December 2005 Archives

Aaron Valdez: Plagiarist

Once again, one of my best video art projects has been shamelessly plagiarized, this time by Aaron Valdez. Oddly enough, Aaron Valdez lives in the same city as I do, yet he claims he has never heard of the only other local video blog, my BlogTV project. It is not likely to be a coincidence that he produced a video artwork identical to my work within 30 days after my video was circulated widely around the web. Valdez has submitted his act of plagiarism to video exhibits and contests and uses it as an example of his best work.
It appears that Aaron Valdez took advantage of the technical problems that forced my BlogTV server off the air in July. Almost immediately after my video was no longer available on the web, he posted his own version, since the source that he plagiarized would not be available for comparison. But Valdez did not expect the resurrection of BlogTV, which provides incontrovertible proof that I was publishing videos using this technique at least 2 years before he stole my idea.
If there is any thing in the art world that will make you an instant pariah, it is plagiarism. I've been in the same position myself, I produced an artwork that I was convinced was totally original, and then someone pointed out it was almost identical to some other famous artwork. I was sure I had never seen that other artwork, but I could not eliminate the possibility that I had seen it before, so I withdrew my artwork and destroyed it, sacrificing a considerable amount of work on the piece. I could not condone even the possibility that I had committed plagiarism. That is how someone with a sense of honor would have handled the situation.
But it is obvious that Aaron Valdez is a shameless plagiarist and has no sense of honor. I contacted him and gave him the opportunity to respond, but he defended his act of plagiarism and believes he has done nothing wrong. Perhaps Aaron Valdez should consider his karma before he declares he has the right to profit from stealing the work of other artists and misrepresenting it as his own original idea.

A Really Great Bad Day

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A few days ago, I got a frantic email message from a programmer and blogger I know. She mass-mailed her whole circle of friends with a desperate message, something like "The crossbeam's gone out of skew on the treadle, and it will take several days of work to get the server back working again! I won't be able to answer email until I get this solved! I am having a REALLY BAD DAY!"
You have got to be kidding me, a bad day? Surely this is the sort of technical challenge that some people live for. It is all a matter of perspective. This is when you get to show your true mettle, solving a technical problem that few other people could understand, let alone solve. It should be a great day!

BlogTV is Back On The Air!

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The BlogTV server is back on the air! You can now browse through the BlogTV Archives and watch some of the videos I have presented over the last 3 years. However, performance may be substandard over the next few days as Qwest works out a few bugs with the poor quality phone cabling in this area. We Apologize For The Inconvenience.
Soon Qwest will no longer be an issue. I've already started work on the new blog server at a pro webhost. It will take a while to migrate the content to the new server, but it will be worth it in the end. Soon I can stop futzing with the technical details and get back to work creating new content. Stay tuned to this channel for upcoming announcements!