February 17, 1998
RTMARK FINDS BUCKS FOR BECK RIP-OFF
RTMark is pleased to announce the February 17 release of a new Beck CD: Deconstructing Beck.
Recording artist Beck might be less pleased. Why? Because it isn't really his work. Deconstructing Beck is a collection of brilliant but allegedly illegal resamplings of Beck, produced by Illegal Art with the help of $5,000 gathered by RTMark from anonymous donors.
Deconstructing Beck is the latest of more than twenty successful sabotage projects made possible by RTMark since its beginnings in 1991. RTMark's aim is to further anti-corporate activism by channelling funds from donors to workers. Other recent and upcoming acts of RTMark-aided subversion are documented on RTMark's web site, http://www.rtmark.com/.
According to an anonymous RTMark spokesperson, RTMark was first approached by Illegal Art last November. "Using artwork illegally helps fight the stranglehold that corporations have on our lives, and that's what we're all about," the spokesperson said. "We weren't sure about this project at first, since RTMark usually targets the crassest of mass-produced items. But while Beck may be a superb artist, his lucrative persona remains just another product that others get rich from, and one that we need to subvert."
Philo T. Farnsworth, the pseudonymous main force behind Illegal Art, says his label exists to provide "an outlet for artists interested in exploring an illegal palette. Corporations invade our lives with product but forbid us to use it--in our art, or in any way they don't want. This just doesn't make sense."
What does makes sense, given the corporate climate, is that record stores won't touch this CD. It is available only from Illegal Art (firstname.lastname@example.org), and costs just $5, including US postage. Illegal Art was able to keep production costs low by packaging the CD in a plain white box and putting its liner notes on their web site. Even more importantly, the cost of the CD reflects a markup of only 100%, instead of the industry-standard 800%. (The page with the liner notes, http://www.detritus.net/illegalart/beck/, also features 30-second RealAudio(tm) clips of each track.)
Illegal Art's email and web service, incidentally, is provided by detritus.net, an internet site dedicated to the artistic reuse of pre-existing culture. "We're happy to be helping out with the Beck project," said Steev Hise, Detritus webmaster. "Copyright laws are too restrictive, and they're counterintuitive. These laws in their present form are there just to funnel money to corporations, not to protect artists. As artists we need to fight that."
Information on Illegal Art's other activities can be found at http://www.detritus.net/illegalart/.
The RTMark website (http://www.rtmark.com/) serves as a clearinghouse for sabotage projects awaiting completion, and also features press about RTMark, interviews and other statements of philosophy, and links to like-minded sites. A copy of this press release can also be found there.
Beck's publicist, Dennis Dennehy, can be reached at email@example.com,
or at 310-285-2723. He is not involved with Deconstructing Beck
in any way.