GOMP (Get Off My Property) [2018]

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G.O.M.P.

The title of the work (GOMP) is an acronym for the blunt American expression “Get Off My Property.” The idea behind why the title is abbreviated is that it can be used in a peaceful but clear manner as a hashtag (#GOMP) when online creators discover that they have been subjected to an illegal violation of rights when a second party has published and/or reproduced material and posted them on social media.

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The artwork is designed as a house (1 square meter in circumference, 2.3 meters tall) and is mainly built of recycled and found materials. The house and its artistic content are welded on to four 20 cm high industrial springs that symbolize the swaying housing market as well as issues concerning privacy and personal integrity in our modern time.

 

 

 

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The work is protected by a photograph of a dog that was found online without copyright information, which in extension can lead the curious and imaginative viewer into discussions about animal rights and who actually owns the dog [laughs].

 

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Dawn
Look! You match the dog!

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Angle
– Thank you! you were so close to saying something nice.

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Dawn
– This is our grand guard dog Gomp! He protects our intellectual property rights in a day and age where copyright infringement is very common, “even” among artists.

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Angle
– We’re pretty chill though, don’t you think? I mean, people can steal an idea and pretend it’s theirs but they can’t copy the brainergy that went in to making it.

Exploitation

There are several examples where small business artists have had their design and idea stolen by global companies (eg the case against the fashion company Marc Jacobs who stole an artist’s pin design). It is also too common that freelance artists fail to claim or miss out on their earned salary or compensation from both small and large companies since in many cases the work is not fairly valued either by the artists themselves or by the client/exhibitor. The artwork “G.O.M.P.” has therefore been equipped with a light strip and cord installed through the house’s downpipe (an old Ford exhaust pipe) to, with tongue in cheek, remind the observer that artists also have electricity and water bills to pay.

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Dawn
– I’ve been observing a lot of cases where artists are coming in contact with Goliath online and IRL. It may be in our human nature and in the path of those living by “survival of the fittest” but it really seems to tick people off and ruin what could have been healthy collaborations.

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Angle
– It’s a lot less energy to simply write #GOMP in their comment section.

Human rights and MU-agreement

Every individual’s right to a home, livelihood and security that most want to keep safe. But how should one protect it in the most appropriate way without excluding new ideas or suffocating the free expression of creativity and inspiration? At what price and at what expense should one protect oneself? The artists belong to the most financially exposed professional groups in the country, which is already accompanied by a variety of social risks (one of them being totally excluded from society), so what happens when an unestablished but talented artist and/or musician meets Goliath? In the most heartbreaking cases, an artist who doesn’t receive their compensation or has their design, lyric or sound loop stolen to a competitive price by a giant company with skilled lawyers, is lead down a path towards personal bankruptcy and/or homelessness both for the artist and his or her family.

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Angle
– The music business is riddled with copyright infringement.

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Dawn
– Mmm…

Valuing an artists work (i.e. life)

If now artists are the most economically vulnerable as a professional group, but galleries continue to have visitors, how come that they do not ask for an entrance fee when they also show our lives work? (such as a cinema, a concert or even state-owned museums)?

We decided to make an imprint and asked for an entrance fee to our exhibition “We Were Here” of SEK 100 which went to pay for those who helped us finish it.

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Angle
– Worst case scenario for an artist today?

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Dawn
– Someone steals your material, mass produces it using cheap material and slave labor, gets to the market before you do, sells it at a steal price, makes a fortune. Artist loses an opportunity and eventually their house and is left homeless in a time where cues to rent are longer than ever and hardly anyone can afford a living accommodation without a loan.

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Angle
– So stealing an artists work can make an artist homeless?
Sounds like you’re a bit of a catastrophe thinker.

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Dawn
– Absolutely! That goes for any kind of creator or inventor! It’s a survival skill at best. To prepare for the worst while simultaneously being at your best may be the key that unlocks the door so many have been knocking on! And there wouldn’t be a copyright in the first place if it wasn’t in our nature to steal when waters run dry.

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Angle
– What can we do to stop people from stealing and,
in the best case scenario, inspire them to create what their good at instead?

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Dawn
– I’d say, get out of the mindset that is telling us that there isn’t enough fortune and inspiration to go around. The human fortune is meant to be spread to create a flow of creativity and energy which in turn creates the things that a lot of people say they need. If people were more generous, fair minded and aware of consequences we wouldn’t feel like we were living on the edge of survival and had to fight tooth and nail to protect our rights. I’ve read about cultures where it’s so ingrained in their way of life that one doesn’t steal what doesn’t belong to them; that you can leave your purse in the middle of the street full of money without anyone even giving it so much as a glance.

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Angle

It’s like that time I almost forgot to remember that I left my brain on the couch.
But that was in another country and there was no ca-ching back then.

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Dawn
You be ca-ching-ing now so don’t leave your brain laying around. By devaluing yourself, you devalue every artist who decides to walk a similar path.

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Angle
– Let’s up our prices! LOL!

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LICENCES

Displayed at Ditt Galleri, Gothenburg from 2018-11-30 to 2018-12-10.