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Authenticity: should we care?

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Posts

  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think it is not so much authenticity that has meaning, but the content. Take for example my mp3 of "No Surprises" by Radiohead. Many of you no doubt have similar files on your hard drives, or perhaps the CD. I myself own not just the mp3, but also the video (both from the iTunes store and on a DVD) as well as both the CD and Vinyl of "Ok Computer". And even if you don't have it, or I didn't have it, we could obtain a copy in, ooooh, about 30 seconds..

    But that doesn't change the fact that this song was the one playing when me and my girlfriend first made love. It will always have special meaning to us for that alone, to hell with "authenticity".

    ben0207 on
  • Dunadan019Dunadan019 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Djeet wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    The only thing I care about are the produced items that have defects, not limited quantity collector's shit.

    Often in mass-produced political ephemera, newspapers, comics, stamps, coins, etc. "the produced items that have defects" are the "limited quantity collector's shit."

    Unless you were being subtley clever, then I apologize.

    i think what he was talking about is the "limited collectors edition release" version where a company will intentionally make only a certain number of slightly altered product and then sell them at a premium.

    i guess an example would be the various "collectors edition" versions of monopoly where the only thing they change is the theme behind the game and the little plastic pieces. there is nothing defective or wrong with the original monopoly or with the collectors edition but the fact that they only make a few of them makes it rare. example: 35 bucks for Golf monopoly vs the classic version which can be bought for less than 20 bucks.

    Dunadan019 on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Although this does raise a question of, does the experience of going to a museum to see a Seurat require that the painting hanging on the wall be the authentic Seurat?

    If they were to replace all of the originals with near perfect reproductions, either via computer simulation or really skilled artists repainting it, while the actual paintings where saran wrapped and put in a climate controlled vault...would you be able to tell the difference? And would it matter?

    Yes, yes and yes.

    Art has a pretty visceral gut impact that no one really understands themselves. Seeing a work in the flesh is completely different to any scan. The degree to which it makes a difference can vary greatly, but it does.

    Sam on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sam wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Although this does raise a question of, does the experience of going to a museum to see a Seurat require that the painting hanging on the wall be the authentic Seurat?

    If they were to replace all of the originals with near perfect reproductions, either via computer simulation or really skilled artists repainting it, while the actual paintings where saran wrapped and put in a climate controlled vault...would you be able to tell the difference? And would it matter?

    Yes, yes and yes.

    Art has a pretty visceral gut impact that no one really understands themselves. Seeing a work in the flesh is completely different to any scan. The degree to which it makes a difference can vary greatly, but it does.

    Who said anything about a scan?

    moniker on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I think it's pretty appropriate to post this work by Duchamp; it's not done on a canvas but on a postcard from the Louvre.

    Marcel_Duchamp_Mona_Lisa_LHOOQ.jpg

    Sam on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Sam wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Although this does raise a question of, does the experience of going to a museum to see a Seurat require that the painting hanging on the wall be the authentic Seurat?

    If they were to replace all of the originals with near perfect reproductions, either via computer simulation or really skilled artists repainting it, while the actual paintings where saran wrapped and put in a climate controlled vault...would you be able to tell the difference? And would it matter?

    Yes, yes and yes.

    Art has a pretty visceral gut impact that no one really understands themselves. Seeing a work in the flesh is completely different to any scan. The degree to which it makes a difference can vary greatly, but it does.

    Who said anything about a scan?

    A near perfect reproduction using computer technology?
    Even then, no one is going to reproduce exactly what the dead French guy did that day in 1925 when his furnace was on the fritz.

    Sam on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    The only thing I care about are the produced items that have defects, not limited quantity collector's shit.

    Often in mass-produced political ephemera, newspapers, comics, stamps, coins, etc. "the produced items that have defects" are the "limited quantity collector's shit."

    Unless you were being subtley clever, then I apologize.

    i think what he was talking about is the "limited collectors edition release" version where a company will intentionally make only a certain number of slightly altered product and then sell them at a premium.

    i guess an example would be the various "collectors edition" versions of monopoly where the only thing they change is the theme behind the game and the little plastic pieces. there is nothing defective or wrong with the original monopoly or with the collectors edition but the fact that they only make a few of them makes it rare. example: 35 bucks for Golf monopoly vs the classic version which can be bought for less than 20 bucks.

    One of my hobbies is collecting records.

    This is a huge problem in the "underground" scene. Lots of bands are getting some sizable respect (Pitchfork reviews, Hot Topic carrying their shirts, etc). So the bands or their labels have taken to producing items in limited runs, and often times once these items have sold out, the band/label have then sold them at an extra premium. Practically bootlegging/scalping themselves.

    It's ridiculous.

    Sheep on
    QlBGc.jpg
  • ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Huge amounts of what is displayed in museums isn't actually real. Those aren't dinosaur bones looming over you at the Museum of Natural History.

    Æthelred on
    pokes: 1505 8032 8399
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sheep wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    The only thing I care about are the produced items that have defects, not limited quantity collector's shit.

    Often in mass-produced political ephemera, newspapers, comics, stamps, coins, etc. "the produced items that have defects" are the "limited quantity collector's shit."

