I've had this idea about ideas sharing, and open source development for a while and then an online friend and creative peer, Breana Ferrara Posted her little thoughts on copying on her instagram story. (@Corpulence_drip)
I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of copying work today. A lot of people recently have said “I would love to try X or y, but i don’t want to copy you, or for you to think I’m copying you.” But for me, unless you are literally ripping off and copying it millimetre by millimetre, I just don’t care or consider it copying in the negative sense. What isn’t copied? What is actually original?
How many times have I thought of an idea or design only to see the same thing pop up a couple months later on my insta feed? it occurs outside the art world too. You’ll have this incredibly specific idea, and somebody else will do the exact same thing on their own without you having communicated to them.
I have seen people who copy somebody mm by mm and I would call that plagiarism. But I have also seen plenty of people do very similar things that are clearly original in their own minds… so go for it then! It’s a fine line but also I just feel like we are so influenced by each other, our surroundings, why be so self conscious about being unoriginal or being influenced? Give credit if it needs it, but otherwise make your art.
I don’t know what is right and what is wrong, I think it is cade by case. But honestly I would be ignorant if I thought that all of what I was doing was totally original, so i don’t take offence if somebody tried something I am doing in their own work. It’s far more complex than this… but that’s just how I feel.
One of my jewellery profs once said to my class “sometimes even if it has already been done, you need to try it for yourself” and I feel that. “
My reply to her:
“Ok so the real biggest thing about copying is the financial loss that we suffer in this global marketplace if someone is copying us. However, that’s just a side effect of capitalism and is counter intuitive to how art should work. Instead of there being one you making what you make there should be hundreds. There should be hundreds of artists in every town making things locally for their local community.
We have this structure that expects you to be the One PopStar when realistically it would be incredible for every pub to have a singer who sang every song.
without different hands, different eyes, different skill levels copying our ideas how do we expect to create culture?
Human culture isn’t built on the backs of single heroes, it’s built on the mound of dirt we make by doing the same drawings and singing the same songs over and over again.
The individual creative requirements of capitalism don’t necessarily make good art, and good art is made in development with peers and community. No one can work in a vacuum but when we are supposed to be able to monetise our ideas when we really could just be surviving off our skills.
The worship, particularly of male painters, of individual artists creates myths of single geniuses alone changing the world. It’s not true.
They had friends, muses, pencils, cafe meetings to discuss manifestos. Everything.
The culture is social and capitalism wants to kill that.
stealing is normal, it’s natural and it’s what leads to development and if artists were paid for their time and not their ideas we wouldn’t even call it stealing.”
Lately I’ve been getting really into makeup. You could say this is a product of my breakup, or maybe it’s because I am fully forming myself into a 30 year old human and I know what I actually genuinely like, and what I think is being sold to me.
The fact that I am into makeup isn’t really the point here, the point is that I now follow a lot of makeup artists online and i’m witnessing trends in both beauty, and experimental makeup as they’re happening.
The great thing about makeup is it’s ephemeral, it goes on, it’s washed off. It’s a quick process when compared to almost every other form of creative expression. This speed, the ability to have an idea in the morning, a photoshoot in the afternoon and a post online by happy hour, allows for an incredible rate of development. Makeup artists smash through technical skills in months, the glow ups in blending, or contouring, or eyebrows are insane.
And the way they do it is by following tutorials, collaging, copying and drawing inspiration from other looks.
You can see it happen.
Trends like these are often ignored by people who talk about art too much, but they’re important to watch. Fashion IS the quickest most immediate form of culture expression. And fashion is an entire industry based of appropriation. How can something be IN this season if it’s not being made by more than one person. Trend is every person.
There are no original ideas. Even the vast, bewildering variety of nature can be broken down to DNA reshuffled, the same elements, the same patterns of growth. Golden Ratios and crystallisation keeping us all unique, and yet all identical down to our very cores.
We look back at the art from our past and we describe it in movements, we say The Surrealists, we recognise that abstract expressionism and cubism are different communities, different ideas, different explorations. What words do we have for now? how do we break down art now?
Artists have been forced to guard and protect their identities to such a point that we feel more and more like we have to distance ourselves from those doing similar work to us, when the truth is we should be banding together and communicating, and sharing manifestos, and developing games, patterns, techniques, songs and counter culture.
But we have to worry now. We have to worry about working together on a sculpture and who will own the intellectual rights to it. Who will get credited in the retrospective. Who will get to travel and talk about it while the ten people who helped build it stay home.
We don’t care, artists don’t care. Talk to any one and they’ll admit that if they had enough money to survive they’d make art every day until they died. Some artists talk about how their work as process driven, but in reality all artists work is process driven.
It’s in our bones, we are wizards who can create content out of air and culture out of scraps.
