Editorial Original vs Copy | LUCILA VILELA

July 12, 2015

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Aiming to encourage reflection on the question of copy and its variations in the visual arts, the Online Magazine Interartive presents a special issue on the topic Original vs Copy. This 75th issue of Interartive is particularly relevant in the field of art and contemporary thought: it deals with a discourse that has accompanied art since antiquity. However, it is still widely discussed, especially if we take into account the changes introduced by digital technology.

Adam Lowe notes that “original and copy are two concepts that have much in common. Although their meaning is perceived by everyone in an objective way, we must also recognize that they are concepts that can be subjectively manipulated. Their importance lies precisely in this mixture of objectivity and subjectivity that allows us to use them to communicate specific ideas – for example, about a work of art – while leaving the door open to a wide range of interpretations.”[1]

The posture regarding the copy has been modified due to the artistic procedures employed by many artists; the discourse involves questions regarding copyright and the interests of the art market, that are always struggling to attribute originality and authenticity to a work. By calculating and defining its value, either economic or symbolic – two variables that, despite being very different, are related – the system of the arts becomes responsible for ensuring the originality of the object.

When reflecting on the originality of art, Rosalind Krauss believes that the issue of originality is a discursive practice settled by the museum, the historian and the artifice. The author warns that the “aesthetic discourse -both official and nonofficial-gives priority to the term originality and tends to suppress the notion of repetition or copy. But harder to see or not, the notion of the copy is still fundamental to the conception of the original.” [2]

Whether in the radical attitude of the appropriationist practices of the 70s or the remix culture and the digital age, the issue of the copy generates many debates and discussions that are manifested in the research and theories on contemporary art and thought.

Original vs. Copy is the result of a call for papers and projects issued by Interartive and brings together texts and artistic projects selected according to their relevance and contribution to the subject. The contents of the issue raises questions such as citation, appropriation, copying as creation, the problem of originality, virtual museums and digital images and other aspects of authorship and authenticity. In our online exhibition we present a series of artists who employ the method of copy, appropriation, imitation or remix in their process of creation.

I would like to end this editorial by thanking all those who have participated in our call: artists, critics, researchers and cultural professionals who have collaborated to promote the debate on this issue as well as the editorial team of Interartive for their work and dedication to the magazine.

[1] LOWE, Adam. La originalidad se construye, también desde una buena copia

http://www.factum-arte.com/pag/200/La-originalidad-se-construye–tambien-desde-una-buena-copia- (www.factum-arte.com)

[2] KRAUSS, Rosalind. La originalidade de la vanguardia y otros mitos modernos. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2009, p.179

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Lucila Vilela is a PhD candidate in Visual Arts at the University of the State of Santa Catarina. She is the managing editor of the special issue “Original vs. Copy”, InterArtive # 75.

 

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