Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Tickled Grey

Next week is Super Tuesday, but this week it's Grey Tuesday, a bit of online civil disobedience wherein websites turn grey and/or host mp3s of DJ Danger Mouse's excellent Grey Album to protest the artistically stifling/deadening effects of evil corporate copyright law. Danger Mouse made the Grey Album (a carnival twist-up of the Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album) with no intention of turning a profit—it was meant to be shared and distributed freely, and for free—yet EMI slapped him and sites that tried to host the album with cease-and-desist orders and threatened lawsuits. It's pathetic, really, especially considering that renegade unauthorized gonzo sampling is pretty much how P. Diddy made his Cristal-soaked fortune. Guess it always helps to have Ashton Kutcher on your side.

I can't turn my whole site grey or host the mp3s because (1) I'd never figure out how to get it back to this sunsettish standard template color palette and (2) Blogspot sites like mine are run for free off Blogger's servers, so I can't host files, but I'm with them in spirit. The Grey Tuesday site has a full list of places aside from Illegal Art that are hosting the album today. If you read kottke.org regularly, visit it today and realize how striking this all-grey protest thing really can be.

Speaking of Jason Kottke, he linked recently to photos from an equally controversial (but sadly now closed) exhibit by artist Kelly Heaton, who made a coat out of Tickle Me Elmos. It's Sesame Street meets Cruella DeVille and I wish to gawd I knew about this earlier so I could have bid for one of those mounted Elmo heads she was auctioning off on eBay.

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