Appropriate Appropriation Appellation
By admin on Aug 2, 2012 | In Visual Arts
I came across an article in the publication known as ARTnews in which it discussed what is often referred to in visual art circles as "appropriation art." That is, it's art created by appropriating someone else's art and tweaking it to some degree.
The legality of that practice is something that depends on what the U.S. Supreme Court termed a "transformative use." In other words, the end product of the appropriation art needed to be more than a mere recreation of the source material. That's easy to put into words; a bit more difficult to assess when you've got to make the call as to whether an appropriation artist has legitimately crossed the line into a fair use exception of copyright.
The ARTnews article doesn't really debate that legal definition. But there was something about it that did spark a certain interest for me. If you click here and read the article, you'll see just how many different ways you can say someone took someone else's property without actually saying it was swiped.
In addition to the word "appropriated," I noted such synonyms as "borrow," "reworking," "adapting," "remixing," "re-presenting" (with the emphasis on re, as in "ree"), "poaching," and "pilfering." Only one interviewed artist had the chutzpah actually to use the word "stealing."
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