please visit:  

http://mariekassis.wordpress.com and http://silhouettess.wordpress.com

for further information on the topic.

“Produced rather than Given”, “Copied rather than Genuine” and “Reproduction vs. Original”

Materialistic goods, just like images can be scrutinized for their unoriginal aesthetics. Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) was completely against the idea of ornament. In his famous essay “Ornament and Crime”, Loos criticizes ornamented goods along with highly decorative architecture, labeling them “degenerate”. He even goes as far as relating the tattoos of Austronesian tribe members to that of ornament in design. Loos believed, for example, that a cigarette case without any engraving would stand the test of time and be easily reproducible. All the hard labour and time that is wasted on engraving and beveling patterns would be diminished, thus creating a faster and larger amount of produced goods. Loos’s ideology can be related to that of Walter Benjamin, a German critic and like Loos lived in the same period (late 19th C.-early 20th C.). Benjamin’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” touched upon the subject of “value” in art.  He saw that reproducible forms allowed art to be freed from the “unique ritual artifact” status that genuine pieces held. He also argued that authenticity can be reproduced in goods, re-making “timeless” styles of “classic” proportions.  Therefore both Loos and Benjamin shared similar ideals which ended up having a large effect on the design movements that followed such as the Dadaists, Futurists and Postmodernists that broke away from traditional norms and attempted to utilize their present day technology.

Sources: Adolf Loos- Ornament and Crime

Legal Issues in Reproduction

Modern day companies are highly competitive, each out to get the next or to protect their inventions. 2012 saw Apple sue Samsung for and walk away with over one billion U.S. dollars. Apple accused Samsung for stealing several of its phone software technologies and user interface options. This sparked a huge reaction in the tech and mobile phone world, with many opposing apple for being selfish and unwilling to share. In reality Samsung did borrow a few ideas, but if everything in life had copyright laws or patents then our contemporary world, with all its technology and trends, would have been completely different.  For instance, if Xerox had patented their technology of the mouse, or their creation of desktop icons on a monitor screen, then Steve Jobs and Bill Gates would have never been able to revolutionize our world through desktop computer software. Stealing someone’s work is intellectual robbery, but some things are better shared than guarded.

Iconic People – Iconic Images

Images of revolutionary figures in politics like Ché Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Mahatma Ghandi are globally recognized. Actors such as James Dean, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin still rake in tons of cash in imaging rights for their legal owners. Even musical talents such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Morrison, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, 2Pac Shakur, Michael Jackson and many more have left an iconic status in societies worldwide. Their images are literally symbols and are used to portray different ideals and messages. For instance images of mother Teresa can induce peace, whilst pictures Princess Diana remind us of a beautiful tragedy. Even after their death, these iconic people still have a legacy and are etched in our history books.  However their popularity and effect on society have made them somewhat of a Brand name that corporations or industries can use to gain profit. The reproductions of their works have always come under the legal scope, since more than one party usually owns specific rights.

Our digital world today has even allowed us to get closer to the artists we loved in ways we couldn’t have done when they were still alive. One jaw dropping example is that of Coachella music festival in California 2012 where they resurrected 2Pac on stage via holographic technology. Viewing Tupac step on stage after being deceased for sixteen years is a bone chilling experience; however ethical questions can arise in the continuous use of his image for monetary use. Forbes magazine online lists Tupac as the 10th top earning deceased artist at 7 million dollars annually. Tupac was legendary when he was alive and left behind a huge effect on the music and political scene after his death. His image is priceless.







1979 Coppertone Conspiracy 

A lady in Idaho, U.S.A., claims that the Coppertone lotion company stole a picture of her when she was two years old walking on a San Diego beach. The picture was originally intended for a a photography contest that her father entered her in.



The Media and its hegemony on information

Primary sources are easy to come by today since everyone owns a portable recording device. Images and videos can be uploaded on the internet for the world to view within seconds of being shot. However it is incredibly easy to fool viewers if the information being fed to them is manipulated with the footage. The editing process controls how a certain topic or individual is portrayed and it is used extensively by broadcasting companies. For example, Americans and the world were led to believe that the 2003 war on Iraq was because Saddam Hussein was hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction. The media in the United States would show “evidence” day after day of locations and warehouses where the W.M.A.’s were supposedly hidden. Of course the outcome spoke for itself as Iraq was found to have never possessed any W.M.A.’s. Therefore one can see how the media can bend the facts in their favor. Another good example lays in a documentary posted on YouTube called “A Devil in Disguise”. Fox and other news channels broadcasted a video of Palestinians celebrating the 9/11 attacks right after the horrific incident. The footage in reality was taken beforehand by an Israeli News Team that told a group of Palestinian bystanders to dance while offering them sweets. The documentary pinpoints this fact and states that a German news agency found the original footage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s