Saturday, December 13, 2008

Animal Copyrights

"ADVERTISERS pay child actors to slurp up a breakfast cereal; they pay musicians and composers for the soundtrack; they pay sports stars to endorse energy drinks; they even—witness Bob Dole's endorsement of Viagra—reward the occasional politician. So why should animals go unrecognised? After all, cheetahs help sell fast cars; tigers have posed for petrol companies; eagles appear on credit cards; and a whale cavorts on behalf of the Pacific Life insurance company.

Gregory Colbert, a Canadian film-maker whose extraordinary exhibition “Ashes and Snow” examines the relationship between humans and animals, is one of those who reckons animals are as entitled as humans to benefit from their “intellectual property”. To try to ensure that our furry friends get their fair share, Mr Colbert is setting up an Animal Copyright Foundation. From January 1st next year, the foundation hopes to “collect one percent of a media buy, including print, broadcast and internet, that uses animals”. It will then distribute 99% of the money collected to conservation projects around the world. Given that Zenith Optimedia estimates next year's global advertising expenditure at almost $452 billion, the animal kingdom could theoretically become rich." - The Economist

(Video Duration: 3:42)


(click to enlarge)

Ashes and Snow by Canadian artist Gregory Colbert is an installation of photographic artworks, films, and a novel in letters that travels in the Nomadic Museum, a temporary structure built exclusively to house the exhibition. The work explores the shared poetic sensibilities of human beings and animals. Ashes and Snow has traveled to Venice, New York, Santa Monica, Tokyo, and Mexico City. To date, Ashes and Snow has attracted more than 10 million visitors, making it the most attended exhibition by a living artist in history.

The title Ashes and Snow refers to the literary component of the exhibition—a fictional account of a man who, over the course of a yearlong journey, composes 365 letters to his wife. Fragments of the letters comprise the narration in the films. Ashes and Snow: A Novel in Letters by Gregory Colbert was first published in 2004.

From TED 2006 Conference in Monterey, California
(Video Duration: 19:03)

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