Independent Art and Net Neutrality

Hey everyone! i found this article online urging young and expressive artists to make independent works fighting to keep Net Neutrality! It was written by Lloyde Kaufman, who is the founder and organizer of

feel free to read through it and check out the youtube video i’ve embedded as well!!



“Dear Fans of the First Amendment:

The Internet, the last free, open and diverse democratic medium, is under attack. Net Neutrality, which provides that no content is favored over any other, and that content creators have an equal opportunity to freely disseminate their information, is being imminently threatened by media mega-conglomerates and their vassals. It is urgent that we fight those who would sacrifice our freedom for a profit. Net Neutrality will be the savior of independent art and commerce if we preserve it.

Over the past few weeks, the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported on the recent Google-Verizon talks. The talks, what many initially decried as a conspiratorial plan to kill Net Neutrality and open the floodgates of a tiered payment-based Internet, are now being portrayed as a meeting of minds to discuss the possibility of a “parallel network”. Verizon and Google are hiding behind vocabulary, convinced that by renaming an issue, they can fool the American public into acquiescence.

Yet, whether it’s directly setting up a payment-based Internet, or conceiving and executing a parallel system, the issue is the same: by commodifying the dissemination of information, the media giants strike at the core values of freedom of speech and expression upon which this country was built.


Verizon, Google and their cohorts seek to begin construction of financial roadblocks in specific lanes of the current information superhighway, allowing only those of their choosing [those wealthy enough to pay their fines] to pass. This will leave the rest of us on disconnected dirt roads where the public won’t be able to find us at all. Thousands of independent suppliers of news, art and entertainment will die. The Internet will be doomed like the mainstream media before it. It will be condemned to offer only spoon-fed baby-food news, art and entertainment, while indies like us lose our fight for survival. Clearly, Net Neutrality is vital.

Historically, whenever new technology has become available, mega-conglomerates sit back and allow the independents to take the risks and do the work to develop the technology into something with money-making potential. As soon as that technology starts to turn a profit for the independent visionaries, the mega-conglomerates step in and begin to throw monkey wrenches into the works until they can co-opt the technology for themselves. For example, once videocassettes and home video became popular, the MPAA [2] suddenly threatened that because they could be shared, videocassettes heralded the end of copyright law, and opened the doors to piracy and unmitigated pornography. They lobbied in Washington D.C., spending millions and millions of dollars to get rules preventing the media monopoly repealed. The MPAA was simply using scare tactics and false logic to intimidate the masses; once the Mom & Pop video stores were destroyed by Viacom Blockbuster, et al, home video became the largest source of profit for the mega-conglomerates.

Radio, television, film and newspapers have already fallen prey to obscene media consolidation, having been converted into regurgitated, dumbed-down, controlled information at the hands of the vertically integrated media conglomerates.

The Internet is our last space in which to defend our constitutional rights to free thoughts, speech and art. Support the Internet Preservation Act of 2009. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) propose to make Net Neutrality a U.S. law. Contact your elected officials and threaten to withhold your vote if they don’t defend your interests. Let the FCC know how important this matter is to you. Post and pass along my relevant PSA and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same. Take part in the campaign toSave the Internet.

Now let’s make some independent art!

Lloyd Kaufman
President of Troma Entertainment, Inc.”


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So the other night i stumbled across this insightful documentary film on my research artist Jean Michel Basquiatt called “THE RADIANT CHILD”. The documentary was surprisingly well-paced, and covered the short 27 years Basquiatt lived with us on Earth. Although Basquiatt was famous during the later years of his life, interviews and media covering him is few and far in between. Oftentimes if he did get an interview or article, he would verbally joust the interviewer, whom he felt most always were racist or disrespectful.

Basquiatt lived a rags to riches tale…. literally. In the short turn of a decade he went from sleeping in the streets of new york, stealing paint supplies, and writing “SAMMO” on the walls of the city, to Collaborating with Andy Warhol and stuffing stacks of hundred dollar bills throughout his upscale studio apartment.

He left us over 1000 paintings and 1000 drawings…. in less than a decade!!!

Definitely check out this website:


If you are having troubles finding the documentary film online check your local video rental store, it well worth it!  For all of you on NetFlix i know for a fact it can be found on there!

heres a little preview and some other links for you to enjoy!

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Pay T.V.

I found this interesting PSA on youtube dating from the 1970’s. The purpose of the PSA was to raise awareness and combat Cable companies efforts to charge citizens access to cable networks and shows that they had previously received free. Check it out..


This is strikingly similar to the Network Neutrality issues we are facing today. It is interesting to see the protest and efforts paralleled in both generations. I guess it’s safe to say that the greed of Cable Companies has remained consistent throughout the past decades…

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Street Art

For part of my research assignment I studied the life and work of Jean-Michael Basquiat, an inspirational grunge artist from New York who is often credited for igniting the street art movement. I love street art. The in-your-face approach to art has developed into a full blown culture, full of music, clothing trends, political views, and any other art form that grew threw the cement cracks.

