Article: Aesthetic Play and Bad Intent

By Andrew Jensen Kerr

Available here.

Abstract: “Threatening words or images are assumed by American courts to be non-art. But this threshold question of art status is complicated by the evolution of rap and performance art. There is no articulable way to discern art from non-art for these nontextual media, a problem compounded in the unique context of the Internet. In civil litigation we can resort to institutionalist tests like audience reception. But mens rea matters in criminal prosecution. I favor judicial pragmatism in what I argue here is a very non-legal area of law.”