Questioning Authority

Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is asking artists to submit "artwork that pushes the boundaries of legality and raises questions about the ownership of ideas" for a special August show at its gallery, 206 N. Franklin St.

The show, "Illegal Art: An educational discussion of intellectual property through art," will open Friday, Aug. 5. It's part of the city-wide First Friday art walk, and is meant to coincide with a visit by Kembrew McLeod, a professor in the Department of Communica-tion Studies at the University of Iowa.

His trip is co-sponsored by Lucid Reverie.

McLeod has gained a cult following for his satires, pranks and writing - most of which lampoons a world in which intellectual property law has run wild, privatizing language and limiting our means of expression. In 1998, he trademarked the phrase "freedom of expression," simply to ridicule trademarks.

McLeod has covered music for Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, Spin and Mojo, and is the author of "Owning Culture: Authorship, Ownership, and Intellectual Property Law." He co-produced a 2001 documentary, "Money for Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music," and another documentary, "Copyright Criminals," is coming out this year.

All art submissions are due Tuesday, Aug. 2, and the exhibition will be up through the month.

Information and registration forms are available at the JAHC office, 586-2787, or Lucid Reverie headquarters, behind Heritage Coffee in the downtown Emporium Mall, 586-3440.

McLeod will be at the opening on Aug. 5, and will give a lecture about freedom of expression and intellectual property rights at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Centennial Hall. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Tickets will be available at Lucid Reverie, the arts council and Hearthside Books.

"We're giving local artists of all different genres a chance to comment on freedom of expression and Kembrew will give a lecture that we'd like to turn into a discussion on intellectual property rights," JAHC executive director Karen Lechner said.

• Korry Keeker can be reached at

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