a word of advice

Actually, this is to ask a word of advice from you! We all know by now that in this day and age it's hard to create art that is unique and original. Insert post-modern monologue here.
Last year's ReBar Group Parking Meter installation hit close to home and had a peculiarly familiar feel to it. Not that they did what we did with the Affordable Uptown Living installation, but they were similar enough to make me feel like our work was less "edgy".

Then I get an email today from a former Professor, now good friend, with a link to an article about an artist in Illinois. She's a handful of years younger than I am, finishing her first year in grad school. She's doing essentially the same piece I did 5 years ago, coincidentally when I was her age now. It sits a bit uneasy with me for several reasons: one being the simple jealousy that she's getting attention for her work (and a lot of flack from people who don't get it), another being that it takes the "edge" off my work (the pioneering spirit I'd mistakenly let my ego convince myself I might have), and the third is the slightest of slight chances she saw my work on my flickr account (or who knows where else in the world, due to the simultaneous blessing and curse of the internet).

I would imagine it's the same feeling a parent gets when they realize any family photos of their kids on the internet could be, well, abused. No, I'm not saying she took my idea.

Yes, I am asking, how do we deal with these issues in this technological age? This is a time where we're interested in sharing in a hugely public forum, but how much protection can we maintain at the same time? Any words of advice?


Tess said...

OH no Renee, that totally sucks! Sorry I can't offer any advice, just a resounding "wtf??" on your behalf.

The Mock Duck said...

That's a tough one. There's a difference between plagiarism and using someone else's work as a jumping off point. It's a difficult decision - whether to share your work with the whole world (and risk it being ripped off)or just show it to a select few. You mention post-modernism so you know yourself that "everything has already been said". Originality isn't the be all and end all: your talent shines through and it would be a shame to keep your work hidden from the world.

lisa solomon said...

i have been thinking about this ALOT lately as i keep seeing things that feel slightly familiar. i am finding it's even harder to know what to do when you know the person - and like them....


in some respects it's good to put things out there b/c if they are dated than you can "prove" which came first - chicken or the egg... but still

if you come up w/ the perfect answer be sure to let me know - yes ?? :)