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Lesson Plans


Re: original work - another long one.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
taylorh (taylorh)
Fri, 28 Aug 1998 14:46:19 -0700 (MST)


I'm not so sure that this isn't something more closely related to a spirit
in which work is done.

When we make a portrait or a landscape we copy what we see.... the
'creation' as it were of another.

When we work from our imagination we copy... or at tleast try to copy what
we 'have in mind'. This includes abstract, non-represntational work as
well.

Certainly there is no problem either with reproductions. The artist who
makes reproductions for insurance purposes say; learns much in the process
I suspect and his next reproduction as well as his subsequent personal
work benefits from the practice.

There is a l o n g tradition of outright copying of works from the
masters as a learning process. sometimes this is done clinically as a
reproduction and sometimes loosely as "in the manner of" and sometimes
roughly as in "after the work by" and sometimes with a lot of personal
elaboration and truncation - as Manet's Dejeune reprises an earlier work
(I forget which)

Less intrusive "copying" includes subtle allusion, rough citation, and
political comment. And even excerpting and quoting from to continue to use
literary metaphors. The inclusion of artistic work as part of the
subject... that hand painted tie uncle albert insisted be included in his
portrait... a paris original gown or some such, a 1957 Chevy, Bel Aire,
what have you.

It is said that "there is nothing new under the sun" possibly true. Think
about this If you took a sheet of paper or canvas the size of youe
computer monitor and divided it with a 800X600 pixel grid and restricted
your self to say 256 colors and had all the time in the world you could
reproduce a fair facsimile of every significant painting or photograph in
the world (the bad ones too for that matter) it would be easier however,
to simply aim your digital camera at the desired images to achieve the
same effect. alternatively you could write a computer proigram to do the
same thing and in the process run through every image you could possibly
aim a camera at with an infinite range of lenses... That would be EVERY
IMAGE IN THE UNIVERSE a simple computer program away.

(SEARCH: "every icon" in your favorite seaerch engine. the thing's been
done, a java program written at 32 x 32 pixel grid level.) durn! I wanted
to do that!

Of course it would take almost an infinite time to actually SEE all the
possible images. Additionally, MOST of the images would be noise, random
pixel firings with no conceivable pattern beyond that of the tv set when
the station goes off the air. That onlky serves to remind us how FEW real
images there can be (still an inconceivable number) and when you drop put
variations on a theme (mona lisa in purple and yellow, green and hot
orange) the inconcievable number drops even further... nothing new under
the sun.

That's why I would want to suggest we "get over" the problem with copying
and deal more directly with the spirit in which the duplication was done.
to defraud? in laziness? Very early little kids get the idea into their
heads that copying is BAD. Then it takes 'a thousand years' to get em back
on track and dealing with the real problems of duplication.

Finally, the big problem with fear-of-copy is that it strips huge chunks
out of the human dialogue which is art and culture... I'd explain that
more clearly but somebody might steal the idea. I'm going to keep it a
secret. Thats the easiest way to copyright anything and essentially that
is what is achieved.

If I spread the idea about freely someone could appropriate the idea
change it come up with a half a dozen related ideas and either contribute
them to the font of human knowledge or lock 'em up and profit like crazy
for as long as possible...

There are many things I'd like to do but won't because I'd get sued... an
another 150 years whether or not they are still pertinant someone else
could do 'em tho. Fat lot of good it'll do anyone alive today. I'm barred
from sharing those ideas. So it goes.

On the other hand it would cheese me off to find a website selling
notecards of my pastels. Still, I'd rather stick with my originals even if
the profit line is lower... I mean who gets into art to make money?
(yeah, like RIGHT! quite a few I suppose) My wife hates it when I give
art away.... she has this weird thing about paying the mortgage)

Thoughts from the top of a curly head, under copyright by default and
without my permission. heh heh heh. use 'em or can 'em

cheers and "bright blessings" ;)
-henry