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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

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ku # 472 ~ gardening casualty on gravel, grass and soil

Gardening casualty/'square' root of 3click to embiggen
Every once in awhile a single topic takes hold of the photog blog arena like a virus and it seems that everyone must comment on it. Witness the recent Jeff Wall Affair.

The most recent topic, albeit a minor epidemic, involves the idea of Droit de Suite - a French term that translates as "Right of Continuation" or continuing rights - which is basically a market mechanism (or 'government cohersion' as the ever-whining privledged class likes to call it) for awarding an artist a piece of the profit action (a royalty) based on the public (dealers, auction houses, etc.) secondary market resale of their work. Typically, the 'piece of the action' is a relatively minor amount. In France, for example, the artist receives between 1% and 3% of the resale price.

As is often the case on the blog-o-spere, there is much mis/dis-information on the subject. If you are interested in a full account of of Droit de Suite, it can be found here.

I am not interested in responding to all of the various feints, dodges and outright distortions of the unfettered free market robber barons (Greed and Avarice Division - our motto, Nothing Exceeds Like Excess). The only point which I wish to make is simple - free-market nazis want to turn everything into a commodity, subject only to market forces. In their view, nothing is worth anything, more or less, other than the monetary price which it fetches on the open market. The market and its 'invisible hand' - you know, 'invisible', like the corporate special-interest lobbyists in DC - fixes everything.

And, oh yeh, what ever you do, don't piss off the priviledged class (the privledged class, not the wealthy class. There's a big difference between the two). Just trust the same market which commodified the earth's resources as nothing more than unfettered fodder for profit (and f**k the consequences).

For them the notion of a Moral Economy just doesn't exist, or, if it does, it serves as little more than a commie-pinko bogeyman who gets hoisted up the flagpole (and saluted) everytime the undeserving/underachieving/lazy-ass-SOBs try to 'steal' their money.

The phrase that comes to my mind is the one about people who know the (monetary) price of everything and the value of nothing. I guess that's why most of them sell their souls - and dragging anything else they can along with it in the process - to the devil.

Any questions?

Reader Comments (4)

Loud, loud, loud applause! The folks who think that if it ain't worth money, it ain't worth nothin' ain't worth the paper they're printed on.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterstephen connor

At the risk of looking like an idiot I, for the life of me, cannot figure out whether you're pro DdS, or anti DdS. I think you're opposed, but......

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterchuck kimmerlre

I read the article "A Moral Economy" you linked to above. It hit me as the clearest statement i've hear of the right way, the moral way, to proceed in this world.

The question for me is how do I, as a landscape artist, begin to tell "the story".

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBill Gotz

Stephen - thanks for the applause.

Chuck - I'm pro DdS although i don't think it would have much effect on the common man.

May 22, 2007 | Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis

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