Murals and patronage

JR’s stitched mural, covered in The Guardian, of San Francisco is a great piece of art and social history, covering various strata of a fast changing city.

Using a mobile studio, he took hundreds of photos and stitched them into one image. Lynne and Marc Benioff of Salesforce are one of the financial backers raising questions about patronage that I approach in a forthcoming paper. Yes the mural is a great snapshot of a city but who owns the photo and the images? Who pays for the rendering and matching processes?

Born digital culture allows for some interesting readings and creations but equally provokes critical questions. Who funds such projects and why? How has the image been remediated? How can we begin to read such a work and its various states?

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