Presenter Information

Benjamin A. SternFollow

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Abstract

This thesis is an exploration of appropriation art specifically referencing policies regarding fair use and focusing on the legal, ethical, and social issues that are associated with appropriating another artist’s work. Though highly controversial, appropriation art has been seen in a wide array of media and has impacted various artistic movements. The accompanying artistic project to this thesis, titled Infringed, uses three historically important copyright infringement court cases to discuss the legality of transforming others work into new and original pieces. Each of the three court cases will be represented in a poster series that explores the concepts of appropriation art and aims at explaining the significance of each case. By using the original images that sparked legal trouble and building upon them to create distinctly unique work, the final posters will question the outcomes and significance of each case. Along with this, the series will present artistic works that are radically different from the original images while also showing the process used to reach the final pieces. The posters developed during this thesis are not simply a commentary on the original work, instead they aim to create a distinctly jarring and provocative aesthetic that provide their own distinct message.

Through the analysis of these three landmark copyright cases, this thesis will contend appropriation art as a medium that does not infringe on another’s intellectual property after a certain level of change has been made. This thesis will question the subjectivity of the art and will examine the intentions of an artist by comparing imitation and inspiration in the creative process. Because copyright infringement and fair-use policies are often left to the viewer’s interpretation, the motives of the artist are majorly important for understanding the significance of each case. This thesis, along with the associated art project, will investigate the rulings of each court case, analyze the outcomes and influences, and will, through the poster series, carefully outline the appropriation process.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Beth Savage, Professor Ursula Bryant

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Apr 5th, 2:45 PM Apr 5th, 3:00 PM

Infringed: Appropriation Art and Intellectual Property

This thesis is an exploration of appropriation art specifically referencing policies regarding fair use and focusing on the legal, ethical, and social issues that are associated with appropriating another artist’s work. Though highly controversial, appropriation art has been seen in a wide array of media and has impacted various artistic movements. The accompanying artistic project to this thesis, titled Infringed, uses three historically important copyright infringement court cases to discuss the legality of transforming others work into new and original pieces. Each of the three court cases will be represented in a poster series that explores the concepts of appropriation art and aims at explaining the significance of each case. By using the original images that sparked legal trouble and building upon them to create distinctly unique work, the final posters will question the outcomes and significance of each case. Along with this, the series will present artistic works that are radically different from the original images while also showing the process used to reach the final pieces. The posters developed during this thesis are not simply a commentary on the original work, instead they aim to create a distinctly jarring and provocative aesthetic that provide their own distinct message.

Through the analysis of these three landmark copyright cases, this thesis will contend appropriation art as a medium that does not infringe on another’s intellectual property after a certain level of change has been made. This thesis will question the subjectivity of the art and will examine the intentions of an artist by comparing imitation and inspiration in the creative process. Because copyright infringement and fair-use policies are often left to the viewer’s interpretation, the motives of the artist are majorly important for understanding the significance of each case. This thesis, along with the associated art project, will investigate the rulings of each court case, analyze the outcomes and influences, and will, through the poster series, carefully outline the appropriation process.