Research Handbook on Art and Law
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Research Handbook on Art and Law

Edited by Jani McCutcheon and Fiona McGaughey

Featuring international contributions from leading and emerging scholars, this innovative Research Handbook presents a panoramic view of how law sees visual art, and how visual art sees law. It resists the conventional approach to art and law as inherently dissonant – one a discipline preoccupied with rationality, certainty and objectivity; the other a creative enterprise ensconced in the imaginary and inviting multiple, unique and subjective interpretations. Blending these two distinct disciplines, this unique Research Handbook bridges the gap between art and law.
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Chapter 16: Intellectual property law as artistic medium

Shane Burke

Abstract

Despite their relationship often being characterised in terms of polarity and antagonism, art and law have many synergies and upon further examination would appear to enjoy a reflexive and symbiotic relationship. Artists such as Superflex, Jill Magid and Carey Young have developed an approach with legal form becoming central to many of their works. Such artists have also looked to intellectual property law, a potent means of legal regulation of the arts, as a source of artistic raw material. They do so as a means of critiquing such regulation itself, the art world more generally, or to advance broader social and political concerns. This chapter will examine the law in art and art in law interface and explore how intellectual property law has shaped the form of many contemporary art works, while such works have simultaneously helped to shape interpretations of the law.

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