Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It holds tight an author’s phrase, uses his expressions, eliminates a false idea, and replaces it with just the right idea.
Comte de Lautréamont
Being as old as art itself, the concept of appropriation expounds and challenges crucial topics in the art world such as authorship, originality, and intellectual property.
In artistic terms, appropriation stands for the willful copying of artworks, whereby the act of copying is itself understood as an independent piece. With the conviction that there cannot be robbery in art, because each artistic work itself consists of stolen pieces of artworks, this conception of appropriation negates the existence of intellectual property.
In today’s global culture, in which techniques like remixing are accessible to everybody via the World Wide Web, a critical approach to the complex topic is more important than ever. As digital media have developed, new forms of communication have emerged and sharing, exchanging, and copying have become everyday operations. To address these changing conditions, the copy-paste generation not only has to reconsider the validity of traditional concepts such as authorship, but it also needs to understand that intellectual property rights can no longer be assigned to a form that is static and finite, but to one that has to be conceived as a process, as a social action.
In the framework of the workshop Quotes & Appropriation that was held at Akademie Schloss Solitude February 19–20, 2015, the academy, together with its fellows as well as invited artists and scientists from the fields of literature, music, film, humanities and exact science, analyzed from various perspectives the different possibilities of appropriation. The lectures of all speakers are documented as part of the online documentation in the form of videos, alongside abstracts and short biographical information. In addition, the exhibition Around Analogies that touched on the question if analogy can be seen as an artistic practice and was held at Akademie Schloss Solitude from January to March 2015, is presented in the form of two videos.
The online publication is published under the auspices of the art, science & business program as part of the project ¡REMEDIATE!, an initiative of Merz Akademie, Hochschule für Gestaltung, Kunst und Medien, Stuttgart and Akademie Schloss Solitude in cooperation with the MFG Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg and the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg (LFK).