convergences Screen 37 | Webbing

John Webber. Self Portrait. Click.
Stewart Webber. Salmon Paddle.

Stewart Webber. Salmon Paddle.

A word to the wise on the Web and the Webbers, John and Stewart.

John was born in Switzerland in 1751. Stewart is much younger than John. He comes from Kingcome Inlet, some kilometers and at least one language group east of Yuquot in Nootka Sound.

(Remember, the word Yuquot means the place where the wind blows from all directions).

In cobbling together this collaboration, I skimmed some of Johnís visuals off the Web, and scanned a few more from postage stamps, but I purchased Stewartís. He was selling them in front of the VanCity Credit Union on the corner of First and Commercial, in the rain, not far from where I live.

John Webber knew Vancouver, though he was only a midshipman on the Discovery at the time. But Stewart Webber and I live in Vancouver. That is the difference.

Back to the business of appropriation. I paid Stewart for the killer whate paddles and the Eagle / Killer Whale / Salmon plaque. It was a bargain. They are beautiful pieces. I give him credit for that. I hope I run into him again.

The spider webs of memory.

The cobwebs of conscience.

I didnít steal those images, John. I just copied them. (As you copied them in 1778.)

The original people of this coast had a strong tradition of outright ownership of images and narratives, which were generally inherited, and passed on during formal ceremonies. Nothing was in the public domain. No one had a right to tell a story or use a crest that belonged to someone else, although a person could appropriate those of someone he had killed in battle.

I would never go that far to obtain copyright.


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