Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

Read Post

Busytown: A good read

353 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 15 Newer→ Last

  • David Cauchi,

    Lucy: Guy Debord did some good things with unattributed footage in his film __Society of the spectacle__. In the same vein, there's the ongoing work of Craig Baldwin. Admittedly, these examples are not your usual Hollywood fodder, for example that dreadful Peter Jackson, but there's more to film than that shit.

    And I think the definition of 'creative output' you imply (as in the simplistic formulation yours) is unnecessarily limited. Creativity is much more muddied than you seem to make out. Influence is an interesting subject, and by no means simple.

    Keir: You're not a fan? Good.

    To be honest, and this might sound wanky, but the only people's opinions who matter on this subject are those who produce creative work of their own and put it out there. Not the critics.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • anomi,

    I quite like the idea of remixes and mash-ups of written works.

    Witi Ihimaera did this with Dear Miss Mansfield, in 1989. A "tribute" to Katherine Mansfield with interesting results.

    Since Nov 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . for example that dreadful Peter Jackson, but there's more to film than that shit.

    The ability to rile the terminally pretentious, without even deliberately setting out to do so. One of Jackson's lesser talents, but in itself greater than any that his envious detractors are able to muster.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Old boy, don't you think there's a wee bit of a difficulty in your position here? I shouldn't like to get overly pedantic, but it seems to me as if you have rather a conflict between your first par., where creativity is a dreadfully complicated and awfully nuanced subject see the SI* not that horrid Peter Jackson† blah blah and then the last par., where it turns into one of those blunt instruments forever turning up as evidence in the police courts‡.

    * Really? The SI? Next up we're going to be meeting the Neoists and Karen bloody Eliot aren't we?

    † Who's actually a bloody good film maker. If I wanted to make a point about authorship then personally I would have gone for the fucking studio film not an art film with a pretty straight up relationship between creator and created.

    ‡ I do apologise for the utter mannerism, and I know it isn't funny, but pal, if you're going to start dividing the world up based on creative/non-creative in order to look clever & devalue people's speech then I am going to be rude. Also, your notion of plagiarism is naive and conceptually impoverished.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    To be honest, and this might sound wanky, but the only people's opinions who matter on this subject are those who produce creative work of their own and put it out there. Not the critics.

    OK maybe the critics don't matter, but what about the comment that I've heard many artists and creative people make, which is that a piece of art (whether it's a piece of writing, a painting, a film, whatever) really belongs to the viewer once the artist puts it out there?

    That whatever "meaning" or message the artist originally intended to make is necessarily coloured and re-defined by the person viewing it, who is seeing it and relating to it through the lens of their life experience. And that the artist essentially has to let it go in terms of the original meaning to them once they put it out there for everyone else to see.

    How does that relate to what you've said - that the only opinions that matter are the artist's? Or is that different?

    And what about the plagiarised artist's opinions of the plagiaree? Do they matter? Cos you did say yourself in your blog piece that it pissed you off when someone else nicked your upside-down NZ idea.

    Just curious...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    And what about the plagiarised artist's opinions of the plagiaree? Do they matter? Cos you did say yourself in your blog piece that it pissed you off when someone else nicked your upside-down NZ idea.

    Homage to Ian Brackenberry Channell, presumably?

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    The increase of intellectual property limitations and conformist moral sanctimony heaped on the author/artist for IP infringements coupled against the post internet media explosion is a major influence on the stunned mediocrity mainstream western art currently finds itself in.

    connectors are being blocked.

    I quite like the idea of remixes and mash-ups of written works.

    Not cut-ups -- more like artistic rewrite subbing, making plain what you're doing.

    Does anyone do this? Not in a cut-up way, but in the sense of something you'd actually want to read?

    I'm also into this kind of thing but it seems a bit contrary to the market values being promoted.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    To be honest, and this might sound wanky, but the only people's opinions who matter on this subject are those who produce creative work of their own and put it out there. Not the critics.

    You're right, it does sound a little wanky. But I do see your point. I just think it's a limited one.

    Amusingly, several who have expressed their opinions on this very thread are also "those who produce creative work of their own and put it out there." A Venn diagram would be useful here.

    And as webweaver pointed out,surely the reader has an interest in this too. E.g. my mum, an avid consumer of historical novels both light and heavy, had been looking forward to getting her hands on this book. Now, not so much. Her opinions surely "matter," if not to the author, then to the publisher's bottom line.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Could appreciation of this book by one not culturally attuned to the politics at play sway your mother's taste Jolisa?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    I quite like the idea of remixes and mash-ups of written works.

