Thursday, March 29, 2007

Copyright, Maori symbols and me

Today at art school we had a lecture on the Treaty of Waitangi, which included material about Maori symbols and their appropriation by commercial entities for advertising purposes. (Some of it was amusing - like the story of the American gaming company whose super-macho male hero was modelled on Maori but had female tattoos.)

During the discussion on copyright law and I couldn't help thinking that the issues are the same for the Maori as for the OSS community. Maori have a community ownership model and they are now thinking up ways to protect their inherited symbols while avoiding being squeezed into an inappropriate legal framework ie the European/American copyright/patent/legal system.

Most New Zealand symbols (apart from sheep!) are Maori symbols and this puts pakeha (non-Maori) New Zealanders like me in the odd position of identifying with symbols that are not inherited from my own ancestors but assimilated from the Maori culture around me. I find I identify quite strongly with these symbols while not really knowing enough about their significance. Coming back here to live here has given me an opportunity to address this identity issue and going to art school had provided the means, as there is a Maori liaison unit here that deals with these issues. Today I decided to integrate these copyright/identity issues into my term project. I am not sure how yet, but knowing that I want to do this makes me feel as if I have made progress.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Well Free and Open Source Software friends - my series is done. I have finished my print project and put the FOSS Monoprints (monoprint = a print of which there is only one copy) online .

If you have ideas about licensing these images I would be pleased if you would add a comment. Which licence is best?

Our friend Oswald

Oswald the informed.
If you don't know Oswald - have a look here.
This monoprint is one of a series.

Take Share and Be Merry

One of your excellent suggestions (thank you Pascal Klein) for Open Source slogans was "Take, Share and Be Merry". My penguins insisted I use that, so here they are with their favorite words.
This is part of a series.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Blue skies, tra la la....

It is just wonderful weather here in Dunedin. I thought I had better note that, after all my early whinging about the cold summer weather.

In February the woman in the coffee shop told me that 'summers here are usually crap but the rest of the year is good'. At the time I thought she might be fantasising, but perhaps she is right. It certainly looks like it. We are having cool mornings then warm sunny days. After all the summer greyness the blue skies are most welcome.Mind you, we did have some hail about a week ago. High wind and hail, then it cleared and the afternoon it was blue again.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An image is an image

I made this image by laying stencils over each other.
When I showed our print teacher I remarked 'This is only a digital image'.
His response was 'But it is an image all the same.'
That has made me think a bit differently about the images I make.

This image is part of a series.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


These little penguins liked to go walkabout in the print workshop. Several times classmates found them roaming along the print room benches or hiding under the print rack. They are curious you see and wander off when the whim takes them.

Sometimes they got stuck in the printing press.

Linux Rocks 2

These 'Linux Rocks' prints are part of a series. More FOSS prints coming soon.