Controversial Artist Mormon Freegan Releases Politically Incendiary Tribute to Obscure Punk Rock Band

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Mormon Freegan is a controversial video artist who uses images from the public domain to create his films. His latest video is a tribute to a little known punk band from the early 1990s called Naked Angels.

The people are downloading for their own education and enjoyment. To call that piracy ….is lunacy.

Mormon Freegan is a controversial street artist whose mediums include graffiti, plunderphonics (musical sampling) and a type of artistic sabotage known as ‘culture jamming’. Often his video tributes to famous artists (Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Madonna) are quickly removed from Youtube or other online services because of their copyright violations. His medium of using ‘found’ video is controversial and contentious, though Mormon Freegan maintains that his artwork falls under the 'fair use' clause of the copyright law.

His most recent subject is less likely to object, as their work has been out-of-print for nearly 20 years. The film Mormon Freegan has released to the internet is untitled in and of itself, and is set to a song called ‘Illumination’ by a long defunct hardcore/punk called Naked Angels from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The group was formed in the late 1980s, and appears to have stopped playing live in the 1990s.

The newest Mormon Freegan video depicts political leaders from Vernon Jordan to Adolf Hitler and George W. Bush. Towards the end of the video, a number of images of the current US President, Barrack Obama appear in the video. President Obama is up for re-election in 2012 and Freegan’s depiction of the President is no doubt mean to be controversial if not entirely unflattering.

The song 'Illumination' was released on Naked Angels now out-of-print 1993 LP, Pornocracy, which was released on a record label from Rome, Italy called Helter Skelter (on their subsidiary Break Even Point). After the record sold out, the group went through lineup changes, contractual disputes and eventually broke up. 'Pornocracy' (the album which contained 'Illumination) has never been released on CD or in official digital format.

In his only public statement regarding the film Mormon Freegan stated “All of the material I use is in the public domain. How can anyone own a sound or a videoclip? The people are downloading for their own education and enjoyment. To call that piracy ….is lunacy.”

Mormon Freegan is best known for his 2011 film ‘Do Not Under Any Circumstances Watch This Film’. The DVD was pulled out of production by the Oscilliscope company after 112 different musical artists and their representation threatened to sue the distributor due to copyright violations in the film.

Mormon Freegan can be contacted via the William Morris Agency (310) 859-4000

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Keith White
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