Monthly Archives: January 2008

Didja say where you got it? (a propos of Appropriation)

If I still had a classroom to work in, I’d devote several classes (hell, why not a whole course? …though under which rubrics I ain’t sure…) to the issues discussed in the Plagiarism episode of Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, featuring interviews with Jonathan Lethem, DJ Spooky [That Subliminal Kid], Judge Richard Posner, and Malcolm Gladwell. The hour of talk and examples is absolute must listening for those whose lives are entangled with teaching-and-learning.

I’ll also remind you of a posting from almost a year ago, pointing to Christopher Lydon’s interview with Jonathan Lethem, and (if Harper’s will let non-subscribers see it) to Lethem’s article The ecstasy of influence: A plagiarism (Harper’s, Feb 2007).

Just a few teasers from the WPR show:

“Art comes not out of the void, but out of chaos” (1:35)
Barthes to Twain to Emerson to Lethem (1:55)
“the software that we use to edit is just as much a part of the artwork, you know?” (1:00)
“it’s like playing with respect for the history of things” (0:55)

Secret Wunderkammer

A decade or so ago I bought a print version of The Secret Museum of Mankind, a treasury of sorta-ethnographic curiosa of the sort that I lingered over as a boy (and perhaps their rampant exoticism was a big part of why I became an anthropologist– that and living down the street from Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, wherein I studied as an undergraduate). Boing Boing informs us that Ian Mackie has scanned the whole thing. He’s done a beautiful job of it, and pretty much any place you start will insure a therapeutic time-out from what you were supposed to be doing.

links for 2008-01-23