    Unless you were being subtley clever, then I apologize.

    i think what he was talking about is the "limited collectors edition release" version where a company will intentionally make only a certain number of slightly altered product and then sell them at a premium.

    i guess an example would be the various "collectors edition" versions of monopoly where the only thing they change is the theme behind the game and the little plastic pieces. there is nothing defective or wrong with the original monopoly or with the collectors edition but the fact that they only make a few of them makes it rare. example: 35 bucks for Golf monopoly vs the classic version which can be bought for less than 20 bucks.

    One of my hobbies is collecting records.

    This is a huge problem in the "underground" scene. Lots of bands are getting some sizable respect (Pitchfork reviews, Hot Topic carrying their shirts, etc). So the bands or their labels have taken to producing items in limited runs, and often times once these items have sold out, the band/label have then sold them at an extra premium. Practically bootlegging/scalping themselves.

    It's ridiculous.

    Don't enable those practices. If a band intentionally does a "limited run" (And pitchfork coverage is enough to do a normal indie release) I know I'll be downloading the shit out of their music, if I'm even interested that is.

    Sam on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sam wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Who said anything about a scan?

    A near perfect reproduction using computer technology?

    biblescribe3.jpg
    Even then, no one is going to reproduce exactly what the dead French guy did that day in 1925 when his furnace was on the fritz.

    And your eye is capable of telling the difference in brush strokes dependent on barometric pressure and thus capable of telling if this is a genuine Mondrian and not a 4th year art student?

    moniker on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Huge amounts of what is displayed in museums isn't actually real. Those aren't dinosaur bones looming over you at the Museum of Natural History.

    I'm pretty sure that Sue's actual skull is inside that bullet proof case on the balcony at the Field Museum. Unless the placard lies.

    moniker on
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2008
    Sam wrote: »
    Sheep wrote: »
    Dunadan019 wrote: »
    Djeet wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    The only thing I care about are the produced items that have defects, not limited quantity collector's shit.

    Often in mass-produced political ephemera, newspapers, comics, stamps, coins, etc. "the produced items that have defects" are the "limited quantity collector's shit."

    Unless you were being subtley clever, then I apologize.

    i think what he was talking about is the "limited collectors edition release" version where a company will intentionally make only a certain number of slightly altered product and then sell them at a premium.

    i guess an example would be the various "collectors edition" versions of monopoly where the only thing they change is the theme behind the game and the little plastic pieces. there is nothing defective or wrong with the original monopoly or with the collectors edition but the fact that they only make a few of them makes it rare. example: 35 bucks for Golf monopoly vs the classic version which can be bought for less than 20 bucks.

    One of my hobbies is collecting records.

    This is a huge problem in the "underground" scene. Lots of bands are getting some sizable respect (Pitchfork reviews, Hot Topic carrying their shirts, etc). So the bands or their labels have taken to producing items in limited runs, and often times once these items have sold out, the band/label have then sold them at an extra premium. Practically bootlegging/scalping themselves.

    It's ridiculous.

    Don't enable those practices. If a band intentionally does a "limited run" (And pitchfork coverage is enough to do a normal indie release) I know I'll be downloading the shit out of their music, if I'm even interested that is.

    I didn't.

    Sunn were big douche's about this. Huge fan backlash. They even shut down the site and forums for a bit. Forums permanently, because the forums would be flooded with posts calling them out on it.

    It was more of a fad than anything, and it seems to have died down a bit.

    Boris were bad about this too.

    Sheep on
    QlBGc.jpg
  • jmartinezjmartinez Registered User
    edited November 2008
    The physical objects always provide a closer link to history. People who actually care about the event/artist/etc will always seek out an original as a way to get closer to something they can never get to.

    Electronic copies will have to come a long, long way before they are satisfying to anyone but the most casual user. Ask yourself: do you find that the porn on your computer completely satisfies your need for a physical relationship?

    jmartinez on
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    The question of authenticity always comes down to the Ship of Theseus paradox. Our labels for things, which are always composites of smaller things that are in no way essentially attached to the label, get hazy with the details.

    Authenticity is essentially an arbitrary concept. When you start to interrogate it, you must interrogate the entire system by which we generate the arbitrary concepts and labels that form our conception of reality.

    Seeing the actual beach at Normandy, instead of a beach that is recreated to generate the same physical and visual conditions, makes no difference except for your knowledge that it is the "real" or "actual" beach. If you are told that the simulated beach is in fact the real beach, there is no difference between your experience at either beach. That does not make your experience at the simulated beach less valid, or less real, or less powerful.

    What is important, then, is not the "actual" authenticity of the object or location or whatever. It is the effect it has on you, the generation of reminiscence, nostalgia, historical awareness, etc. It is the idea of a relationship to history, rather than any actual extant connection to history. A copy, when we know it is a copy, does not fully evoke that idea of historical relationships because our awareness of its copied nature intrudes on our perception of what it is, how it exists. A copy, when we believe it to be authentic, is just as good as the authentic thing.

    Why does that knowledge of inauthenticity intrude, when the copy is good enough to seem authentic without prior knowledge? I'm not sure, really, but I think it's based on the existence and creation of an idea like "authenticity" in the first place. It might be connected with animism and other similar attitudes that associated an object's history with its actual material properties.

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
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