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h6. There is an anecdote, told and retold through translated Japanese literature, of a Zen master who is staying with a priest at a temple close to Kyoto. The priest is having guests over that evening, and he has spent much of the day in the garden—shaping the moss, plucking weeds, and gathering up the leaves in tidy arrangements, all in order to achieve the state of perfection the temple builders had originally designed.

“Isn’t it beautiful,” the priest asked the master…
The master nodded. “Yes…your garden is beautiful; but there is something missing…”

The old gentleman walked slowly to a tree growing in the center of a harmonious rock and moss combination. It was autumn and the leaves were dying. All the master had to do was shake the tree a little and the garden was full of leaves again, spread out in haphazard patterns.

“That’s what it needed,” the master said.

David Sherwin, 2009

After years of experimentation, we have figured out what people like and settled on some rules.

But there’s a downside to all this consensus—it can get boring. From smartphones to operating systems to web page design, it can start to feel like the truly transformational moments have come and gone, replaced by incremental updates that make our devices and interactions faster and better.

This brings us to an important and exciting moment in the design of our technologies. We have figured out the rules of creating sleek sophistication. We know, more or less, how to get it right. Now, we need a shift in perspective that allows us to move forward. We need a pole right through a horse’s head. We need to enter the third stage of this cycle. It’s time to stop figuring out how to do things the right way, and start getting it wrong.

Scott Dadich, 2014

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But is it possible that the surface might blind one to the inner beauty (i.e. intelligence) of this work? Ralph Waldo Emerson in The Conduct of Life (1860) wrote: ‘The secret of ugliness consists not in irregularity, but in being uninteresting.’ Given Emerson’s measure, it could be argued that design is only ugly when devoid of aesthetic or conceptual forethought – for example, generic restaurant menus, store signs and packages. Perhaps, then, the How booklet, which is drowning in forethought, should be “read” on a variety of levels wherein beauty and ugliness are mitigated by context and purpose. Perhaps – but given the excesses in this work, the result can only be described as a catalogue of pretence.
During the late 1940s and 1950s the Modernist mission was to develop design systems that would protect the global (not just corporate) visual environment from blight. Yet while Modernism smoothed out the rough edges of communications by prescribing a limited number of options, it also created a recipe for mediocrity. If a Modernist design system is followed by rote, the result can be as uninteresting and therefore as ugly – according to Emerson’s standard – as any non-designed newsletter or advertisement. So design that aggressively challenge the senses and intellect rather than following the pack should in theory be tolerated, if not encouraged.
Steven Heller, 2004

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Thus, following the absolute measure of quality, the writer will obsess about every comma until the rhythm of a sentence comes out right, and the woodworker will shave a mortise-and-tenon joint until the two pieces are completely rigid, needing no screws. Following the measure of functionality, the writer will deliver on time, no matter that every comma is in place, the point of writing being to be read. The functionally minded carpenter will curb worry about each detail, knowing that small defects can be corrected by hidden screws. Again, the point is to finish so that the piece can be used. To the absolutist in every craftsman, each imperfection is a failure; to the practitioner, obsession with perfection seems a perception for failure.
Richard Sennett, 2008

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His view, shared with many others, is that an exclusively digital artist might never know how to manipulate physical media, and can only experiment with a program with pre-existing limitations. For instance, a line drawn with Illustrator has a default setting: it is one point thick, black, and perfectly straight. But a line drawn with a pencil, pen, oil crayon or sponge brush can be any weight, color or texture, and the evidence of a human hand adds character.
Jessica Carew Kraft, 2015

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There’s no real question of returning to a craft-based economy (or only in the darkest fantasies of a global economic meltdown). What we have here is a post-industrial nostalgia for the pre-industrial. In a culture with a surfeit of branding and cheap mass-produced goods, we romanticise the handmade because we yearn for quality, not quantity. The irony is that while western consumers aspire to craftsmanship, the majority of the world’s population lives in countries that have local craftsmen but aspire to industrialised products. Mass manufacturing will be essential to lifting a billion people out of poverty, and providing basic goods that we took for granted long ago. Meanwhile, we’ll be seeing more crafted industrial objects coming our way, as we lust after craftsmanship we can’t afford and disdain the industrial products we can.
Justin McGuirk, 2011

