"Sonic Outlaws, a fragmented, gleefully anarchic documentary by Craig Baldwin, approaches this incident from several directions. Some of the film is about the legal nightmare that ensued from Negativland's little joke. In a highly publicized case, U2's label, Island Records, charged Negativland with copyright and trademark infringement for appropriating the letter U and the number 2, even though U2 had in turn borrowed its name from the Central Intelligence Agency. SST then dropped Negativland, suppressed the record and demanded that the group pay legal fees. Trying to remain solvent, Negativland sent out a barrage of letters and legal documents that are now collected in 'Fair Use', an exhaustive, weirdly fascinating scrapbook about the case.
Sonic Outlaws covers some of the same territory while also expanding upon the ideas behind Negativland's guerilla recording tactics. Guerilla is indeed the word, since these and other appropriation artists see themselves as engaged in real warfare, inundated by the commercial airwaves, infuriated by the propaganda content of much of what they hear and see, these artists strike back by rearranging contexts as irreverently as possible. Their technological capabilities are awesome enough to mean no sound or image is tamper-proof today."
"Articulée autour des trois axes convergents mais néanmoins autonomes que constituent le rétrofuturisme, le steampunk et l'archéomodernisme, l'exposition a pour enjeu de faire dialoguer des productions culturelles issues du passé, qui tentaient à leur époque d'envisager ce que pourrait être le futur – c'est–à–dire approximativement notre postmodernité – avec des œuvres d'artistes actuels qui revisitent le passé et réactivent certaines visions du futur ou de la modernité générées essentiellement entre le dernier tiers du XIXe et la première moitié du XXe siècle.
Structured around the themes of retrofuturism, steampunk and archeomodernism – a concept developed by the academic, critic and curator Arnaud Pierre, the exhibition FUTUR PERFECT aims to create a dialogue between past cultural output that imagined the future, what is essentially our postmodern era – with work from contemporary artists, which in both form and substances refer to the pas [sic] by revisiting and reviving certain visions of the future or of modernity, generated by mainly between the last third of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The exhibition takes a transversal approach, intersecting different aesthetic and temporal veins. A selection of work from contemporary artists will be grouped with older work and documents – each giving perspectives to the others. In addition, one section will be dedicated to cinema and another to the various accessories, devices and artefacts developed by the steampunk community. in a separate section, the exhibition will also include the first French retrospective of the American magazine Retrofuturism, in the form of an installation designed by its originator, the artist and editor Lloyd Dunn."
(Commissaire de l'exposition / Curator : Jean–François Sanz, Galerie du Jour agnès b.)