“Dylan’s art offers a paradox: while it famously urges us not to look back, it also encodes a knowledge of past sources that might otherwise have little home in contemporary culture…”
I really enjoyed this week’s reading on appropriation in the process of creative production. I think this “appropriation” in Lethem’s text can be understood in two phases: technique adoption and content re-interpretation.
On one hand, he quoted the musician community’s “open source” culture, suggesting that great musical piece inevitably benefits from re-working and layering of previous materials. Along with the accessibility of technology, the artists had tools to record, duplicate and remix existing works as they wish, and distribute various genres of work and receive feedback.
While the technic of replication can be continuously refined by craftsmanship and technological advancement, I’m more interested in the second aspect of his text – the “shifts” that happen when segments of pre-existing works are reconfigures by later generations. I really like that fact that Lethem liked music appropriation to the Data movement to highlight the transformation of implication of the “ready-made”, in this case the previously produce records, in a new creative process.