FREE BEER AND ENGAGING TOOLS: CHAINS OF ANALOGIES IN SUPERFLEX

Troels Degn Johansson

Abstract


This article presents an analysis of art collective Superflex' FREE BEER project; a beer brand and an art work that seeks to promote a critical understanding of free creativity and intellectual property rights by inviting beer enthusiasts to brew their own beer. The article seeks to demonstrate how the project contributes to Superflex' profile as contemporary avant-garde artists and how their work has contributed to the field of design. More specifically the article seeks to demonstrate how the FREE BEER project succeeds in establishing a context of meaning that involves a political as well as a business dimension, and which makes possible the exchange of values to and from these dimensions as well as that of art. In the article, this context of meaning is constructed in terms of a complex chain of analogies by means of which amateur beer production and beer consumption becomes an expression of the belief in art as an institution and the free exchange of cultural symbols and other references, that is, in contrast to ever stricter copyright laws.


Keywords


design and art; intellectual property rights

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