"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."
"I've been following guerrilla gardening on Twitter for quite some time, and have become familiar with the term 'seed bombing' as a result. It's an idea that's always appealed to me – it's a kind of eco–friendly, bee–friendly, slightly radical anti–vandalism activism – but it's just one of those things that I'd never pursued. ...
So how do they work? It's a simple process really – the seeds I bought are encased in a ball of peat–free compost, dried clay and chilli, which are hand–rolled in North London (yes, really, and no, it's not what you're thinking). The dried clay acts as a protective casing from common seed predators (such as ants, mice and birds). When enough rain permeates the clay, the seeds inside begin to germinate – helped along by the nutrients and minerals contained within the balls. So it's like a tiny self–sufficient seeding system. Maya [http://www.mayaproject.org/] have added chili powder to the mix to help to deter predators while the seed ball slowly degrades, and eventually the seeds sprout."
(Lucy Small, 5 April 2013)
"Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from [Manchester] city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets. ... They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras. Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act. ... Only a quarter of the organisations contacted fulfilled their obligation to hand over the footage – perhaps predictably, bigger firms were reluctant, while smaller companies were more helpful – but that still provided enough for a video with 20 locations."
(Tom Chivers , 08 May 2008)
"Peter Kennard has spent most of his life in London, and has been considerably more involved than most in the capital's political gatherings during the last 25 years.
His two major subjects quickly emerged: armaments and poverty. This was the early eighties with 3 million unemployed, Thatcher in her first term girding her loins for the Falklands War, and the CND at the height of its popularity. Kennard had an audience.
'The point of my work is to use easily accessible iconic images, but to render them unacceptable. To break down the image of the all–powerful missile....after breaking them, to show new possibilities emerging in the cracks and splintered fragments of the old reality.'
His belief at this time was that photomontage had the power to show the causes rather than the results. In recent times however, he seems to have had his doubts: 'There is a problem with montage in that you see it everywhere now because of digital technology. There is so much transformed imagery around that people accept constructed images without questioning their meaning. I think my work was losing impact because of that.'"