Inspiration / Class Notes

Talking about characters and appropriation during class today had me thinking of visiting Amsterdam Duck Store in, well, Amsterdam. It’s a store dedicated solely to rubber ducks, painted to represent many different recognizable political figures, fantasy characters, cartoons, figurines, etc.

IDEAS: busts, nesting political eggs, edible, puns, altered ordinary object, fake candy, bottle of pills (xanax, adderall, etc. inspiration link). Teeth Wheels.

THEMES: political, absurd

METHODS: 4-axis, OtherMill, lathe

Notes from class: Focus on characters, keep functionality limited, use appropriation, nostalgia.

Reading and Viewing Responses

The Ecstasy of Influence

Cryptomnesia is a very interesting concept. It implies that we might plagiarize without being aware of it because of a kind of memory glitch that makes us unable to recall an original memory. I had this happen to me as a kid when I thought I wrote the song “Happy Together” by the Turtles.

The whole idea of not knowing you’re stealing something is very interesting. What is the difference between taking from inspiration and plagiarism? Perhaps it depends on how aware a person is of this inspiration and the knowledge that we hold on to from what we take in as observers in this world….

The article ties in nicely with the sound walk I took. Gentrification can in a sense be compared to plagiarizing or appropriating someone else’s culture. Since someone’s culture is a part of a person’s identity, appropriating aspects of someone’s heritage that doesn’t belong to you is, in a way, stealing it from them.

Being a musician, I’m well aware of the concept of “borrowing” and “stealing” musical notation. We may derive a tune from something we heard in passing on the radio without fulling thinking about it. But the end product will only speak to originality if it gets away with and thoughtfully pays homage to the source of inspiration.

Embrace The Remix

This Ted Talk implies that everything that exists comes from something that has already existed. What makes something new and interesting is putting your own personality into it.

As a side note: there’s one example here that reminded me of another song they didn’t mention when they brought up “Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons” by Paul Clayton. It sounds a lot of Cat Power’s cover of “Sea of Love.”

The Allergy to Originality

This was a hilarious animation with a similar message that “Embrace The Remix” had. It goes a step further to explain that unoriginality originates from ancient times.

On The Rights Of Molotov Man

This article made me think of what permission Facebook and Instagram need in order to repost or own the property rights to private photo’s uploaded to their webpages.

It’s incredible how many times the Molotov Man was reproduced and the drawn out legal dialogue it created. It reminded me of the Banksy image below:

Image result for banksy flower throw

In conclusion, it seems that the right thing to do is to try and be aware of where your influence comes from and to give them credit! Nothing seems to be completely original.