In Praise of Copying by Marcus Boon

By Marcus Boon

This ebook is dedicated to a deceptively uncomplicated yet unique argument: that copying is a necessary a part of being human, that the facility to repeat is invaluable of occasion, and that, with no spotting how vital copying is to being human, we won't comprehend ourselves or the area we are living in.

even with the legislation, stigmas, and anxieties connected to it, the note “copying” permeates modern tradition, shaping discourse on matters from hip hop to digitization to gender reassignment, and is especially the most important in criminal debates relating highbrow estate and copyright. but as a philosophical thought, copying is still poorly understood. operating relatively throughout cultures and instances, Marcus Boon undertakes an exam of what this observe means—historically, culturally, philosophically—and why it fills us with worry and fascination. He argues that the dominant legal-political buildings that outline copying this day vague a lot broader procedures of imitation that experience constituted human groups for a while and proceed to form a variety of subcultures this present day. Drawing on modern paintings, song and picture, the background of aesthetics, severe conception, and Buddhist philosophy and perform, In compliment of Copying seeks to teach how and why copying works, what the resources of its energy are, and the political stakes of renegotiating the way in which we worth copying within the age of globalization.

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40 / IN PRAISE OF COPYING 2 / C o p i a , o r, The Abundant Style Interviewer: How do you define folk music? Bob Dylan: As a constitutional replay of mass production. ”1 Copia was also the Roman goddess associated with abundance. Very little is known about this goddess, but she is mentioned in Ovid’s Metamorphoses at the point where Achelous transforms himself into a bull in order to overcome Hercules, who responds by breaking off one of his horns. ” When we talk about copying today, when controversy around 41 copying occurs, these meanings of “copia”—coming to us from before the age of print, the age of mechanical reproduction, or the age of the computer—reassert themselves.

She barely appears in even the most comprehensive resources on the classical world. 6 We pass further into the labyrinth of Roman mythological etymologies at our peril; but in tracing the origins of “copia,” we find a god/goddess pairing relating both to the overflowing bounty of the harvest and to its storage for use. And copia itself contains this dual sense: abundance, but also the deployment of abundance. And in this double meaning, one can already discern some of the qualities that will come to the fore in the word “copying”—the copy as an object that is inherently multiple, that is more than one, that is a copy of something, and thus part of an excess or abundance, of a more.

Or a strange twist of fate, like the one that occurred on July 13, 1977, when the power grid went out in New York City, leading to widespread looting in poorer neighborhoods such as Harlem and the Bronx. It is that day which is credited in Yes Yes Y’All, a recent oral history of hip-hop, as being the moment of hip-hop’s tipping point, where the technologies required for MC-ing and DJ-ing (turntables, microphones, and speakers), formerly available only to a small number of crews, were suddenly in the hands of just about anyone who wanted them.

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