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These observations aren’t to willfully ignore the fact that digital is the dominant force in our future, and many of the great analogue brands of old will of course never recover from the digital revolution. But were truly high-quality analogue experience are still on offer, the consumer is ready and willing to pay.
Many commentators dismiss the resurgence of analogue as ‘nostalgia’; the death throws of an outmoded mindset. This doesn’t explain the fact that many of those who are most hungry for analogue experiences are too young to remember anything but digital. They are the famous digital natives that we hear so much about, and although they demand open access to culture, they also want to touch and be touched by it.
Jonathan Openshaw, 2015

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“There are obvious aesthetic qualities connecting the work,” they say, “intentionally ‘bad’ typography; using system typefaces like Arial, Helvetica or Times; stretching them; having too much or too little letter or line spacing; deforming type on a scanner or a copier. The Pretty Ugly is a movement against the established criteria of what ‘good design’ is, in order to regain the attention of the audience and explore new territory. Entering the world of ‘wrong’ freed these designers and made any kind of experiment possible, without worrying about being thought unprofessional. Mistakes turned into virtuosity, a sign of authenticity and humanity. But it isn’t a movement that does wrong because it doesn’t know better. This is a highly educated generation of designers using their knowledge to break with what they were given as rules. They use intuition as much as intellect in order to enter new territory that is beyond so called ‘professionalism’.”

Hmmm, so we are into the “if I do it, it’s meant to look bad, if you do it, it’s just bad” territory, always tricky ground to occupy. Are we, the humble viewers and readers, meant to know the difference? Is there one?

Patrick Burgoyne, 2012

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“It is a sufficiently advanced form of paper as to be indistinguishable from magic.”

Matias Duarte, vice president of design at Google, is telling me about the central principle of Material Design. It’s the unifying metaphor behind Google’s new design direction, providing a unified set of physics and rules for how software should look and act. It’s also a little weird.

The design team at Google felt the need to come up with a more coherent look and feel that could be applied across all of its products, from Android to Chrome OS to the web. Rather than starting with a palette of colors or a big set of guidelines, they started with a question.

What is software made of?

Dieter Bohn, 2014

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That anyone still bothers to build homepages at all should be heartening, when it’s both easier and almost surely more financially rewarding to post something directly to a social network. But from a design standpoint, all web brutalism seems to mean is a turn away from the affective onslaught of the gooey, bubbly skeuomorphism of Web 2.0., and a rejection of the streamlined, blue superflatness of the Zuckerbergian web, in turn.

So while web brutalism might not refer to any one specific design aesthetic, it still seems to pick out a certain kind of website, not a look so much as a feel. Web brutalism might even be an important way to conceptualize the internet. Why not? Independent web publishing (ahem) is still important, and its operation separate of larger commercial interests becomes even more important in our contemporary Hogan-Thielscape.

Charles Thaxton, 2016

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“Does it even matter what a website looks like anymore?”
Charles Thaxton, 2016

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At the application layer, the open Internet has always been a fiction. It was only because we confused the Web with the Net that we didn’t see it. The rise of machine-to-machine communications — iPhone apps talking to Twitter APIs — is all about control. Every API comes with terms of service, and Twitter, Amazon.com, Google, or any other company can control the use as they will. We are choosing a new form of QoS: custom applications that just work, thanks to cached content and local code. Every time you pick an iPhone app instead of a Web site, you are voting with your finger: A better experience is worth paying for, either in cash or in implicit acceptance of a non-Web standard.
Chris Anderson and Michael Wolf, 2010

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Today, the same qualities that led to their successes are causing the Internet and the PC to falter. As ubiquitous as Internet technologies are today, the pieces are in place for a wholesale shift away from the original chaotic design that has given rise to the modern information revolution. This counterrevolution would push mainstream users away from a generative Internet that fosters innovation and disruption, to an appliancized network that incorporates some of the most powerful features of today’s Internet while greatly limiting its innovative capacity—and, for better or worse, heightening its regulability. A seductive and more powerful generation of proprietary networks and information appliances is waiting for round two. If the problems associated with the Internet and PC are not addressed, a set of blunt solutions will likely be applied to solve the problems at the expense of much of what we love about today’s information ecosystem. Understanding its history sheds light on different possible futures and helps us to recognize and avoid what might otherwise be very tempting dead ends.
Jonathan Zittrain, 2008

