Re: protest nyc's proposed film and photo law

From: Doug (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Aug 04 2007 - 10:57:39 PDT

On 8/4/07 11:28 AM, "Chuck Kleinhans" <email suppressed> wrote:

> My complaint was that in this discussion some folks seem to be making
> absurd categorical demands....presuming that "artists" should not
> face any of the constraints on ordinary citizens.

    Your concerns are reasonable.
    Most people in this thread have agreed that we need to mediate taking
over public space where we'll be keeping other people from using the space.
    The separate concern is saying that all the unregulated things people do
in public spaces get precedence over someone who's just shooting.
    Mind you, I'm not talking about blocking traffic or blocking the
sidewalk, when I say "just shooting."

    Speaking in general psychological and political terms, people in
government in general don't like people gathering information and don't like
unregulated activities. Police like to control, that's why those people
become policemen.
    These control impulses sometimes serve society and sometimes don't. Our
only hope, for those like me who aren't willing to physically fight the
government, is to keep the police and other controllers on a well-defined
    We've all heard of abusive, illegal control by the police. It's
corrosive to our democracy.
    Even with clear rules that prohibit the police from stopping filming,
the police will still stop it when they're scared. The rules controlling
the police are not a cure, but they give some symptomatic relief, sometimes.

    So I think we all agree that filming which keeps the public from sharing
the space needs some kind of mediation, maybe law/rules, maybe something
    I hope we all also recognize that democracies suffer when police are not
well regulated, when their fears and misjudgments get the force of law. The
prime recent examples are taping misbehavior of the police themselves or
gathering other images that some part of government or other political
powers fear.
    Gathering those images is so crucial, I'd err on the side of
unregulation, though I bet we can come up with workable understandings about
sharing public space.

> The 30 minute "rule" doesn't seem onerous if you think of some of the
> NYC experimental films that were probably shot well within 30 minutes
    About the 30 minute rule, please stop defending it on artistic terms.
It seems onerous to us. We don't care what you can do in 30 minutes.
    It's not a compromise, it's not a judgment call, it's arbitrary.
    Rules shouldn't be arbitrary, right?


Doug vanderHoof
Modern Media
Bucktown, Chicago
(773) 394-0029

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