All your works could burn today and tomorrow you’d sit down and make more. So why must we waste so much time fiercely guarding energy we’ve already put out there, while the powder keg of untapped potential brews inside us?
Because in our climate if a big company steals your print and sells it’s for cheaper than you do, you’re the one who could die of starvation.
This carries to all people.
I’ve been thinking a lot about people having to protect ideas for financial reasons. How many different pharmaceutical companies right now are looking for answers to the same questions in locked down labs with NDAs? What if they’re all differently almost at a cure for malaria? How will they know?
In history we look back at the richest cultures of innovation and scientific development, creativity and art, and it’s clear that these are open source societies. Places with rich libraries, and a culture of shared information.
If all the genius kids at night school with brains hardwired for engineering, but parents too poor to get them through uni and years of internships, could suddenly have access to all the research that’s ever been done about their area of interest, how quickly could we save the world?
Monetising ideas is killing art, it’s killing science and it’s killing our lives.
Capitalism is a vampire growing fat, and eternally soulless by sucking us dry.
Pushing through the market square, so many mothers sighing. News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in. News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying. Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying.
We have 12 years to change our behaviour globally. We have 12 years left in this cycle of environmentally devastating, profit driven despair and then we will really have to fashion our houses out of flattened 44 gallon drums like the Mad Max’s and Waterworlds and Thunderstone’s before us.
Maybe too many movies about dystopian futures numbed us to the chaos we are living in now? Maybe they got us all ready to roll over and accept that “at least it’s not as bad as Minority Report” “At least it’s not as bad as Thunderdome” “at least it’s not as bad as Escape New York” except I read an article about America’s President and I felt like I was looking through a window directly at a screening of Back To The Future 2.
I’m only 29, but also I have been alive for three decades, I’m at a point between young and old where I feel like I’m capable of great empathy with a lot of people around me. I have children now, so I understand the individual decisions that people make to keep their families alive. And yet, I am also young and furious. I have memories from my childhood in the 90s of being warned about drought, climate change, the dangers of plastics. I have memories from my childhood about solar power and wind farms. I was alive for the tragic 90s 60s revival of love and peace. I have been aware, my whole life, that we were on an industralised long track path to devastation and its bewildering to me that our politicians, and industry leaders would still continue to put the impossible task of never ending profit growth before the literal survival of our species.
Of course, it’s not just about human lives. We have wiped out an obscene percentage of life on earth in a very short period of time.
We have been blessed with awareness and reasoning, the ability to use tools and teach recipes to our children. We live on a planet that up until recently was a perfect natural cycle of life. Everything is connected. We are so connected, so much more connected than we have ever been before. The internet is holding us all together like the massive and invisible framework of fungi that hold forests together. We have the technological ability to share ideas at a speed previously unknown to us. If only we weren’t forced to monetise ourselves individually maybe all our scientists, engineers, researchers, artists, writers, cooks, farmers, labourers, maybe all these people could work together to rapidly improve our world.
Nobody loses out when we all share information. Knowledge shouldn’t be EARNED it should be free, it should be available to everyone who wants it. Companies shouldn’t be competing to make better products than EACH OTHER and should instead be banding together to save the world.
Our governments keep us segregated.
Not just racially, culturally, socially. But also our brains, the way we are raised, trained, educated. We segment all our information into class groups. Maths, English, Art, Science. These things are not the same and if you’re interested in one you need not study the others?
Everything is deeply interconnected, everything is both a science and an art, everything relies on maths, everything is social, everything is cultural. We can’t keep throwing “money” at individuals, and individual problems and expect to save the world.
Humans are not individuals, but defined by the space between each other. We are a web of life that, if we support each other, could, in mere decades, do anything at all.
Australia has such a terrible mental health problem that Anxiety and Depression are now So Normal that they don’t qualify you for a medical exemption from work anymore (even if cripplingly so). We have a social structure that lays all the blame for our mental illnesses directly on individuals. It’s your fault, it’s your brain chemistry, it’s you who needs behavioural therapy and medications and to spend $180 on an hour of head shrinking, once a week, forever. Despite studies that make it clear that social isolation causes mental, and physical deterioration, we still act like every individual'QQQs problem can be solved with an individual solution.
Science has been begging us to group together to solve these problems, we’ve had answers for years. That’s the most bewildering part of this whole insane situation we’ve wound up in! We have used wind to pump water since as early as 200BC. We have been using solar cells since 1956. Natural fibres came long before synthetic ones, and will be more feasible until the day we destroy the carbon cycle, or until the sun burns itself dry.
We have the capacity to live fully sustainable lives. Not just a cookie cutter facade of sustainability that comes with spending $14 on a bar of soap and only shopping from Green Companies, but a truly low impact form of farming and industry is absolutely possible. We create more than enough for every human on earth. We have the answers already, and we aren’t allowed to do anything about them because of a select few billionaires who will use our corpses to build fallout shelters before they would ever let us vote to take away their power.
look up uncolonial history on ig & working class history on fb.
check #foodisfree and see if you can find some community gardens in your area.
buy, swap, sell, repair, mend.
