identity appropriation

Identity appropriation is the appropriation of a (famous) human being’s image and personality after they are dead for uses they have not agreed to. Well known examples involve the use of dead celebrities “reanimated” through digital technology and used to sell products in tv ads or as figures in fictional films. Some ways in which Read More …

postmodern decontextualization

This is my shorthand way of talking about a phenomenon that has become more prominent with the advent of performance abduction in the late 20th and early 21st century, though it has always been part of culture. There are two ways in which appropriated work may be decontextualized: (1) the appropriaters may be ignorant of Read More …

The British Invasion

In the 1960s, English rock musicians like the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and many others were discovered by American listeners – largely because of the Beatles – and became a smash hit with American teenagers. Many of these UK groups had been listening closely to African American roots blues and electric blues – Read More …

Appropriation art

All remix culture is technically “appropriation art,” especially techniques that essentially take things and use them virtually unchanged, like Duchamp’s readymades. However, in the 1980s the term was used by and about a few influential artists who took material by other creators and exhibited it with little change as their own work. The general intention Read More …

slash culture

Slash, named for the punctuation mark in k/s (Kirk/Spock) is a subculture that began in the 1970s. It involves re-writing and re-editing franchise scenarios to propose a homesexual relationship between characters who, in the original, do not have this connection. The original and classic pairing is Captain Kirk and Mr Spock from Star Trek. The Read More …

participatory culture

A participatory culture is a culture in which the people who “consume” the culture also help produce it. For instance, folk dancing, home sing-alongs, Instagram, YouTube. A non-participatory culture is one where the culture is produced by elite professionals and the rest of us just consume the culture. For example, television, movies, ads. The Internet, Read More …

guerilla film making

Guerilla film making appropriates real-world people, and often trademarked and copywritten settings, without permission. Example: the silly but fascinating Sundance Festival hit Escape from Tomorrow (2014), shot in Disneyworld and Disneyland without permission and without the knowledge of the theme park administration.

machinima

“Filming” a video within a virtual world designed for other purposes (mainly video games and virtual worlds such as Second Life), using the world’s scenery, avatars, and sometimes music etc, but typically providing voiceovers, new music and other elements not from the virtual environment. A few well-regarded examples. Red vs Blue (episode one) The French Read More …