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Information becomes ammunition when packaged and instrumentalized in a way that enables direct action or when it is delivered as a tool.
Viktor Papanek, 2008

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„The image of war constantly assaults us, and we call it news drama, pleasure, play. We constantly function within its shadow. Even in the most peaceful of social environments – weather as fiction, fear, image, style, rhetoric war still designs the emotional topography of men and women.
One and the other, beginning and ending, inside and outside, subject and object and that whole binaries, not least war and peace, seem so ‚natural‘ and so ‚given‘. Our language, its categories and our thinking belie the existence of the most intimate of couplings and the absolute perspectival problem of our position of observation and proximity to the „observed‘. The violence, disruptions, forces and extremes that are war, alter of view and perspectives, which means that war always brings much more in feeling hearing, touch and sight than just itself […] The links between military and civil research, the arms trade and national economies, the technological spin off from weapons development and military technologies are all taken as read. Our position is the claim that war is the defeatured inscribed in us, our technology, and our world“
Tony Fry, 1999

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„Anthropologist Juris Milestone described designers as experts in subjectivity who create „order by manufacturing certain subjectivities“ „ […..] “ Design not only drives consumer desire but „can work to depoliticize war, technology, architecture, consumerism and globalization“ (20o7a, 96) by virtue of its aesthetic appeal and sophisticated grasp of cultural ideas“

„a gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims, exerted for the most part through the purely symbolic channels of communication and cognition (or more precisely, misrecognition), recognition, or even feeling.“ Bourdieu 2001, 2

Dr. Joanna Boehnert, 2016

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“Contemporary American and European culture consists of events and experiences that are virtually all aesthetically mediated in some way; and the most spectacular displays by the mass media are scenes of violence. Critics of the media who deplore such scenes overlook a crucial point: the graphic display of violence in both high and low art is not nearly so dangerous as the seductive power of fiction itself.”
Joel Black, 1991

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Are we seeing the birth of a „social design doctrine“ employed to wage war?
It is tempting to draw parallels between design and the developments of military thinking to reflect some of the issues at stake as design turns to address social, cultural and ethnic issues. […] design and warfare strive for opening new „fronts“ in conflicts, new dimensions to strike the enemy, and also use games to train and expand tactical thinking. Today, trans-disciplinary Human strain Teams“ of ethnographers, anthropologists and military personnel are engaged in counterinsurgency warfare. Similar to the latest doctrines of warfare design explores the use of interfaces, fronts and conflict zones, and social design might soon be the next social „surrogate warfare“ As design goes social it urgently needs ethical research and reflection.
Otto von Busch, 2011

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The human person is not entirely subject to the dictates of positivity. Without negativity, life atrophies to the „ dead being“. Especially negativity keeps life alive. Pain is constructive for practical knowledge. The life that is purely consisting of positive emotions and flow results wouldn’t be a human one. The human soul owes its deep tension especially to negativity.[…] The imperative of borderless optimization exploits even the pain. The famous american motivation coach Anthony Robbins writes: „ if you set yourself a goal, you’re committed to the CANI: Constant Never Ending Improvement […]commit to your desire for constant everlasting improvement, which every human feels. Out of the pressure, which is constructed out of discontent, through the tension of temporary malaise, power comes into being. That is the kind of pain you need in your life „ Tolerated is is only the pain that can be exploited for the purpose of optimization. Just as destructive as the power of negative violence is the power of positivity. The neoliberal psycho politic destroys with its consciousness industry the human soul, which is inherently everything else but a positive machine. The subject of the neoliberal regime dies due to the imperative of self optimization, namely the compulsion to produce more and more power. healing proves to be killing.
Byung Chul Han, 2014, translated

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„There are things that do not disappear. Violence also belongs to them. The vigilance of violence‘ (does not characterize modernity. The violence is more protective than one thinks. It only changes its appearance. Today, it withdraws into subcutaneous, sub-communicative, capillary and neuronal spaces and assumes a micro-physical form that is exercised even without the negativity of domination or enmity. It shifts from the visible into the invisible, from the brachial into the medial and from the frontal into the viral. Non-open attacks, but contagion are their actions.“
Matthes and Seitz Berlin, 2013, translated

