Appropriation and Remix Culture in our Technological Times

The first few paragraphs already got me on Debord’s side of the argument. If detournment means manipulating a combination of elements from other artists to create harmonious and beautiful piece, then I don’t why this would be a harm. Even though not films, a lot of artists these day use detoured element, such as Ai Kijima, who uses Disney characters in her work. Using detoured elements is also a recognition of the success of the film or style of art that other artist use. However, I’m not sure will I call this situation the “degeneration of art.” With so many out there, the definition of originality is no more clear. When a film or piece of art come out, some people will say they had the idea first and the conversation will go on and on with who is the original person who came up with certain things. Using detoured elements and combining them with own style of art is a new way of creating art and films. The stolen parts of film or elements of art inserted into another piece is given new life and represents a whole new meaning compared to the original film or work. What a specific element mean is different for everyone and a lot of the times the element can be well-known and repeatedly used a lot of the times. It’s just that someone used it before and when another one use the same element, others call it “stolen.” I think that is a mistaken way of interpreting things about films and art. Even though I never say Guy Debord’s films, his introduction in the essay and the reasonable defense of them make me want to view them. And the detourned music, along with the pieces of detourned film, supports his idea and film making.

It is kind of depressing to read that something might never be original. It is not that originality is automatically successful, but that once you achieve a work of art, another person will then compare you to someone who has done something similar. My idea of creating art is not for all to be original, but to be good. I feel that accepting and embracing appropriation can bring artist together and develop new ways of thinking. Martin Arnold uses footage from movies to loop and sample to create work that he calls his own. In Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy, Arnold cuts back and forward between actions to find explicit and non-trajectory messages. The original films he uses are not intended to be expressed and seen in a way that depicts the characters vulgarly. Thus creating a work of art using existing sources and tweaking them to call them his own. This article reminded me of Marc Fischer’s article titled ‘Against Competition’. We should be encouraged to work with others who are currently doing work that we are, therefore embracing originality as another work done by others but in a different way. Chairs were first made with wood and nails, and from there, the idea was developed and improved by copying the techniques and improving them over time. If the second maker of chairs felt obligated not to make chairs with nails, he would have never been able to improve the idea over the existing one.