Works of Art in an Age of Digital Reproduction

Beltane                                                                  Running Creeks Moon

Kate, May 2013
Kate, May 2013

It’s taken me a week and a half, but I’ve cleaned up Ancientrails. All images are either mine or ones from sources without copyright issues. The time it took was penance for not being attentive to this issue for over ten years. There is, too, a financial penalty, negotiated between a lawyer and myself for using a copyrighted photograph.

I feel like a raven whose stash of pretty things has been stolen. But, ravens are thieves and I was, too, though not in a possessive way. Both Richard Prince, an artist who reuses the photographs of others, and Walter Benjamin, who wrote a famous essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” have been on my mind during this time.

Once I’ve taken a break from the computer, today I’m going to do a lot of straightening up and rearranging up here in the loft, I’m going to give the whole issue of copyrights, attributions and fair use a concentrated look. Included in that will be a rereading of Benjamin and some of the follow on scholarship plus material about Richard Prince and others like him.


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