First Homework for video and sound

When I started to make this homework, I used to believe those four articles are individual, so I read one article, and write my insight of that.

When I finished the second article, I realized that those materials might aim towards the same topic, and after that animation, the answer confirmed. But still, I stay all the parts separately, in order to think deeper and more.

Since I’m not a native English speaker, if some verbal mistakes were made, please let me know. Many thanks

The Ecstasy of Influence,A plagiarism

This article trying to speak out one concerning, that the intellectual property of artworks will be difficult to keep, and it is difficult to distinguish with the artworks among plagiarism, reference, allusion, open-source and so-on.

However, this article make one thing in previous, that is, the artwork should be totally original work, any reference or similarity to other artworks should be avoided.

Well, I’m just the guy from the science world before, and my former advisor always told us, when you start your research, it is impossible to start from the very beginning. Standing on the shoulder of former research, find a new point, dig that in, but don’t forget to claim any reference for your work.

Actually, in the scientific world, it is quite normal for a research to have a long reference list, typically with 30-40, no matter a tiny student project to a big thesis proposed by Einstein, some related to methodology, some related to experiment conditions, some related to potential explanation. No one will be shame if there are plenty of works made by other groups before their work, the point is, what is new in their work. Maybe they find a new theory, or fix a mistake which former researcher might make, or extend the range of the adaption to a former methods, or just make a different explanation to an existing phoneme.

But I don’t know, why similar things can’t happen in the Art World?

Is that improper to say, I like Van Gogh’s style, so I trying to make my personal adaption to that style and create some new paints?

Is that improper to say, when I walk in the Center Park, I remember one song which is good but not famous, so based on that melody, I create such a piece of music, just want you and me to enjoy that second-creating music?

Is that improper to say, I like the story which is quite famous in my hometown, and based the characters in that story, I re-create a series of dolls have their new stories?

It seems that everyone want to be the No.1, but to make any reference is something like…stupid and immoral? I don’t know why.

Here I’m not make any defending towards plagiarism, since I do think it is a terrible behavior which will damage all people’s benefits, but I do think it is the time for art world to accept reference and peer review system (Or it has already have, I don’t know). Since in human society it is impossible to do your own work without any influence by former people, and a claim of reference should not be a shame, but should be a good process to make a progress on the shoulder of former works.

On the Rights of Molotov Man

The following three sentences hits on me:

  • Should artists be allowed to decide who can comment on their work and how?
  • Can copyright law, as it stands function in any way except as a gag order?
  • Who owns the rights to this man’s struggle?

I can feel the powerlessness the author trying to convey, just like the unexpected victim by the copyright law, meanwhile the ironic the author felt, just become the leader of another art-trend.

My opinion is still the same:  It is the time to introduce the reference and peer review system into art world, to make the reference behavior legally, meanwhile make a distinguish with plagiarism.

But this time, I will put forward an instance, just like the author did in his article.

First let’s see the two projects in SIGCHI:

They are quite similar projects, right? Actually the first one is called ShapeClip, which was published in SIGCHI 2015 by Lancaster University; the last one is called inForm, which was published in UIST 2013 by MIT media lab.

Did those two groups have any conflict by copyright laws? Did Hiroshi (the author of inForm) ask for a high usage fine towards Lancaster? Did those two talent groups become enemies and fight each other because of the similarity? The answers are all “No”.

Why? Actually in the very beginning in the paper which introduce the ShapeClip project, they mentioned that they just follow the inForm’s dynamics, they tell all the people “Yes we’ve made something similar to inForm, with similar dynamics and machine part.”(Those are not the original words).

The selling point is, ShapeClip make many progresses based on the inForm, make it with low cost, easy to control, portable and able to take different arrangement. Actually in this year’s SIGCHI, both inForm and ShapeClip submitted their own paper, but this time, inForm was not accepted, meanwhile ShapeClip was accepted, that is to say, progress somehow is better than tradition, even the tradition means the origin of an idea.

Back to the article, I think the point is, all the rules to judge an artwork are too much relied on the commercial world, I mean, like the copyright laws, art auction, price&value strategy… Those boring staffs are not related to art itself, but just for protecting of the profits. We shouldn’t let such a strange power take over the whole art world.

Allergy to Originality

“His folk are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water.”

It is difficult to distinguish with plagiarism to copy but forget the origin. Here I want to introduce a psychology item called Source Memory


SOURCE MEMORY: “Our source memory allows us to remember how we know something.”
— Psychology Dictionary
As many researches indicates, source memory is quite vague, and will be easily ignored by the people when take usage of the fact memory (J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2008 Apr 28.)
Though it is difficult, but I do think the people who made a controversial artworks sometimes just suffering the loss of Source Memory, and it always happens in the scientific world too. (Like to use a good equation but forget who proposed it).
To avoid that, scientists have built many tools, like a database, reference index, search system, and the last defense is peer-review.
For art, it is hard to maintain everything traceable, but still a lot can be done I think.
Personally I like the animation very much, but hope the author could buy a better recording device and invite another people to be the voice-caster.

Embrace the Remix

I like this TED talk since it holds the similar idea I proposed before (I swear I write all the words above before I watch this).
But rather than to be a Pirate of Silicon Valley (I like that movie, highly recommended), why not try open-source in the very beginning? Why just put so much in the commercial value, but to ignore the intrinsic value of art itself?
Here I want to introduce a famous serious projects called Touhou Projects. This project has lasted for about 20 years time, today still tens of thousands of artists (mostly in East Asian) continue to generate artworks, like pictures, musics, fictions or games in this projects, some for profit, some just for fun. But basically, everything just started from a individual shooting game, just like the video below showed:
The author of that game (also the person who draw all the pictures and arrange all the sounds) make a loose limitation of Remix anything in his game, after that, many good pictures generated, posted on; many Remix-music generated, posted on From an individual work, this projects gradually became a group fiesta.
Zun, the author of this game, continue to make his individual game related to this topic, and amateurs continue to make re-creating works based on that, and the whole projects become a big world. For instance, 亡き王女の为のセプテット, the name of the bgm above, has 41,500 results in youtube, most of them are different version of the remix music.

The most precious thing is, many commercial company have proposed willings to buy the copyright of Touhou Project, but Zun always refused, no matter how high the price is. ZUN stated himself that he did not want the Touhou Project game series to be officially commercialized, in order to protect the whole projects with the possibility of development by the amateurs.

Since Artists can say no to Political World, why not say no to Commercial World either?


Musical Experience

I went to Mamma mia! last week, and currently become a big fan of ABBA.