Reproducible Art

31 08 2007

Now that art has become digital and endlessly reproducible, I don’t think that the value in the art has increased or decreased. I think that as users and consumers of various types art, we have learned to adjust and accept the way these forms of art are produced and reproduced. Seeing as though each reproduced copy of a piece of art most likely looks and sounds the same, how can one determine which is the original and which is the copy? The emotional and mental connection to the art would be the same through the visual or audio of the art.

There are exceptions to my thinking and understanding of reproduced art. I will take a CD album for example. Music artists compose songs to create an album. They put their records out in stores and people who are faithful supporters of the artists’ music will buy an album from the store. These people must feel like they are being true fans to their favorite music artists by purchasing their CD to help increase their record sales and proving the album number one on the charts.

On the other hand, people will download the CD or buy it from a bootlegger with no remorse because either way they get the same quality music for cheap or for free. Just because the “real” CD (store bought), comes with an album insert and pictures, the downloaded or bootlegged copies have the same exact musical qualities. The only big difference is that the copies of these CD’s will not be counted towards the artist’s record sales.

What is the difference? If no one can tell which the actual original copy of the album was, what does it matter? Maybe it isn’t the actual original copy that matters to a person. Perhaps they hold a sentimental value to the object, for example a CD. Maybe they received a certain CD from someone as a gift and it’s really special to them. In this case, a copy of the CD would not suffice.

This argument can be discussed from all angles. Personally, unless a piece of art is sentimental in value to a person, a reproduced version of that art should mean just as much to them as the “original” (and who’s to say which copy the ‘original’ is).





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