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June 25, 2011

The art of appropriation

It amazes me, this day and age with all the new art - in so many shapes and forms - everyday we question as an artist what art really is. Sometimes we contemplate it so much that art may be narrowed down to a thought, to accept that life is art in itself.
How have we came about to this way of thinking?
Our forefathers in the art world conditioned art in many different ways.
At one point in time art was a beautifully rendered realistic painting or sculpture

, and then it was the impressions of animals on rock walls

, and then it was a urinal signed by the artist

....and today the immense repertoire of information available brings about more possibilities.
New Media art began to break the barriers of tradition. With performance artists such as
Valie Export

and Orlan

, and the wave of technology infused art a new sensibility has come about. The art of mixing and mashing is no longer restricted to magazines and collections - but can be represented digitally - be it video or audio.
Now lets talk about appropriation -----
Some jump on a wagon, without knowing why. A local friend of mine became infatuated with the trend of dance music in the underground - or not so underground anymore. As a practicing DJ, he takes snippets of other songs, and mixes them together to create something with a completely new context. As long as I have known him he does not call himself an artist, but with his new infatuation I believe him to be one.

(listen please -- music by Sketch0 from Santa Maria,CA)
This new wave of "dance craze" music makes it possible for so many (if you have the drive) to make music this way. Just as video artists may cut and paste from the public domain, to reuse footage in a new context, audio can take the same seat.

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