Plagiarism is necessary

“Le plagiat est nécessaire. Le progrès l’implique. Il serre de près la phrase d’un auteur, se sert de ses expressions, efface une idée fausse, la remplace par l’idée juste.”

“Plagiarism is necessary. Progress demands it. Staying close to an author’s phrasing, plagiarism exploits his expressions, erases false ideas, replaces them with correct ideas.”

Poésies
Isidore Ducasse (Comte de Lautréamont)

Who said art has to cost money?

“I once found a little excerpt from Balzac. He speaks about a young writer who stole some of his prose. The thing that almost made me weep, he said, “I was so happy when this young person took from me.” Because that’s what we want. We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice.

And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you. And Balzac said that in his book: It makes me so happy because it makes me immortal because I know that 200 years from now there will be people doing things that somehow I am part of. So the answer to your question is: Don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate to borrow or to take or do something like someone you admire because that’s only the first step and you have to take the first step.

(…)

Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.

This idea of Metallica or some rock n’ roll singer being rich, that’s not necessarily going to happen anymore. Because, as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money?

In the old days, 200 years ago, if you were a composer, the only way you could make money was to travel with the orchestra and be the conductor, because then you’d be paid as a musician. There was no recording. There were no record royalties. So I would say, “Try to disconnect the idea of cinema with the idea of making a living and money.” Because there are ways around it.

You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money.

Francis Ford Coppola: On Risk, Money, Craft & Collaboration

Readings

• Medicina tradicional china [leer]
Daniel Reid. Ediciones Urano. 1999.

Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction
Colin Ward. Oxford University Press. 2004.

The Laws of Simplicity
John Maeda. The MIT Press. 2006.

• A User’s Guide to Détournement [read]
Guy Debord & Gil J Wolman. 1956.

• On Found Poetry (A FOUND INTRODUCTION) [read]
John Robert Colombo
From Open Poetry, (Ronald Gross & George Quasha, eds., 1973)

• A Day in the Life of a Musician [read]
Erik Satie

• Dead and Gone
Charlaine Harris. 2009.