The 21t Century War of Attrition – YOU’RE WELCOME


             The 21st Century War of Attrition is about the Capitol v Thomas Court battle that began in 2006 when Jammie Thomas, a single mother of four, was sued by several major record labels for copyright infringement by unauthorized downloading and sharing of 24 songs using the peer-to-peer software Kazaa. In 2007, Thomas was found liable for the copyright infringement and was ordered to pay $222,000 in statutory damages ($9,250/song). Since then the case has gone through several retrials and appeals and only recently ended at the original $222,000 decision in September of 2012.

             The 21st Century War of Attrition consists of three parts. The first is 24 vinyl record replicas (created using molds of four different Capitol Records 7” vinyl  singles), each representing one of the songs Jammie Thomas was found liable for downloading. The second part is an audio composition featuring the argument in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in June of 2012 mixed with the soundtrack from the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (soundtrack published by Capitol Records). The third piece is the three scrolls of text that are the official final opinion given by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Documentation Photos

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             Artist Statement

         What was once a pragmatic solution to an economic issue in creative commerce has now become a seemingly unstoppable behemoth: copyright law. Throughout history, the sharing of ideas has played an essential role in the creation of culture and contemporary thought. However, the act of creative reuse and the sharing of works has now become an offense in the eyes of the law.

               My work examines the attempts made by copyright holders to stop the spread of copyrighted works. Using source material of various authors, I aim to critique and challenge these attempts and there attempt to “send a message”. Influenced by the culture jamming movement, my projects manifest as commercial critique with a sense of humor.



Since I’ve returned from Winter Break I’ve been focusing a lot of my time researching things like hip hop’s use of sampling, copyright law, and how basically everything has already been done before. One video series I came across entitled Everything is a Remix does a great job in explaining the idea of remixing as it pertains to music. movies, technology, etc.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

This research is something that I will take advantage of in our March BFA show and I believe this will be a path that I pursue for the rest of my time in this BFA program. My artist’s statement will need a complete reconstruction but I am excited to explore the legal, moral and ethical issues of “originality” in my artwork.


First (Rough) Draft of an Artist Statement

Below is my first run at my artist statement:

Music, to me, is one of the most important aspects of life. It is consistently seen in cultures all over the world and it is one of the most diverse art forms in existence.

Through my artwork I aim to utilize various aspects of music to help facilitate an active participation and acknowledgement in the viewer (listener) to the musical world around them. Through things like lyrical content exploration, non-traditional sound creation and visual appropriation I hope to turn passive viewers (listeners) into active participants in the world of music.