Cutting Across Media: Appropriation Art, Interventionist Collage and Copyright Law
In this collection of essays, leading academics, critics, and artists historicize collage and appropriation tactics that cut across diverse media and genres. They take up issues of appropriation in the popular and the avant-garde, in altered billboards and the work of the renowned painter Chris Ofili, in hip-hop and the compositions of Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály, and in audio mash-ups, remixed news broadcasts, pranks, culture jamming, and numerous other cultural forms. The borrowing practices that they consider often run afoul of intellectual property regimes, and many of the contributors address the effects of copyright and trademark law on creativity. Among the contributors are the novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem, the poet and cultural critic Joshua Clover, the filmmaker Craig Baldwin, the hip-hop historian Jeff Chang, the ’zine-maker and sound collage artist Lloyd Dunn, and Negativland, the infamous collective that was sued in 1991 for sampling U2 in a satirical sound collage. Cutting Across Media is both a serious examination of collage and appropriation practices and a celebration of their transformative political and cultural possibilities.
Lorraine Morales Cox
Philo T. Farnsworth
Warner Special Products
Eva Hemmungs Wirtén
“Spanning media from visual art to popular music, literature to culture jamming, this series of essays challenges the litigious environment in which copyright is used as a blunt weapon to prevent reinvention of existing works and the transformative process of reuse to inform the creative cycle of ideas. . . . Advanced undergraduates through faculty in art, art history, media studies, film, literature and music will appreciate the interdisciplinary treatment of collage.” – Cara List, ARLIS/NA Reviews
“Communication is much like a work of art—it is a process of copying, repeating and varying what we hear. There is no originator or owner of that which shapes our very being, and Cutting Across Media demonstrates how placing restrictions on creative commentary can stifle our cultural development.”—Vicki Bennett, aka People Like Us