ATL 2067


Saturday, October 5, 7 pm to midnight
Castleberry Hill Arts District, Atlanta

Eileen Simpson + Ben White (Open Music Archive)

In response to the context of Flux Night, ATL 2067 imagines a future Atlanta and takes as a starting point archive recordings captured between 1927-30 in Atlanta (eg. The House Carpenter, Clarence Ashley, April 14th, 1930; Georgia Stomp, Andrew and Jim Baxter, Oct 16th, 1928; Willie Moore, Burnett and Rutherford, Nov 3rd, 1927; Acadian One-Step, Joseph Falcon, April 19th 1929). Audio archive material is processed to create a set of new copyleft breaks, samples and beats to provide a future soundtrack for invited Atlanta based emcees and rappers (StaHHr, Boog Brown, more tbc) to create a one night open mic event. Images generated from fragments of research, significant dates, legal code and archival elements are projected and warnings are audio transmitted throughout the night through a ‘klaxon’ deliberately designed to continually draw attention to the legal status of the material and to mirror the tactic often used by DJs to protect the exclusivity of their tracks in a mix.

The project is part of the artists’ ongoing initiative Open Music Archive, which borrows collective and collaborative tactics of remix and reuse from the fields of music, hacking and copyleft to engage with conflicts around the authorship, ownership and distribution of art.

At present in USA, the term of copyright in a musical composition is limited to the life of the author plus 70 years or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier. The rights associated with the sound recording are more complicated and federal copyright law dictates that all recordings made before 1972, even those from the earliest days of sound recording, remain controlled under copyright until 2067. Once all propriety rights expire, a music recording enters the public domain and is held in common.

The terrain of intellectual property in the context of the USA dictates the scope for access to and use of archive material and so, the artists employ the tactic of imagining a future date, through the artwork, to enable a ‘fast-forward’ in time to 2067 when material will be free. Placing the event over fifty years in the future, optimistically opens up a future channel for public domain material, beyond current individual proprietary and commercial interests, producing a free public performance at street level, for an imminent public domain.

About the Artist

Artists Eileen Simpson and Ben White work at the intersection of art, music and information networks, and seek to challenge default mechanisms for the authorship, ownership and distribution of art. Their ongoing project Open Music Archive is an initiative to source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings and is a vehicle for collaborative projects exploring the material’s potential for reuse.

Recent projects include include Open House: Divided Estates at Casa Luis Barragán / de_sitio Mexico City (2012), The Brilliant and the Dark at VBKÖ Vienna (2012) and The Women’s Library London (2010), Song Division at Camden Arts Centre (2011), Struggle in Jerash at Gasworks London / Makan Amman (2010), Parallel Anthology at the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), Free-to-air at ICA London (2008) and Cornerhouse Manchester (2007).

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