I realize that some of my posts are overly self-indulgent (the bitch-slap post being a case in point), but ultimately, I am writing, and fiddling with photo's, for my own amusement. I still want you, the reader, to take something away though...
A year or so ago, there was a lot of talk about oil and gas and mining companies staking private property, and making resource claims on same. A lot of people found this to be outrageous, and I certainly did. There was the guy out in Vernon exercising these staking rights, and was very busy traipsing over people's lands and there was nothing the property owners could do about it. Then there was the ranch up near Ashcroft that had a company mining kitty litter, and generally destroying the land. Again, the property owners had no legal recourse. It gave me pause for thought in buying raw land. Most of the province is being staked, and it would be difficult to protect against such intrusions and trespasses.
Perhaps one could stake claims on any land one chose to buy, but the "companies" have already staked most of it. How to deal with that? I read an article in Canadian Art magazine about one artist's way of protecting his land...he copyrighted his property as an autonomous piece of art.
Peter von Tiesenhausen, in 2005
"...set a legal precedent by successfully claiming copyright of his land as an autonomous piece of art, thereby protecting it from encroaching oil and gas interests." Again, one might view such legal safeguarding as the politico-legal incarnation of the romantic desireto parcel up and control the landscape. But really, when urgent and large-scale legal reforms seem like a pipe dream for environmentalists and concerned artist-citizens alike,how can one resist the legal system by operating in it's extant, if flawed, strictures? Von Thiesenhausen's legal success offers a glimmer of hope in an ever-more-hopeless world. His paintings,like totems salvaged from a fire in the studio of his beleaguered mind, stand as a bittersweet celebration, a small victory for art over the big murder of economic progress.
That same small victory could be claimed by whomsoever would make a mineral claim on Gordon Campbell's land on the Sunshine Coast, and proceed to quarry it for gravel. It was after all, the Campbell government that made it so easy for big business interests to lay claim on the private lands of British Columbians... And since property rights were omitted from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we must protect those rights in any way that we can.
Hurrah for Peter von Tiesenhausen!