Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Curiosity


This is strange and intriguing.  Swedish artist Anders Ramsell has released an animated film in which he renders the first roughly twelve minutes of Blade Runner in 3,285  aquarelles.  (An aquarelle -- I looked it up -- is a transparent watercolor drawing.)  Which is such an extraordinary amount of work that I'm tempted to give him a pass on the whole copyright thing.  This is not the same as downloading a dozen pirated episodes of Speed Racer and then cutting the race scenes to a pirated copy of Highway to the Danger Zone.  This is a genuine, if quixotic, accomplishment.

Mind you, by any rational reading of the copyright laws, Ramsell is screwed.  He's using the movie's soundtrack, its script, and its visual direction.  Plus, he's not paying for the source material, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  All of which are worth serious money, as witness the amount of it that was spent making the movie.

Anders Ramsell plans to render the entire movie in this form, which would be a product valuable enough to make it worth the movie's owner suing the heck out of him

But what a weird and wonderful thing for him to do.  Oh, brave new world that has such lawsuits in it.!


1 comment:

HANNAH'S DAD said...

This crystalizes something for me - I'm seeing (or noticing?) more and more mentions of art projects which involve tedious and near insane amounts of effort on the artist's part, and wonder how much attention they get comes from the sheer impracticality of what they've done and how much from the worth of what's been created.

If it turned out, for instance, that this was a clever prank, and that someone had written an exceptionally clever image processing filter (and there is plenty of work being done on similar things - see for instance freestyle.sourceforge.net) then what respect would be left for the artistic project? (as opposed to respect for the clever filter writer).

Scarcity has great value, and in this case scarcity is achieved through the use of labour intensive processes.

I recall many years ago when colour photocopiers were extremely rare and expensive, finding a group of artists very excited about the groundbreaking collages they were making using this exotic technology. These days their collages might still be appreciated if they were good, but no one would cut them a break on the grounds of exoticism.