For artists, sharing your work for no compensation goes against the prevailing thinking. Exclusive licenses and copyright notices are the means by which your artwork can earn money. I was lead to the idea of sharing artwork by artist-animator, Nina Paley. She described how a Creative Commons License: creativecommons.org, would allow me to share my work with a wide audience in a variety of ways and to look for a revenue stream that was different from what a standard copyright licensing agreement might bring.
My experience licensing my work has earned me income over the years, but this new work, my "What Is Freedom" series that articulates my feelings about how the national political conversation is going or not going, lead me to look for a faster alternative means of showing the work. By using a Creative Commons License and sharing through social networking, the work will have faster distribution and more people can participate in the experience and conversation that it offers. I am no longer looking for immediate financial reward, but rather a shared experience, which is what makes my artworks complete. The first opportunity that came to mind was the Occupy Movement.
My "What Is Freedom" series expresses how I and others feel about the state of the country's political process. As I stood there with my signs, the response was amazing as hundreds of people photographed the work, and shared a quick thumbs up or a solemn nod of approval and some even shook hands and wanted to say thanks.
I had brought with me a backpack full of smaller versions of the artwork to post somewhere around Zuccatti Square, but the conditions around the square didn't allow for posting of signs openly or otherwise. Hand held signs are the rule. Occasionally some folks enamored with the work asked if they could buy it. When I told them they could help themselves online, some shyly said they weren't plugged in or funds were tight, so I gave them posters from my backpack.
On a final note with the thought of Occupy The World, I hereby give the "What Is Freedom" series of artworks to you. Like all culture, it belongs to you already, but I am making it explicit with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. Please distribute, copy, share, archive, and show these images. From the shared culture it came, and back into the shared culture it goes. michaelcardacino.com