There is no such thing as an original idea

In today’s lecture (week 11, holy moly), we studied¬†two scholars; Walter Benjamin and Eduardo Navas, and their theories in order to understand the idea of sampling, remaking and remixing original artefacts such as art, film and music, and how ‘authentic’ these ‘copies’ may be. The measurement of authenticity, is identified as how much ‘aura’ of the original is present in the copy. ‘Aura’ is a term used to describe the moment it was taken in, the human memory of that specific time. People will never stop trying to capture ‘aura’ via social media or photos, however you will never capture the exact moment as it was in its entirety (what it looked, felt, smelt, sounded etc. like).¬†Dan stated that we talk about technology as always being ‘inauthentic’, however IT IS social media. IT IS hard to capture the ‘aura’ (as it is little more than a theory and very hard to quantify). But there is still a place for a tweet, Instagram photo or Facebook comment in illustrating who someone is. Granted, it is a more constructed, crafted version of one’s self, but still relevant and also somewhat authentic. You could argue that social media is becoming and more authentic mode of communication.

A mini case study for the lecture was artist Girl talk, whom does not produce his own music, but merely samples and remixes others. We watched a segment of a doco about Girl talk and the narrator stated, “culture always builds on the past”. A woman, assumably from legal background, questioned how Girl talk could not be a blatant copyright infringement? She says, “What is the moral dilemma with [sampling] Girl Talk?….. It’s taking something that is and turning it into something it isn’t“. She doesn’t think he is creative and states, “You can’t argue your creativity when it’s mixed with other people’s stuff”. Well why not? As said at the beginning, culture always builds on the past… Hmm.

Like the first line, an idea that really stuck with me this lecture was that in a world where there are no original ideas, tearing down and reworking old ones may be the only way to do it.

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