Agency is the generic name of a Brussels-based agency that was established in 1992 by Kobe Matthys. Agency constitutes a growing “list of things” that resist the binary division between culture and nature, expressions and ideas, creations and facts, subjects and objects, humans and non-humans, originality and banality, individuals and collectives, etc… These things are derived from juridical processes, lawsuits, cases, controversies, affairs and so forth around intellectual property (copyrights, patents, trade marks, etc…). The concept of property relies upon the assumption of the division between culture and nature. Each thing on the list invokes the moment of hesitation in terms of this division.
Agency calls things forth from it’s list via varying “assemblies” inside exhibitions, performances, publications, etc… Each assembly explores in a topological way a different aspect of the performative consequences of the apparatus of intellectual property for an ecology of art practices.
For Assembly (PA/PER VIEW), Agency will call things forth, speculating on the question: How to include book making in art practices? How are typeface designers, book binders, lay-outers, etc… taken into consideration by copyright law?
Thing 001452 (Orion) concerns a controversy between Eltra and the copyright registration office. Eltra deposited the typeface Orion at the copyright registration office, but the office refused to recognize typefaces. During a court case of 1978 the judge had to decide if a typeface can be protected by copyrights.
Thing 001535 (Introductory Language Work) concerns a controversy between the publisher Maynard Merrill and the second hand paper dealer Harrison. Maynard Merrill attempted to forbid Harrison to bind pages of Introductory Language Work, which he obtained from a damaged paper stock, together into a book. Maynard Merrill considered the books from Harrison a derivative work. During a court case of 1894 the judge had to decide if bookbinding can be protected by copyrights.
Thing 001452 (Orion) and Thing 001535 (Introductory Language Work) will convene an assembly at PA/PER VIEW in order to bear witness. Agency will invite a diverse group of concerned guests to “respond” on these things: Thorsten Baensch (publisher), Sari Depreeuw (legal scholar VUB), Manuel Raeder (graphic designer), OSP (Ivan Monroy Lopez/Seb Sanfilippo/Femke Snelting), Ziga Testen (graphic designer), etc…
April 1, 2011, 6pm
PA/PER VIEW, WIELS, Brussel