    Pastiche. We loves it. When done well, it's a beautiful thing.

    As I re-read The Trowenna Sea over the last few days, I was thinking that there's definitely a place for a mash-up novel deliberately and explicitly composed entirely of juicy extracts from 19th C New Zealand fiction and non-fiction. It could be absolutely rollicking.

    This, alas, is not that novel.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Could appreciation of this book by one not culturally attuned to the politics at play sway your mother's taste Jolisa?

    Sorry, what? Got distracted by your swingin' internal rhyme (play/sway, hey hey hey) and had a bit of trouble parsing that sentence.

    You mean, if someone else truly madly loved the book despite the fact that chunks of it are plagiarised, would she take that recommendation and sit down and read it? Perhaps, but at this point, probably not, given the premium she places on the author's own skill and artistry at evoking a bygone world. Too many books, too little time. But I'll let her speak for herself on this one.

    In any case, the review by Nicholas Reid -- which I'm pretty sure went to press before the Listener story broke -- considers the novel on its own merits, with no involvement of the "politics at play," whatever you meant by that last phrase. And, just reading between the lines here, it doesn't sound as though he'll be buying it for his Mum for Christmas.

    Still, it will be interesting to see if the palaver affects sales positively or negatively. It really could go either way.

    Also, Mark, I was thinking about your earlier point about footnotes outweighing original material - omg, the creative event horizon!! It's an interesting perspective.

    But I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you seem to be. I reckon we'll continue generating fresh content for millennia to come. Ideas are plentiful, and new combinations thereof even more so. Leave them alone, and they will come home, wagging their footnotes behind them.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Sorry for rhyming , it just happens,;

    But I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you seem to be. I reckon we'll continue generating fresh content for millennia to come. Ideas are plentiful, and new combinations thereof even more so. Leave them alone, and they will come home, wagging their footnotes behind them.

    That really would depend on your definition of fresh...

    omg, the creative event horizon!! It's an interesting perspective.

    I think it already passed or was bypassed. The book is on the market, being sold, being read, begging the question, how relevant is this issue to the industry?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Never apologise for rhyming. It's old 'cos it's gold. Rhymes are great!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    OK maybe the critics don't matter, but what about the comment that I've heard many artists and creative people make, which is that a piece of art (whether it's a piece of writing, a painting, a film, whatever) really belongs to the viewer once the artist puts it out there?

    Respect for that. It is, after all, a viewpoint born of real-life experience, and not likely to be appreciated by arid theoreticians.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    The ability to rile the terminally pretentious, without even deliberately setting out to do so. One of Jackson's lesser talents, but in itself greater than any that his envious detractors are able to muster.

    COMPLETELY OT but do you REALLY have to be terminally pretentious to find his LOTR films risibly dreary*? For e.g. I walked out of the last one, in despair. I don't believe that I in any way envy him, and I find your defensiveness just fucken stupid.

    That being said, I like to a lesser or greater extent his first five efforts, so...

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . I find your defensiveness just fucken stupid.

    FYI stephen, my post was in response to David Cauchi's pretentious drivel. That said, I couldn't give a rats about your fanboy musings.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    FYI stephen, my post was in response to David Cauchi's pretentious drivel. That said, I couldn't give a rats about your fanboy musings.

    Oh so it was just a pithy wee taunt, was it, that you didn't actually mean? Wondering why you'd bother...

    That said, I couldn't give a rats about your fanboy musings.

    You appear to be struggling to use language accurately.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Wondering why you'd bother...

    Wonder on, Mr. Miseryguts. One thing you can be certain of, this'll be the last time I'll be bothered to engage with your infantile tosh.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a piece of art (whether it's a piece of writing, a painting, a film, whatever) really belongs to the viewer once the artist puts it out there?

    That whatever "meaning" or message the artist originally intended to make is necessarily coloured and re-defined by the person viewing it

    And I'd suggest it belongs to the viewer before it's created as well.

    An artist does not work in a vacuum and our collectively negotiated sense of what's meaningful surrounds any act of creativity. Not to say there's nothing new or individual. The process and its results are certainly magical and beautiful. Footnotes and all.

    I am suggesting that cultural ownership and accountability skews more towards all of us than to individual author-ities. However current trends in intellectual property protection for corporate middlemen are far from reflecting that. I acknowledge that unlike films or music, copyright in books often remains with the author.

    Hope that wasn't too.. arid.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    To be honest, and this might sound wanky, but the only people's opinions who matter on this subject are those who produce creative work of their own and put it out there. Not the critics.

