Sunday, January 26, 2014

Genres 2014: "The Ecstasy of Influence" Response

Note: This post was focussed on the "Ecstasy of Influence" reading as I did not read the instructions carefully enough. I may edit this later to directly address the other piece, but I do think that both of the pieces touch on some of the same material that I talk about.

Although this was for the most part an interesting read, I felt like it was very repetitive and that I found myself drifting off every once in a while because I didn't feel like it was saying anything new besides providing similar examples to its main point. I could be missing something and this could be very dumbed down, but the main idea I got out of the piece was that everything carries inspiration from something before it and as long as it's through your lens and your artistic vision it's okay because that's what everything out there is.

"Just as Walt Disney could take inspiration from Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., the Brothers Grimm, or the existence of real mice, the photographer should be free to capture an image without compensating the source. The world that meets our eye through the lens of a camera was judged to be, with minor exceptions, a sort of public commons, where a cat may look at a king." (Lethem, 3)

This is short, powerful and to the point and that's why this is my favorite passage from the piece. It goes into detail about our culture and how these reincarnations of older works are used to express an artist's different view or put a spin of the new time's new culture on it. 
This video alway makes me feel relieved of any of the doubts I had in what this article is saying. A lot of the time I can get hung up on how much is enough change and what kind of artistry specifically makes it okay. This video reminds me that if there's a great work and it's just simply copied (If they both have similar exposure) people would go to the original, but when something new is made and is artistically sound the  new culture will go for the new rendition, but will still respect and keep the old one as well. It used to hang me up as well that artists wouldn't own up to admitting that it was their take or spin on the previous work, but at least in this video the older song is recognized. Kurt even satirizes how similar they sound through his playing, which gives me hope for that other artists would do the same.