad; Martha Colburn, a self-taught filmmaker who has completed more than 40 films; and Brody Condon, an artist and educator based in Los Angeles.    

Following the panel discussion, Carnegie Mellon's Contemporary Ensemble will perform at 5 p.m. in the Kresge Recital Hall. The ensemble will feature the world premiere of "Seasons Within" by Marilyn Taft Thomas, interim head of Carnegie Mellon's School of Music. Douglas Ahlstedt, voice faculty member in the School of Music, will be a soloist.

A selection of films curated by Thomas Beard will be showcased at 8 p.m. at Pittsburgh Filmakers, 477 Melwood Ave. Beard, from Brooklyn, N.Y., is a writer and curator of film and electronic art and multimedia.    

A closing party, "I Heart Robots: A Spacedelic Dance Party," will take place at the Brillo Box art gallery, 4104 Penn Ave. The event will be hosted by Suzie Silver, associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon. Also on Saturday, the festival will host a trade fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. featuring 35 tables of artist works, crafts and alternative media in the College of Fine Arts' Great Hall.    

"Our nation's copyright laws should be of interest to everyone," said Christopher Sperandio, festival organizer and the Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art. "As the second wave of the digital revolution hits us, these crazy, out-of-kilter laws are a muzzle on creativity and restrict the sharing of knowledge, all for the benefit of monolithic entertainment and munitions companies. The issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property affect many disciplines," Sperandio said.

For more on the festival, visit