AKA Abraham Bacoln

I was kind of wondering when this would happen
November 14, 2007, 5:38 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Art house

Cargado originalmente por Brother O’Mara

In May of 2005 I was in Houston to visit my friends Matt and Morgan. While we were there we came across the crazy vision you see here. It appeared with no warning and all I can think is that it must not have been me who was driving because I would have gotten into a fantastic wreck. I was amazingly distracted by the intensity and absurdity of the installation. Research revealed it to be a project called Inversion as done by the Houston Art League (specifically, Dan Havel and Dean Ruck). Absolutely amazing work and I can’t describe sufficiently how disorienting it was to drive past it without warning.

So I took some pictures which are kind of cruddy as they’re all point-and-shoot from before I really started to understand photography BUT apparently they’re of good enough quality to get distributed across the entire internet.

As a short aside – I’ve been wondering how long it’d take before I found one of my photos in a strange place and without my permission. I know it’s happening now. Everyone who posts interesting things to Flickr gets their stuff redistributed without attribution – it’s just a matter of time. It happens and I personally don’t believe it can be stopped, and unless someone’s actively selling my stuff I’m not going to start screaming (unless, of course, they’re claiming ownership or authorship, blah blah blah).

So anyway, the other day someone posted this picture of the front of Inversion on one of the message boards I frequent. It took me a minute and then I said, “Hey! That’s my picture!” Then I posted the link to my Flickr set of the Inversion shots and someone said, “Um, Kevin, if those are yours then this site over here is kind of ripping you off.”

I went and looked and sure enough, they were using all my pictures without attribution. I said oh well and went and wrote a very nice email in which I said, “Since you appear to be using them in a noncommercial format I don’t mind but only if you will give attribution.” I got my email response this morning and the guy was quite kind, he said, “Sure thing, attribution given. I got them from over there, though … you might want to tell them.”

Turns out his source had all my pictures too, and they attributed their findings to ANOTHER site, and … once I started to search Google for ‘tunnel house’ (which is how most of the pictures are described) I truly became aware of the strange incestuous nature of the “HERE IS MY BLOG WHERE I POST THINGS I FOUND ON OTHER BLOGS LOOK AT THIS CRAZY STUFF” mindset.

I had to stop at 10. I figure that’s where most lists stop.

[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

So there you have it. I’m like some sort of internet celebrity except I’m only given attribution on two of those sites (I haven’t the patience to email all of them – you go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back), and the thing is it’s not even my input that’s interesting, I’m just documenting someone else’s far more significant art.

5 Comments so far
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No. email all of them. every one.

Comment by Errrrrch

You’ve been leaving comments everywhere. A fine way to get the attribution you so fervently wish. Beyond that, don’t be a dick about it.

Comment by abc

Wow. I’ve come across shots of that place before, but I can’t remember the details of the photos to know if they were the same ones.

I also think that you should email them all. This would generate lots of traffic to your photostream and ensure a steady flow of plagiarizers.

Comment by Atox

abc – I haven’t left a single comment on any blog. Maybe some of the sites I linked to include trackbacks as comments but that’s the closest thing I can figure.

Comment by Kevin O'Mara

very interesting sleuthing exercise, kevin.

many of the sites you linked to above appear to have given attribution, which is a good thing to see, but asking permission would have been nice.

even if the specific photo isn’t being resold, it is being used on a as “content” on a few sites which may derive some (probably small) amount of revenue from advertising. that’s where things seem to get icky.

it’d likely be impossible to track back any amount of money gained due to the cool photo, but i’d go ahead and ask for $1,000,000 to test the waters..

Comment by Ryan

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