Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The blurry lines continue...

Dear K, 

Thought I would do a quick post about the continued debate surrounding collaboration vs. appropriation. Where do you think the line is? What can be used as inspiration without a direct reference to the original work? If a painter works from a photograph, are they "copying" the photographer? In terms of photography, this debate has a long history and the rules are constantly changing. I personally think that it is acceptable to work from another image... how many images are influencing us on a daily basis? I am constantly influenced by other artists - and this is not a new phenomenon, but where is the line?

As I was reading this newest debacle between the now-infamous Obama poster and its original A.P. photograph all I could think about was: Is someone going to sue me someday? How many other artists have I ripped off? In terms of collaboration, this is tricky... who owns the idea, if a collaborative team is the author? And why are we so defensive about "ownership"? 

Is the artist right to sue the A.P.? Is the A.P. being greedy and taking away interpretive rights of the artist?

I don't have the answers... but I'd love to. Do you?


p.s. all images in this blog post copyright The New York Times. (i.e. please don't sue me)

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