Aesthetic Play and Bad Intent

Minnesota Law Review Headnotes (2018, Forthcoming)

23 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2018 Last revised: 23 Jun 2018

Date Written: February 26, 2018


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 non-textual 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.

Suggested Citation

Kerr, Andrew Jensen, Aesthetic Play and Bad Intent (February 26, 2018). Minnesota Law Review Headnotes (2018, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN:

Andrew Jensen Kerr (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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