Read More to see 135 images created on my iphone using a combination of apps including R4VE and Decim8.
Glitching my digital art, and photos of my physical creations, is a process that I use to help me expand and develop colour palettes, patterns and ideas.
What a blessing, what a gift social media is to the creative in this modern era. I can communicate regularly and in multiple media types with artists all over the world who are making similar works to me. I can reach out my hand and share ideas, works, concepts, data, anything, almost instantly with a thousand people who understand me.
However, we still have to market ourselves, eventually we have to make money, eventually we have to survive. I hate this. I was raised on a steady diet of childhood crafts and books about Dada. Art and I are together, I am my work and cannot be divided from it. I started yet another instagram account. Why not, it's free right? it's all just data floating around in the ether. There is an account for every conceivable variation of the words "James Spader Official". I guess I thought that the digital art that I make almost daily as a form of idea development and thought processing wasn't "good" enough to be associated with my art? Maybe I just wanted a more outrageous online place where I could post sluttier selfies when I'm feeling the moment. I'm not really sure.
I don't know how I will separate out the personal from the professional. I deeply resent the idea.
I feel like I'm not allowed to be emotional, sexual, funny, weird or angry on my instagram account. Maybe I have to change everything I am as a person to make myself accessible to people who MIGHT buy some of my work. Maybe I have to change everything it means to me to be an artist?
Here are some thoughts from the last five days.
PlasticScene is an extension of my third year works, from 2015, in the textiles department of the ANU School of Art. It has since expanded to a multidisciplinary exploration of organic pattern and texture using synthetic materials.
PlasticScene is a speculative experiment in creating pieces that have a living or natural feel while still clearly being inorganic. Using primarily art and craft supplies marketed to children, I like to test the limits of a product and the result is a body of work that feels accessible to the viewer through the nostalgia of using such materials, but also has an element of disbelief. Most of my pieces also explore an area similar to the uncanny valley. I have described them in the past has having a haptic magnetism. Much like a coral reef, or moss, or any other heavily textured naturally occurring environment, the temptation to reach out and touch them is quite strong in most people, however there is a threat hidden within that temptation. Either the threat of the unknown (will it move when i touch it?) or the threat of destruction (will my finger go through this if I touch it). This in turn reflects our own individual impacts on nature.
All of my works are what I call lightly tactile. Which means they can be interacted with by the viewer, but retain an element of fragility. Damage, through life.
I narrowed my practice to ten words recently:
I hope to talk about these ten words, their meaning to me and my practise and also other relevant discussions in my blog as time goes on.
My friend Alistair is just the kind of person who'll buy something they haven't tried when he sees it. Most of the time it's just a nice new product you know about now, sometimes it's a terrible, horrible mistake and very, very occasionally you find something so different, so enjoyable, that it honestly changes your perspective on food.
Thus enter the Lactic Acid Bar.
One summer day Ali showed up like a proud cat, dragging in his mouth a bag of frozen treats labeled Lactic Acid Bars. There were very few other clues on the packet in English. We ate the whole bag extremely quickly, not only out of the desperation for iceblocks that comes from an Australian summer, but also because they were just... so weird? They were delicious, they were textured almost like a mango frappe. Gelatinous, maybe slightly... carbonated? They had the same sort of flavour as the lemonade left after you've eaten all the icecream off a spider. They were incredible.
The best part, for me, was the shape of the tube they came in. Unlike our National Summer Hero the humble zooperdooper, they came in a round plastic tube and didn't have a seam to rip your precious mouth corners in half with! What a Treat! What A Joy! The Perfect Snack!
We bought a few more packs the next week and realised that they're pretty common, and usually labeled less cryptically. I was given a piece of homework, to embroider onto three unconventional surfaces, and i grabbed the empty container of what we now called Acid Pops. The plastic was strangely flexible, like a thin piece of dried hot glue. It was surprisingly satisfying to embroider onto and almost in a flash I had made 50 different variations of these modified acid pop tubes. My friends will probably never forgive me for making them eat so many of them. I still have dozens and dozens in the studio that I can't wait to get back to one day.
While the formal origins of PlasticScene began with a plasticine project I began in January 2015, the Acid Pop series really was the first sculptural body of work I'd ever been excited about! It somehow was the perfect combination of my love for pop cultural junk, reusing plastics, hoarding precious objects and making things with my hands.
PlasticScene began with plasticine in petri dishes. I had this passing vision of creating my own surfaces out of plasticine, perhaps as a portfolio to send to an animation company. The petri dishes were a life saving decision allowing me to keep the finished plasticine textures safe from squishing, or collecting dust.
In my final semester of art school I had completed 20 dishes.