Selected Courses on Digital Art-UOWM

10 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Filed under: Notes — admin @ 13:43

from Critical Issues in Electronic Media edited by Simon Penny
Plagiarism has long been considered an evil in the cultural world. Typically it has been viewed as the theft of language, ideas, and images by the less than talented, often for the enhancement of personal fortune or prestige. Yet, like most mythologies, the myth of plagiarism is easily inverted. Perhaps it is those who support the legislation of representation and the privatization of language that are suspect; perhaps the plagiarist’s actions, given a specific set of social conditions, are the ones contributing most to cultural enrichment. Prior to the Enlightenment, plagiarism was useful in aiding the distribution of ideas. An English poet could appropriate and translate a sonnet from Petrarch and call it his own. In accordance with the classical aesthetic of art as imitation, this was a perfectly accept able practice. The real value of this activity rested less in the reinforcement of classical aesthetics than in the distribution of work to areas where otherwise it probably would not have appeared. The works of English plagiarists, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Spenser, Sterne, Coleridge, and De Quincey, are still a vital part of the English heritage, and remain in the literary canon to this day.
At present, new conditions have emerged that once again make plagiarism an acceptable, even crucial strategy for textual production. This is the age of the recombinant: recombinant bodies, recombinant gender, recombinant texts, recombinant culture. Looking back through the privileged frame of hindsight, one can argue that the recombinant has always been key in the development of meaning and invention; recent extraordinary advances in electronic technology have called attention to the recombinant both in theory and in practice (for example, the use of morphing in video and film). The primary value of all electronic technology, especially computers and imaging systems, is the startling speed at which they can transmit information in both raw and refined forms. As information flows at a high velocity through the electronic networks, disparate and some times incommensurable systems of meaning intersect, with both enlightening and inventive consequences. In a society dominated by a “knowledge” explosion, exploring the possibilities of meaning in that which already exists is more pressing than adding redundant information (even if it is produced using the methodology and metaphysic of the “original”). In the past, arguments in favor of plagiarism were limited to showing its use in resisting the privatization of culture that serves the needs and desires of the power elite. Today one can argue that plagiarism is acceptable, even inevitable, given the nature of postmodern existence with its techno-infrastructure. In a recombinant culture, plagiarism is productive, although we need not abandon the romantic model of cultural production that privileges a model of ex nihilo creation. Certainly in a general sense the latter model is somewhat anachronistic. There are still specific situations where such thinking is useful, and one can never be sure when it could become appropriate again. What is called for is an end to its tyranny and to its institutionalized cultural bigotry. This is a call to open the cultural database, to let everyone use the technology of textual production to its maximum potential.
Ideas improve. The meaning of words participates in the
improvement. Plagiarism is necessary. Progress Implies
it. It embraces an author’s phrase, makes use of his
expressions, erases a false Idea, and replaces it with the
right idea.

Δεν υπάρχουν Σχόλια »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress

error: Content is protected !!