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„As we know – if the human wouldn’t feel pain, the human would be in a very dangerous situation, but a lot of people – saying the „normal“ … are so adjusted.. they left everything that is their own, they are so alienated, so instrumented, so machine like that they can’t perceive conflict. Which means their real feeling. Their love, their hate is so banned or even deteriorated that they build an image of an light chronicle schizophrenia. The human as Marx already said – made its history – The history does nothing – it doesn’t fight in fights and it doesn’t win wars it is the human that does all that. This human though, is influenced from its surrounding and not just in the sense of french enlightenment philosophy – surrounding meaning surface but the structure of the society in which he/she lives. Which has one tendency, meaning the forming of its psychical energies, so that the human loves to do what the human needs to do, to keep the society in its special form existing.”
Erich Fromm, 1977

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„Subjective and objective violence cannot be perceived from the same standpoint: subjective violence is experienced as such against the background of a non-violent zero level. It is seen as a perturbation of the „normal“, peaceful state of things. However, objective violence is precisely the violence inherent to this „normal“ state of things. Systemic violence is thus something like the notorious „dark matter‘ of physics the counterpart to an all-too-visible subjective violence. It may be invisible, but it has to be taken into account if one is to make sense of what otherwise seem to be ‚irrational‘ explosions of sub- ective violence. When the media bombard us with those ‚humanitarian crises which seem constantly to pop up all over the world, one should always bear in mind that a particular crisis only explodes into media visibility as the result of a complex struggle.„
Slavoj Zizek, 2009

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„There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a very few of them.“
Viktor Papanek, 2008

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Let Man be elegant, and good Let one simple example illustrate the problem. Take the case of designing a paper-knife. Let the designer be elegant: Let the knife be exceptional without being obtrusive (i.e. noble). Let the designer be user friendly: Let the knife be easy to handle without any special knowledge (i e. generous). Let the designer be good: Let the knife be so efficient that it can cut through paper (or anything resistant). As has already been indicated the notion of the good is problematic. After all, a knife can be too good: It can not only cut paper but also its user‘s finger.
Villem Flusser, 1999

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„designers design in a designed world, which arrives by design, that designs their actions and objects, or more simply: we design our world, while our world designs us[…] The future is already written, history shows what is platted. In this sense history becomes an urgent task for the future, for taking stock of how extensive unsustainability is to privilege war in relation to design, [..] war is design at its most unsustainable. It is also design at it’s me ask, innovative, and ironically its most productive“. From the perspective of television, contemporary wars [..] often seem like marketplace showcases for of v very latest in cutting-edge‘ design.“
Tony Fry, 1999

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Until recently we’ve only been able to speculate about story’s persuasive effects. But over the last several decades psychology has begun a serious study of how story affects the human mind. Results repeatedly show that our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values are strongly influenced by story. In fact, fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than writing that is specifically designed to persuade through argument and evidence.
Jonathan Gottschall, 2012

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The storyteller appeals to the mind, and appeals ultimately to generations and generations and generations.

[…]

The storyteller creates the memory that survivors must have — otherwise surviving would have no meaning… This is very, very important… Memory is necessary if surviving is going to be more than just a technical thing.

Chinua Achebe, 2016

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All the great stories, all the really worthwhile plays, are emotional experiences.
Ray Bradbury, 2015

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One story Plato used to teach about the limitations of democracy was about a ship in the middle of the ocean. On this ship was a gruff, burly captain who was rather shortsighted and slightly deaf. He and his crew followed the principles of majority rule on decisions about navigational direction. They had a very skilled navigator who knew how to read the stars on voyages, but the navigator was not very popular and was rather introverted. In the panic of being lost, the captain and crew made a decision to follow the most charismatic, eloquent, and persuasive of the crew members. They ignored and ridiculed the navigator’s suggestions, remained lost, and ultimately starved to death at sea.”
Annette Simmons,2006

