Home Forums Who owns the past? Who owns the past? Reply To: Who owns the past?

Bob Hook

This is a very complex issue that gets to the very nature of humans. I think it is important to construct this discussion around the concept that art belongs to everyone it influences. Copyright laws in America provide for actual ownership rights in our society and for a modern artist. Currently, there is much concern over cultural appropriation among different cultures within our society. I think this has always occurred. We learn of other human activities and we adopt what we like and disregard other aspects we find less desirable. It just happens faster now. We see something we admire and within days it goes viral.
Much of the art we view in this class is disassociated from the culture who created it. Our art history has been ravaged by conquers seeking gold and jewels, by destruction in war and by time itself. The conquers have always taken the spoils and this will continue as long as we have inequities in society.
Rights of ownership will always be challenged. What I do know is that no one or group has the right to destroy or damage art to fit their own cultural biases or beliefs. Maybe in the future, all art will be available digitally or holographically where it can be viewed and understood for eternity without the threat of being owned by a particular group.