Emily Kennerk Plagiarism Debacle

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To all that have been interested in the debacle concerning Emily Kennerk’s work, I wanted to give you an update. The Art Prize organization has decided to allow her to continue to participate in the contest and keep her $5000.00 prize. While this is hard for me to accept it, it is typically myopic from people accustomed to art that does not move. From the standpoint of one who’s almost entire repertoire over the past eight years has consisted of time based sculpture and video it seems that we have a long way to go in considering our works aesthetics to include motion.

I am not making a claim that either the materials or the size and scale are the same, the claim is that the process used in the artwork is one that she lifted from my research, I have tried to prove that it is the process that makes the final aesthetics of the work as the work will move from organization to movement to disarray using sound as the potent kinetic force created with sound in the artwork. The process and outcome of both Emily Kennerk’s pitch and my work are the same.

What is hard for most people to understand, even professionals in the arts, is that they are accustomed to older conventions of aesthetics. Most people think of art conventionally as static, this is the dominant condition of art ( i have made the case that all work is kinetic but that is besides the point and I wouldn’t want Emily to potentially take any more ideas, so I will keep that one to myself).

The hard part is the idea that time based work has its own built in aesthetic, motion is not only a process but an aesthetic. Like a dancer or an athlete, their work has to perform and when you hone a skill the process becomes second nature in visual art a performance and its association to it’s aesthetics is absolutely crucial. My kinetic work has become second nature, I have become extremely close to the process being refined and perfected, similar to how Paco De Lucia, played flamenco. I view the work as a performance whether or not the sound comes from the audience or myself.

She knew and saw my kinetic work, used similar elements, and used the process, that is what makes me feel like I am being robbed of research I have worked on since 2008. Since Emily has never executed an exhibition with this process it is hard to say she simply came up with it one day, knowing that she never worked with sound, and saw my work do it years ago. If she uses my process the aesthetics of the work will look, sound and feel like mine. When those dishes fall to the floor, the look and the feel of what is transpiring and what is happening,will begin to feel like one of my works. Her problem is that she does not know sound, and while she may hire people to do this work for her, it won’t be original, she is no Paco de Lucia.

I would like to mention that what has come from this awful debacle is an overwhelming outpouring of support that I am absolutely blown away by. I have to thank each and every one of you, and I think I will do my next performance very soon full sized chairs, tables, dinnerware and the works dedicated to all of you, in Las Vegas and beyond, so bring any instruments you have and plug into my next work. If I can’t find a space, it will be in the desert like Kyuss, I know sound, perhaps Josh Homme will come for it.

Some links:

Local artist Emily Kennerk takes a win from ArtPrize Pitch Night | Arts + Entertainment Blog | NUVO