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Until recently we’ve only been able to speculate about story’s persuasive effects. But over the last several decades psychology has begun a serious study of how story affects the human mind. Results repeatedly show that our attitudes, fears, hopes, and values are strongly influenced by story. In fact, fiction seems to be more effective at changing beliefs than writing that is specifically designed to persuade through argument and evidence.
Jonathan Gottschall, 2012

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With a series one believes one is enjoying the novelty of the story (which is always the same) while in fact one is enjoying it because of the recurrence of a narrative scheme that remains constant. The series in this sense responds to the infantile need of always hearing the same story, of being consoled by the “return of the Identical,” superficially disguised.The series consoles us (the consumers) because it rewards our ability to foresee: we are happy because we discover our own ability to guess what will happen. We are satisfied because we find again what we had expected. We do not attribute this happy result to the obviousness of the narrative structure but to our own presumed capacities to make forecasts. We do not think, “The author has constructed the story in a way that I could guess the end,” but rather, “I was so smart to guess the end in spite of the efforts the author made to deceive me.”
Umberto Eco, 1990

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Any text is woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony. The citations that go to make up a text are anonymous, untraceable, and yet already read; they are quotations without the inverted commas. The kernel, the soul – let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances – is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are secondhand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born from the superstition that he originated them‚ whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral caliber and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. Old and new make the warp and woof of every moment. There is no thread that is not a twist of these two strands. By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote. Neurological study has lately shown that memory, imagination, and consciousness itself is stiched quilted, pastiched. If we cut-and-paste our selves, might we not forgive it of our artworks?
Jonathan Lethem, 2007

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“We can’t introduce anything new until we’re fluent in the language of our domain, and we do that through emulation.”
Kirby Ferguson, 2015

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Most artist are brought to their vocation when their own nascent gifts are awakened by the work of a master. That is to say, most artist are converted to art by art itself. Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying of oneself for the words of others but and adopting and embracing of filiations, communities, and discourses. Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.
Jonathan Lethem, 2007

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A product inspired by another product is created with love and respect for the predecessor. As such it can help create (renewed) attention to and recognition for the predecessor, but without diluting it. Plagiarism is on the contrary “a deliberate imitation created with a larcenous intent”, […] and as such plagiarism helps to devalue and undermine the original.
Ole Damsbo and Jesper Fabricius, 2001, translated

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When we reason about plagiarism by reasoning about theft, and when we encourage students to engage in this reasoning with us, we reactivate neural connections between not just the logical structure of one and the logical structure of the other but also between the moral content of one and the moral content of the other. We suggest that plagiarism is wrong because theft is wrong and plagiarism is just like theft in that it involves unauthorized taking of another person’s property. But we rarely take the next step and explain why theft is wrong because to do so would require and articulation of the moral basis of ownership and the metaphor of a right as an I.O.U. that entitles an author to credit for his or her work. Giving credit to the cited author enacts recognition, a specific form of human well-being without which social life would be virtually meaningless. Explaining why theft is wrong and thus why plagiarism is wrong thus requires an examination of precisely what is stolen when someone plagiarizes. The object of theft, the thing for which the author holds exclusive rights, is not the words or the language or even the ideas, but the credit.
Amy Robillard, 2009

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We are often led to believe that something of the original is lost in the process of copying. But in fact it could be argued that copying can become a creative, subversive act in itself.

[…] We might therefore argue that not only is art based on repetition, but that it is the minor incremental changes which appear in the act of repetition that give a work of art its critical force. As such, contemporary theory – along with the use of digital practices – has helped us to overcome the very myth of ‘authenticity’ that was once celebrated as the mark of the true work of art. The issue is not just that works of art can now be replicated more easily in an age of digital reproduction, but rather that reproducibility itself – in the form of mimicry, copying and repetition – has always already informed the development of such works.

Nick Leach, 2016

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“An object uncopied is under perpetual siege, valued less for itself than for the struggle to prevent its being copied. The more adept the West has become at the making of copies, the more we have exalted uniqueness. It is within an exuberant world of copies that we arrive at our experience of originality.” 