    Oh, bullshit. How about those pesky readers who might not appreciate getting Professor Ihimaera's (or anyone else's) sloppy seconds? I know this is a hopelessly reactionary idea, but I do believe reading isn't some Mosaic experience where I passively accept whatever engraved tablet THE ARTIST deigns to lower from the empyrean heights.

    I think it already passed or was bypassed. The book is on the market, being sold, being read, begging the question, how relevant is this issue to the industry?

    Well, your milage may vary, but as I said up-thread I will be treating Penguin New Zealand's future offerings (especially it's non-fiction list) with extreme scepticism. I don't think receiving stolen intellectual property is how I want to spend my extremely limited discretionary income, and IMNSHO Penguin NZ has seriously credibility problems.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Suddenly fantasizing about setting up a protection racket... Publishers would send me their manuscripts well in advance of publication, and, for a certain consideration, I would spot the dodgy bits and suggest corrections, thus sparing everyone embarrassment and ensuring a greater chance of a decent review.

    Sigh. If only that were an actual job.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Oh wait. It is.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • David Cauchi,

    First off, I'd like to point out that, had I wanted to join this discussion, I'd've posted here rather than on my blog. Unfortunately, some arsehole decided that for me by linking to my post. Rather than comment on the post using the comment function on the blog, as I believe is the done thing usually, you've seen fit to comment here.

    Before I, probably foolishly, commented here myself, I was called dull (twice), ignorant, a 'yay-me-er', and a witterer. And that was just from one person. Not that I mind, I myself am perfectly capable of abusing people I don't know based on scant evidence, usually when drunk.

    I suppose it's gratifying that my late-night musings have generated such a large response, but it'd've been nice if someone at least addressed my points. Take the first response for example. Okay, if I've displayed my 'dull ignorance of the specific nature of the medium of writing', what is it about that nature that makes plagiarism anathema in a way that it isn't in painting? Likewise, I'm perfectly willing to accept that my notion of plagiarism is 'naive and conceptually impoverished' if that were demonstrated rather than simply asserted. Make a case, use examples, argue your point. (Except for Joe – you keep trotting out the cliches and divining my unconscious motives. It's funny. And I get it: You're the village idiot.)

    I may have missed something, but the only really substantive point made was Webweaver's response, which was to my comment rather than the original post. Yes, the theory does hold that meaning is constructed by the viewer. As Craig notes, viewing an art work is an active process. However, that isn't what I was talking about. I obviously wasn't clear. My point was that the debate on what is acceptable in the production of an art work should be had by the producers of art works.

    Sacha's comment seems to me relevant here. Artists do not live in a vacuum. Things you've seen and read sit in your head and knock around with other things you've seen and read. Do writers really want to keep on second-guessing themselves, constantly worried that they may have read what they've just written somewhere long ago? That is something for writers to decide, not readers.

    As a reader you can accept or reject the result of the process, but I don't think you've any business trying to dictate what that process should be.

    Oh, and Webweaver asked about the plagiarised artist's feelings. This is one reason I only steal from the dead. That said, I was a little annoyed about the upside down thing, but not too much. After all, I'd got the idea in turn from Joaquin Torres-Garcia, a modernist artist from Uruguay who started a movement called the School of the South. He wrote:

    There should be North for us, except in opposition to our South. That is why we now turn the map upside down, and now we know what our true position is, and it is not the way the rest of the world would like to have it.

    Okay, this is really long and boring, and probably not worth the effort. Carry on.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Oh wait. It is.

    I thought editors were the unicorns of publishing -- legendary beasts that you can only catch if you can rustle up a virgin of unimpeachable piety from God only knows where who's willing to sit around in a fairy glade until her arse turns blue with cold? :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I thought editors were the unicorns of publishing -- legendary beasts that you can only catch if you can rustle up a virgin of unimpeachable piety from God only knows where who's willing to sit around in a fairy glade until her arse turns blue with cold? :)

    I'm fairly sure this is in fact the exact opposite of how you get an editor.

    Not that I mind, I myself am perfectly capable of abusing people I don't know based on scant evidence, usually when drunk.

    *cough*

    for example that dreadful Peter Jackson, but there's more to film than that shit.

    Keir: You're not a fan? Good.

    Dish. Take. It's a both or neither situation.

    what is it about that nature that makes plagiarism anathema in a way that it isn't in painting?

    Yeah, man. If I wanna paint something that looks exactly like a Goldie, nobody's going to have a problem with that.

    It's kind of simple, really. This is about taking credit for a skill of writing, when what one has actually demonstrated is the skill of cutting and pasting. Similar themes, similar ideas, artefacts of shared culture - NOT considered plagiarism.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 15 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.