Banksy, one of my all time favorite street artists, is carrying on the tradition of Basquiats street-style approach.. even taking it a few steps further. His “guerilla” art tactics have won him world notoriety, and his temporary art has popped up all over the globe, including in basquiats hometown of New York.


check out BANKSY here:


his use of satire and irony in his images are truly inspiring. The fact that he still remains anyonymous today is a credit to just how underground he actually operates.

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Music & The Brain!

Dr. Aniruddh Patel will be performing an interesting lecture on campus today about the neurological correlation between music, language, and the human mind. Unfortunately i will not be able to attend the lecture and performance, as I have class during the scheduled time, however a few of my friends plan on attending and i expect they will have some fascinating stories for later.

Music has always been a passion of mine. It is a gateway into human emotion, feeling, and soul. Oftentimes music has a way of illustrating a point perfectly with little or no words required. Obviously there is some deep, coded, process taking place within the mind and body to associate certain sounds, tones, and pitches with feelings, thoughts, and emotions so intricately and universally. Dr. Aniruddh Patel really has his work cut out for him here!

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SheepWoman Performance

Filmmaking is always advancing with art and technology; oftentimes in ways we could never even fathom. This is what lures me so forcefully to visual storytelling. Within the canvas, the filmmaker can be captivating and beautiful; like Picasso painting a masterpiece before your very eyes. Likewise, within the canvas the filmmaker can disappoint and fail.  Millions of filmmakers dedicate their lives to perfecting what is shown within the frame, mastering their craft. But filmmaking is neither a checklist nor a recipe, and can never be completed. Even once you have explored what is in the canvas, you must push and expand your artwork to better the message it communicates to your audience.

The Sheepwoman workshop was absolutely astonishing to experience. The way the artists integrated simple illusions and distortions with the latest technological gadgetry was fascinating to see. One of the Workshop Leaders, in true mad-scientist fashion, had rigged together a glove that could control different video clips and effects projected live on stage, or wherever she deemed fit to perform, really (that’s the whole idea.). This type of technology is a great way to immerse your viewers within your performance, as it is literally hands on. It also makes the piece much more real and alive to the audience, as they can see it changing and breathing with the conductor. This interaction and performance is called “Live Cinema”, and is the living future of filmmaking.

Live Cinema creates a raw effect of “liveness” within a project, and breaks the frame for your viewers and is instilled in the there minds. It makes sense, once you have watched a movie or film you are left with a particular feeling about it. New Media is simply a way heighten those feelings, and connect you further with an artists work. In my future projects I plan to experiment with many of the ideas they discussed in the workshop, although it may take me a while to figure out how to properly wire the glove. A simplified idea I really enjoyed and plan to incorporate was the idea of using physical objects to mask my video. Whether it be cropping, distorting, or creating a mock set, physical objects should be considered as catalysts to my visuals. A camera’s optics sees differently from the human eye, but a clever filmmaker can fool both and look good doing it.


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Creating the Beloved Community

Human rights activist Ashly Walker led a discussion on social equality and justice within the community. Many passionate and active members gathered, listened and discussed as Walker and other leader’s outlined many of the primary injustices facing our communities today. Racism, poverty, healthcare, and education were just among the few of several topics touched on. I found it refreshing to see so many on campus willing to unite and fight for what they believe in. Activists such as Ashly Walker and the others who spoke carry an important message for students and other faculty on campus. I am glad to see positive action emerging from campus activities.

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Social Issue Topic Proposal

The Social Issue Topic that I plan to research and investigate is Internet Neutrality. Internet Neutrality, or “Net Neutrality”, is a principle proposed by Internet Users advocating zero restrictions placed on the Internet by Internet Service Providers and/or Government Agencies.

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Graphic Design History topic proposal

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was an American artist known for graffiti-influenced and early grunge-style paintings. He started out as a graffiti artist in New York City and later sold postcards and the like along with his artwork on the streets. His painting career took off, and he became known for his use of text and images from popular culture, as well as painting on found objects. Basquiat has been credited with bringing the African-American and Latino experience to the art world.

I want to incorporate Basquiet’s visual type of poetry into my web design. His unique use of letters, characters, and graffiti writing gives his pieces an “in-progess” sort of feel, oftentimes showing words or phrases crossed out or scribbled over. I really admire the effect that this creates, and it forces the viewer to investigate the words/phrases that have been removed, and causes them to seek their own conclusions as to why.

Another stylistic approach i admire from Basquiet is to show both the inside and outside of a man simultaneously (this was actually 1st inspired by old anatomy books and illustrations he owned as a kid). I plan to use this technique heavily in my designing, showing multiple images or perceptions from a single viewpoint. This same technique can be used to reveal possible underlying emotional tones, metaphoric values, and/or connections/associations of imagery.

i am excited to see where Basquiat and his design influence leads me!

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