Imaginary Property. What does it actually mean, today, to own an image?
Ownership is a matter of communication and constant re-negotiation, it is gained and performed on an increasingly precarious basis rather than grounded on a stable set of eternally valid laws which follow traditional ideas of property and personhood. From invention, creation and distribution to recognition, exhibition and conservation, images are subject to an infinite variety of operations that are not only characterized by conflicting powers of producing, possessing and processing them. Images appear as the products of struggles for imagination. This struggle is not about the relationship between the owner of some thing and the object that is owned. It deals with the imagination of social relationships with others who could also use it, enjoy it, play it or play with it. The concept of Imaginary Property operates at the intersection of two axes—property that becomes increasingly a matter of imagination and images that are subject to ongoing propertization.
29 February 2012. Part of a series of seminars, Publishing In Process: Ownership In Question, at Tensta konsthall in Stockholm. Organized by artist Marysia Lewandowska and curator Laurel Ptak and part of a larger project that will culminate in a book publication in 2013. Full details at: tenstakonsthall.se