Recreativity...a fancy term for Art Theft

The quotes below are from an excellent article in the Slate Book Review called "You Are Not a Switch…..Recreativity and the modern dismissal of genius by Simon Reynolds"..

It seems that there is a current way of thinking that there is no original work, people should be free to copy, paste, swipe and recreate anything and everything created by other people…I have copied some of the main points of the article, but it’s worth reading in it’s entirety as the points made are very telling ones.

Recreativity: a fancy term for the cut-and-paste sensibility fostered by digital culture, defending plagiarism as an artistic practice, stating there is no such thing as original art and "which tends to reduce us (content creators) to the textual: a receiver/transmitter of data, a node in the network".

Recreativity has many proponents and represents a wide spectrum of opinion. Still, it’s striking how easily some of these critics and theorists glide from relatively sensible talk about the role of appropriation and allusion in art to sweeping claims of an ontological or biological nature. They seem so confident. How they can be certain that nobody has ever just come up with some totally new idea, ex nihilo? The remixed nature of everything (not new) under the sun has become an article of faith. Impossible to prove, these assertions tell us way more about our current horizons of thought and our cultural predicament than they do about the nature of creativity or the history of art.

“The ideology of recreativity, as it spreads, not only legitimizes lazy, parasitic work, it actively encourages it by making it seem cool, “timely,” somehow more advanced than that quaint middlebrow belief in the shock of the new".

“As much as it is propaganda in favor of underachievement, recreativity is also, I suspect, a form of solace: reassuring balm for the anxiety of overinfluence, the creeping fear that one might not have anything of one’s own to offer

“Beneath the surface positivity, I suspect, lurks despair about a kind of inner poverty, as though the mass of cultural matter we collect and stuff into ourselves is just making us ever more empty and barren inside. The mental sleight of hand in “genius steals” is the syllogistic implication that if you steal your ideas from here, there, and everywhere, you might actually be a genius, too. Hence Austin Kleon’s candid and chirpy confession (and suggestion: you try it, too, budding artist!) that he has a “swipe file.” “See something worth stealing? Put it in the swipe file. Need a little inspiration? Open up the swipe file.”

“The hallmark, or proof, of genius, in fact, is not merely transmitting or remixing. It’s fashioning something that others will someday want to steal". 

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I totally agree with the author…how about you…any thoughts?

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