“Surface, Support, Process” at New York’s Guggenheim Museum focuses on monochromatic art from the 1960s. I now relate the works in this exhibit to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Before I explain, a brief digression.
I’ve always provided links to back up the points I make in my articles. How do I know, though, whether I’m linking to material that poses no copyright infringement? According to Wikipedia, which conducted a blackout on Wednesday to protest SOPA and PIPA, 10 violations could result in five years’ imprisonment.
If SOPA and PIPA are passed, I'd have to black out passages that, left uncensored, might give me five years in the slammer. I’m comforted knowing that self-censorship is a viable alternative; writers in totalitarian societies, after all, have practiced it for years.
So what does this have to do with the Guggenheim exhibit? In a possible brave new SOPA/PIPA future, I might black out one article after another pending my investigation into their legality. Looked at from another perspective, I could evolve into a minimalist artist renowned for my blacked-out series. Please examine my first blacked-out article–or work of monochromatic art–below. It has a certain starkness, a certain absolutist aesthetic that certain sensibilities–perhaps yours–may find bracing: