Disability at MiT
Disabled Americans today have to negotiate for the kinds of accommodations made for FDR, and the caveat “reasonable accommodation” is built into the law. President Franklin Roosevelt did not have to negotiate. He could summon vast resources of the federal government – money as well as brains – to accomplish the work of disability. And it was accomplished with such thoroughness and efficiency that its scale could be called the Accessibility-Industrial Complex had it been directed toward public accommodations and not solely the needs of a single man. Read FDR and the Hidden Work of Disability [MiT8 2013]
Shepard Fairey claimed that his posterization of a copyrighted AP news photo of Barack Obama was a transformative work protected by the fair use doctrine. In other words, it was a shape-shifter. I claim fair use, too, when I reproduce and transform copyrighted works into media formats that are accessible to me as a blind reader. Read Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
The social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars in New York never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it, either. In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in 1916, he could not have expected that one day blind photographers would reverse the camera’s gaze. Read Curiosity & The Blind Photographer. [MiT5 2007]
Remix: Danger MouseWill DJ Danger Mouse become the Che Guevara of digital sampling? Consider the case for fair use made by The Grey Album.
Disability As PraxisI am a parent, homeowner, knowledge worker, and person with disabilities. Oppression is not my true word, but praxis is. In Paulo Freire’s transformative work, I find an affirmation deeper than ideology or political activism -- an affirmation of the dynamic role of disability in culture. I believe the daily praxis of making adaptations and negotiating accommodations represents a significant form of cultural production. Read Disability As Praxis.
ADA 20th AnniversaryOn its 20th anniversary, pundits will debate what the Americans with Disabilities Act has accomplished. I still believe what I said in a TV interview after the ADA signing ceremony in 1990. “The ADA will not end disability discrimination overnight. But in a nation governed by the rule of law, getting it in writing is the place to start.” So what is the ADA's legacy? A Generation of Problem-Solvers.
Tag Archives: mashup
In his Decoded book tour interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jay-Z tells the story of how he cleared the copyright to sample “Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie. The result became a hip-hop classic, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” Continue reading
Jay-Z is promoting a new book called Decoded. In an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross asked him what he thought about Danger Mouse’s Grey Album, the legendary mashup of Jay-Z’s Black Album and the Beatles’ White Album. As Gross notes, the mashup was made without any copyright permission, although she didn’t explain that Jay-Z made his vocal tracks freely available for remixing. Continue reading
Siva Vaidhyanathan talks about Copyrights and Copywrongs at Columbia University’s Art & Technology Lecture Series in 2004. He draws on his book of the same name, citing examples of musical sampling including Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Led Zeppelin, and hip-hop culture. Continue reading
Fair Use is a multimedia exhibition that looks at how the copying, sampling, and recycling of existing material is being used as a creative tool in contemporary culture. The exhibition sets out to foster discussion through the examination of work by contemporary artists and designers who develop alternatives to the way we share ideas, images and objects. Continue reading