Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Police Say They Can Detain Photographers If Their Photographs Have 'No Apparent Esthetic Value'

TechDirt

Apparently the police in Long Beach, California, have a policy that says if a police officer determines that a photographer is taking photos of something with "no apparent esthetic value," they can detain them. This revelation came after photographer Sander Roscoe Wolff was taking the following photo:


The police officer somehow determined that there couldn't be esthetic value there, and thus, the photographer had to be detained and checked out. The police are defending this policy, saying that while officers don't have any specific training in what qualifies as "apparent esthetic value," they will stop anyone photographing things they don't consider to be something a "regular tourist" would photograph. I actually have to go down to Long Beach next month for a speaking engagement, and I'm now tempted to take a bunch of photographs that have "no apparent esthetic value."



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23 comments:

Michael Rivero said...

ART is in the eye of the beholder! And I can give you one example of photographers taking pictures that may appear to have no esthetic value! Visual effects people often take photographs of interesting textures to be applied to 3D computer graphic models!

Anonymous said...

what a stretch, is everyone insane or is it just the few of us who realize how insane the world has become...

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the police state. Enjoy your slavery.

Anonymous said...

AMERIKA: Was this a great country or what....

Anonymous said...

It is Long Beach's way to prevent folks from taking photos of cops. As we all know, cops have no esthetic value. Or more specifically: Cops have NO value whatsoever!

Mark said...

Okay, now we'll have to require EVERY cop to undertake a MINIMUM of 21 university credits in art history, photograohy, a few 2-d studio courses and some "philosophy of art."

Which will make me want to return to college, because it was so fun (yet so EASY) to shoot down and make fools of "criminal justice" majors!

Anonymous said...

How much time for a picture of Pelosi

Thebes said...

Censorship based upon perceived quality is blatant abridgement of speech. The government officials responsible MUST be removed from office if we wish to call ourselves a Free Nation.

Anonymous said...

Most cops can't even spell "esthetic".

Anonymous said...

A percentage of the population if told and paid enough (usually not much) to crucify someone for a made up cause, they will do it. So although they are helping to take down the country where they live and where their friends, family, friends and neighbors live, makes no difference. Protesting, reasoning, and politicking, is a total waste of time. However, what would happen if the peoples efforts were concentrated on the leader of whatever organization is trashing the Constitution? Why criticize the foot soldiers and not put up a poster of their leader, the policy maker, the lawmaker, the traitor?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:45
Dammit, you beat me to it.

lonegranger said...

Didn't even read the article, I'm responding to the title!

So far, I haven't met anyone in LE who can even define esthetics much less recognize it!

lonegranger said...

I was thinking this morning how LE is in a rush to ascribe all sorts of crimes to anyone they are irritated with using perception as a ruse.

In a tit-for-tat, might civilians to perceive LE as basically corrupt and psychopathic until proven otherwise!

Try it!!!!

Ben Reading said...

And how could a below average I.Q. flat footed copper possibly be able to decide what is art or not? Some grunt in a uniform who has problems stringing sentences exceeding 4 words (Hand's above your head!! Lay the f**k down! Show me your ID!) together and only reads Huster Magazine wouldn't know art from a boil on this arse.

EIA said...

" Most cops can't even spell "esthetic". "

You mean aesthetic? Right.. Whether or not they can spell it or not is one thing. What is certain beyond any doubt is that they can never understand the meaning if a Taser is not part of the equation.

If you really want to blow a cop's mind, throw the word acetic at them, and watch them hit overload while their puny minds try to breach the subject of control, doughy confections and incarcerations, and the concept of selflessness eats away real-time at their penal-gland. Hell, you could even do it to an educated officer...

Officer: Sir, put down the camera, and put your
metacarpals upon your cranium immediately.

Tourist: "WTF? Are you nuts? You mean this one?"

Officer: "Sir, you may exercise your rights of Digitus Impudicus as you wish, but what you may not do is photograph anything of ascetic value."

Tourist: "But,....it's just the Virgin Mary,..and this is a public place! Or, did you mean aesthetic?"

Officer: "The latter Sir, my error; You may not photograph anything of aesthetic value." Begins to think: *Wait a minute... Was it with, or without [a]esthetic value???* "Damn!"

Tourist, observing introspection and the difficulties implied: "Officer, have you ever considered the subjective value of aesthetics? I mean, who really can say what has aesthetic value or not? I mean, a pulchritude to you may be an eye-sore to someone with proper taste...It's like how can anyone imagine steak tartare if they've only ever had McDonalds?"

Officer: Begins to shake. "ouurrghh..oooohhh,,,rfghhh,..BrrrRAHHAAAA!!" The officer is later transported to hospital, where his final days are spent on Thorazine as his authoritarian-atrophied mind futilely loops the endless torment of contemplation.

* We have pineal-glands - Cops have penal-glands.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU OFFICERS FOR PUTTING YOUR LIVES ON THE LINE AND PROTECTING US FROM TERRORISTS AND PERVERTS.

walkswithdusk said...

Absolutely laughable. I've yet to meet a police officer who came across to me as having an IQ over 50. Typically a former grunt who can only take orders and cannot reason or think for themselves. High school education - tops. Understandably, not qualified to even look at a REAL work of art or pass judgement on what it is, and ESPECIALLY THE INTENT OF THE ARTIST WHO MADE IT. I feel for the human beings and artists in Long Beach.

William Freeman said...

If these peoplehad any idea about anything, they'd get themselves proper jobs.

Anonymous said...

THE WORLD IS IN SANE MY FRIEND AND IT RUNS ESPECIALLY RAMPANT IN THE WHITEHOUSE.

Cybernikes said...

I make textures for 3d graphics, as someone else here mentioned..who are the police to determine the value of my photographs?

We deserve this. Once we had 'Peace Officers' whose job it was to keep the peace. They did not need to 'Police' an armed and responsible citizenry.

But we are not willing to care for ourselves anymore, so we get little men with guns who can break the law to enforce the law. Are not we so much better off?

Anonymous said...

"police" might be a term of self-deception, these guys are militarized and have little or nothing to do with the polis. they have the right under the law, however, to detain anyone for a brief period and ask them their name and their business. whether or not that person is taking pictures is not relevant to the rights of cops to question him.

Anonymous said...

Quickly, everybody go out and photograph a portion of a famous work of art and keep it on your card. If hell breaks loose you can prove that it's actually a Picasso, the Eiffel Tower, etc.

Janyce Bryant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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