Week 4_Remixing in Visual Arts, Literary Texts and Software

Week 4_Remixing in Visual Arts, Literary Texts and Software

In nowadays, while the technology continues to evolve the term “remix” is not referring only to music but in other Medias as well and this commenced around the end of 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st.

However, even though remixing is officially accepted for the music industry in other cultural areas is not. For visual projects, software and literary texts it considers being illegal and breaking the copyrights law.

For example in visual arts a famous artist that was accused for stealing work from others and had faced a series of lawsuits from photographers was Andy Warhol.

One of the photographers was Patricia Caulfield. Caulfield claimed the ownership for a picture of flowers who took for a photography demonstration in a photographic magazine and Warhol had used this photograph for his silk-screened reproductions that used to cover the walls of Leo Catselli’s New York Gallery in 1964. Even though that Warhol has created the successful silk screens Caulfield took a royalty for future use and two of the paintings.

                           Patricia Caulfield                                         VS                   Andy Warhol

patricia_caulfield_flowers                  andy

               Patricia Caulfield’ photograph published in                         Andy Warhol’s Flowers series
             Modern Photography magazine in June 1964

Moreover, for such kind of practices in non-music area the term that was used at first in the early 1980’s was “appropriation”.

Appropriation art basically it’s the ability to use broad cultural images as a whole or other artist’s work and do something new like Andy Warhol did with the flower photograph or like Sherrie Levine an American photographer who is best known for her work which presented in her solo exhibition with the name “After Walker Evans”. The works were basically photographs that Walker Evans took, A famous documentary photographer, t and Levine just rephotographed the pictures from an Evans exhibition catalog and presented them as Levine’s artwork with no manipulation of the images

LEvins                            Walker evans

                       Sherrie Levine’s   Photograph                                             Walker Evans’s Photograph

An example of a software that was considered to be illegal and they had to stopped distribution was a computer game the “ Limbo of the Lost “. The reason was because on the 11 June 2008, GamePlasma posted an article showing certain places in Limbo of the Lost were identical to the game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. And after that, more accusations were presented on the surface.


An older term used and it is believed from the Medias that is similar to the term “remix” is the “quoting” however, “quoting” it is mostly used when you get a sample of an old text and insert it into a new one rather than rearranging the whole text as it is indicates for the term remix. So there you have to quote the part that you used or otherwise it will be consider as plagiarism.
An example of such a case is the book “The Frost King” who was written in 1891 by the 11th years old Helen Adams Keller, a deafblind girl. Helen was accused by Margaret Candy that the story had been plagiarized by her book “The Frost Fairies” and after an investigation into the case, revealed that Keller may have experienced a case of cyrptomnesia which was that she had Canby’s story read to her but forgot about it, while the memory remained in her subconscious.

                      Helen Adams Keller                         VS                                Margaret Candy
helen_keller the story of my life                                          Margaret T.Candy

Additionally, for the term quoting Levin Manovich suggested to his article that “I think we should not see quoting as a historical precedent for remixing. Rather, we can think of it as a precedent for another new practice of authorship practice that, like remixing, was made possible by electronic and digital technology – sampling”.





Artandappropriation.wordpress.com, (2011). appropriation in art | Focus: Photography as a Fine Art and Appropriation. [online] Available at: http://artandappropriation.wordpress.com/tag/appropriation-in-art/ [Accessed 19 Oct. 2014].

Boles, D. (2014). The Frost King: Defending Helen Keller and Other Non-SuperHuman Deaf-Blind. [online] David Boles Blogs. Available at: http://bolesblogs.com/2014/01/27/the-frost-king-defending-helen-keller-and-other-non-superhuman-deaf-blind/ [Accessed 19 Oct. 2014].

Sinclair, B. and Sinclair, B. (2008). Limbo of the Lost devs respond to plagiarism charges. [online] GameSpot. Available at: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/limbo-of-the-lost-devs-respond-to-plagiarism-charges/1100-6192856/ [Accessed 19 Oct. 2014].



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