“Copying is pedestrian. Copying is peculiar. On the one hand, copying makes us what we are. Our bodies take shape from the transcription of protein templates, our language from the mimicry of privileged sounds, our crafts from the repetition of prototypes. Cultures cohere in the faithful transmission of rituals and rules of conduct. To copy cell for cell, word for word, image for image, is to make the known world our own. 
On the other hand, we are not identical, nor do we wish to think of ourselves as clones. Copying is ultimately imperfect, our errors eventually our heirs. The more widespread the act of copying, the greater the likelihood of significant miscopying. Genetic slip or evolution, scribal mistake or midrash, miscopying raises hard questions about identity,security, and integrity. The same technical advances that render our skill at copying so impressive also intensifies the dilemmas of forgery. We use copies to certify originals, originals to certify copies, then we stand bewildered.”

Hillel Schwartz, 1998

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“The genealogy of copying is not the history of technique of reproduction or imitation – it is the swerve away from literal likeness that always results in a difference, new feelings and new effects. The copy must be distinguished from the imitation, (which seeks to act as the original) and plagiarism (which wants to erase the presence of the original). These are forms of copying that still depend on the original as primary, albeit in a distorted and perverse way. The copycat believes that the very notion of the original has become out of sync with today’s multivalent culture and that instead a work is never closed or complete but can continue to move, update and evolve.”
Alexander Maymind, 2009

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[…] authenticity empties out as a notion as one approaches those mediums which are inherently multiple.”
Rosalind E. Krauss, 1985

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Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. […] The authenticity of a thing is the essence of all that is transmissible from its beginning, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony to the history which it has experienced. Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. And what is really jeopardized when the historical testimony is affected is the authority of the object. One might subsume the eliminated element in the term “aura” and go on to say: that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art. This is a symptomatic process whose significance points beyond the realm of art. One might generalize by saying: the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition. By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence. And in permitting the reproduction to meet the beholder or listener in his own particular situation, it reactivates the object reproduced.
Walter Benjamin, 1969

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In this culture of ‘likes’ and of ‘tweets’ and ‘re-tweets’, it is not the original that is important, but the number of times it is replicated. Originality has given way to replication and repetition.
Nick Leach, 2016

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One could say, following the Comaroffs and contra Benjamin, that it is saturation through mass circulation – the status of being everywhere at once rather than belonging to a single place – that now produces value for and through images (and not only in “ethno-commodities”). Instead of a radiating nimbus of authenticity and authority underwritten by site specific, we have the value of saturation, of being everywhere at once. In place of aura, the is buzz. Like a swarm of bees, a swarm of images makes a buzz, and like a new idea or trend, once an image (whether attached to a product, a policy, a person, or a work of art) achieves saturation, it ha a “buzz”. A buzz arises not from the agency of a single object or event but from the emergent behaviors of populations of actors (both organic and inorganic) when their discrete movements are sufficiently in phase to produce coordinated action – when bees, for example, organize themselves into a swarm. Such events are not planned or directed by a single focused intelligence – they are “distributed” over several small acts that, taken individually, may have no intention, or consciousness of a bigger picture. Buzz indicates a moment of becoming – a threshold at which coherence emerges.
David Joselit, 2013

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Butler’s arguments would seem to suggest that there is no such thing as ‘authenticity’ in terms of cultural practices. Rather, it is through copying and imitation that cultural practices are instantiated as some hegemonic behaviour until eventually they become the norm, if replicated often enough. Moreover, if another form of cultural practice is initiated and copied by others, then a new hegemonic practice – a new tradition – can be propagated through a process of simple repetition.
Nick Leach, 2016

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“[…] the simulacrum is a copy of a copy whose relation to the model has become so attenuated that it can no longer properly be said to be a copy. It stands on its own as a copy without a model.”
Brian Massumi, 1987

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An original can be quirky, but is at least its own. It is a modern claim both for humans and art that copies are a deflated thing. Even though it is OK to be inspired and to borrow from others the theft must be obvious, so you are an honest thief, and what is stolen should be part of an original composition. By being yourself you are being unique, by copying others you almost cease to exist. […] With the requirement to be yourself other requirements follow concerning deviation. To be yourself is to deviate from everyone else. Therefore in modern society there is a reward for deviating, and this deviation isn’t just concerning people, who can’t fulfill the requirements of society, but also people who don’t want to fulfill them, and who would rather redefine what needs to be required at all. Not just drunks and mad men deviate. Also artists and scientists and all other kinds of people cultivate a mix of adaption and deviation to establish themselves as original and to give a promise of a greater future than others. The requirement to be an innovator, to start trends and set the agenda concerns a kind of deviation, that speculates in adaption.
Ole Thyssen, 2001

