OCAD Textbook: $180 and empty boxes where art should be

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
OCAD Textbook: $180 and empty boxes where art should be

When asked to look at Michelangelo’s The Holy Family, first-year students at the Ontario College of Art and Design will be greeted by a blank circle, asking them to find an image of the artwork online instead.

The $180 mandatory textbook Global Visual and Cultural Material: Prehistory to 1800 contains many blank spaces where artwork would normally be, followed by instructions to go to a separate source online to view the material. Some sections of the book, parts of which were obtained by the National Post, still contain notes of features to observe in the absent artwork.

The textbook is a custom book for OCAD, compiling three different sources — Art History, available for $144, Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide for $92 and a reader compiled by OCAD — to create one book. But why put out an art history textbook with no art in the first place?

Kathy Shailer, dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the choice was to save students money.“It would have been over $300 [to require students to buy the two existing texts, which both include artwork], which would have been beyond the pale of what to ask for students,” said Ms. Shailer, adding that not all parts of the individual textbooks are used.

In an earlier letter to students, Ms. Shailer said a printed version of the new textbook, including art, would have cost $800.

Issues Pages: 

Ha! The artbook has no art.

Photocopy it and fuck'em.

How long are they going to push this shit until it completely implodes on itself? I'd feel differently about it if the biggest perpetrators were authors and artists, rather than publishers, copyright holders, and academic paper-trolls.

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

As far as I'm concerned, textbooks should be made available electronically and should be free for anyone who wants them.

Learning should be a human right and anything that places an obstacle in the path of learning should be considered a violation of human rights.

The corporate copyright crap has gone nuts.

Just last week the Royal Canadian Mint went after a country singer who had a picture of some Canadian pennies on his CD cover.

Some months back, Canada Post went after a little company in Ottawa that made use of the postal code in it's software.   BTW the development of the postal code system was paid for back in the early 1970's by the Canadian taxpayer when Canada Post was still a government department.