• The Things You Need a License For

    by  • October 24, 2010 • copyright

    Yesterday I visited the Penland Gallery, an outstanding craft gallery associated with the Penland School of Crafts.  There were several large moving mechanical sculptures that the viewer was invited to activate.  Except this one:

    “PLEASE DO NOT HANDLE.  THE ARTIST IS THE ONLY ONE LICENSED TO OPERATE THE BUBBLE MAKER.”

    There was no commercial bubble maker involved here; it was just made of assembled found parts. (The gallery allows photography as long as the photos weren’t reproduced on the internet, so out of respect for the gallery’s rules I did not take a photo of the work.) I’m intrigued that we’ve become so sensitized to ownership of rights that, rather than a simple “please do not touch,” operating the sculpture is characterized as a licensed right. And a license granted by the artist to herself, no less. Hope the license is assignable.

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