Guadalquivir river. Marqués de Contadero promenade.
Torre del Oro dock, Sevilla
December 28, 2005 – January 8, 2006
From 11 to 22 h.
COPILANDIA is a copyright-free island situated on a boat moored in the Guadalquivir River. Equipped with art materials, copiers of all media, computers, and sound systems, COPILANDIA multiplies, disseminates and celebrates the free exchange and circulation of art and ideas.
Imagining the dissolution of intellectual property as an artistic medium, Copilandia is a collaborative enterprise of cultural recombination. It promotes an alternative gift economy that subverts late-capitalism’s stranglehold over information by encouraging the free distribution of art. As a temporary autonomous zone between Sevilla and Triana, it accepts and encourages the transgression of all frontiers that limit and fetter artistic and cultural experimentation.
The aphorism "property is theft" has never been more resonant than it is today. With the current explosion of new digital information and communication technologies, cadres of lawyers representing media and entertainment conglomerates have marshaled their forces to prevent our cultural heritage from entering into the public domain by restricting the freedom of communication. Intoxicated by the aroma of increasing corporate profits, they are assailing the fair use of intellectual property by lobbying governments to extend copyright limits. With draconian glee, they encourage jailing individuals who copy music and computer programs for personal use, and censoring artists for plagiarizing their own art.
What these lobotomized pawns of the infotainment industry refuse to recognize is the indisputable fact that the raw material of art is art. That creativity always appropriates the results of past creativity. That new art continually re-purposes already existing art, making it something new.
We live in a society that propagates a cult of originality in a culture of copies. Now that the free play of parody and satire has become theft, we mourn their death and conceive Copilandia out of its ashes. With pleasure, we take off the gags that stifle creative expression and refuse to put money in the meter every time we sing a song. Copilandia is born out of the belief that being copied is the highest form of flattery. Copilandia believes that a copy is a terrible thing to waste.
So, put on your pirate cap and hop on board. After all, we're all on the same ship. Let's get ready to plunder what’s already yours and enjoy the abundance of cultural goods that lies before you; a generous gift offered by the artists included in this public intervention. We only ask that you value the exchange and circulation of creativity and knowledge that builds worlds and invents fantastic fictions. Come join us as we forge subjective truths and personal mythologies. Copilandia calls for expanding the legal limits of popular culture by opening up the data banks to let everybody push the tools of artistic production to their fullest power.
Remember, INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE !
GRATIS is a collective formed in 1994 by Victoria Gil, Kirby Gookin, Federico GuzmánRobin Kahn to create La Isla del copyright (Portugalete, 1995), Alem da Água=Copiacabana (Guadiana River, Badajoz 1996) and other copyright-free public projects on both sides of the Atlantic.