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How does an artist look at the world? First, you figure out what’s worth stealing, then you move on to the next thing. That’s about all there is to it. When you look at the world this way, you stop worrying about what’s “good” and what’s “bad” – there’s only stuff worth stealing, and stuff that’s not worth stealing. Everything is up for grabs. If you don’t find something worth stealing today, you might find it worth stealing tomorrow or a month or a year from now.
Austin Kleon, 2012

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In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what´s really important to them. Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.
Austin Kleon, 2012

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”The failure I want to talk about is the one that comes from ones own demand. The one that’s never pursuing peace. The one that is supposed to be the contrary of success, but here again what does success mean? In my view it has not got much meaning, it is more about achievement in sense of doing as much as you can. That’s what success should be. So fear of failure in the end can be a good natural instinct that allows you to make mistakes and therefore find a new road and maybe a surprise.”
Someone once asked Sommerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
Sarah Moon, 2011

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That’s a pro.
In terms of Resistance, Maugham was saying, “I despise Resistance; I will not let it faze me; I will sit down and do my work.”
Maugham reckoned another, deeper truth: that by performing the mundane physical act of sitting down and starting to work, he set in motion a mysterious but infallible sequence of events that would produce inspiration, as surely as if the goddess had synchronized her watch with his,. He knew if he built it, she would come.
Steven Pressfield, 2012

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Not all failures lead to solutions, though. How do you fail constructively?
We’re taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people haven’t, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something that’s very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path.
Sir James Dyson, 2007

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Within a month of starting the experimental year, The New York Times featured an article on the American artist Robert Rauschenberg. He stated that he tried never to come into the studio with an idea. If he has an idea, he goes for a walk to get rid of it. He said that if he does start with an idea, chances are he’ll only come up with stuff that he or somebody else has done before him. He wants all the insecurities and doubts of the working process to become part of the final piece. This was so incredibly different from how I work.
Stefan Sagmeister, 2008

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You can only work for people that you like. This is a curious rule and it took me a long time to learn because in fact at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or at least maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true. I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I am talking about affection. I am talking about a client and you sharing some common ground. That in fact your view of life is someway congruent with the client, otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle.
Milton Glaser

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Contemporary art’s workforce consists largely of people who, despite working constantly, do not correspond to any traditional image of labor. They stubbornly resist settling into any entity recognizable enough to be identified as a class. While the easy way out would be to classify this constituency as multitude or crowd, it might be less romantic to ask whether they are not global lumpenfreelancers, deterritorialized and ideologically free-floating: a reserve army of imagination communicating via Google Translate.
Hito Steyerl, 2010

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“An object uncopied is under perpetual siege, valued less for itself than for the struggle to prevent its being copied. The more adept the West has become at the making of copies, the more we have exalted uniqueness. It is within an exuberant world of copies that we arrive at our experience of originality.”

“Copying is pedestrian. Copying is peculiar. On the one hand, copying makes us what we are. Our bodies take shape from the transcription of protein templates, our language from the mimicry of privileged sounds, our crafts from the repetition of prototypes. Cultures cohere in the faithful transmission of rituals and rules of conduct. To copy cell for cell, word for word, image for image, is to make the known world our own.
On the other hand, we are not identical, nor do we wish to think of ourselves as clones. Copying is ultimately imperfect, our errors eventually our heirs. The more widespread the act of copying, the greater the likelihood of significant miscopying. Genetic slip or evolution, scribal mistake or midrash, miscopying raises hard questions about identity,security, and integrity. The same technical advances that render our skill at copying so impressive also intensifies the dilemmas of forgery. We use copies to certify originals, originals to certify copies, then we stand bewildered.”

Hillel Schwartz, 1998

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Juicy Bits

  • Author: viscom kadk
  • Published: 2016-11-24 17:35:12
  • Words: 6861
Juicy Bits Juicy Bits