Visual Narratives & Design Thinking: 08 10 2018

During the last session, we had to select something that caught our attention and illustrated our definition of what storytelling is, in our groups, we spent the morning presenting our project and our views on the question.


Later that day, we had another InDesign introduction which delved deeper into what the software offers but this isn’t what really caught my attention: we were given an assessment due by the 26th of October on appropriation.


Who or what inspires you? Explore remix culture. Think mash-up. What other examples using a range of media – such as gifs for example – can you find?


A new (old) formula for creativity:

Banish the blank page.

Begin with a sheet overflowing with someone else’s thoughts,

images, words.

Erase, rephrase, redact, resuscitate – and create something


Shore, R.

What comes after remix?, Lev Manovich (2007).

Remix Culture and the Literary Mashup, Jacob Murphy (2013).


“Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another. The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbour’s, kindle it at home, communicate it to other, and it becomes the property of all.”

– Voltaire (1756)


Appropriation is the practice of artists taking already existing objects and using them, with little alteration, in their own works. The objects could be functional, everyday objects, or elements of other art pieces; commercial advertising material, newspaper cuttings or street debris.

→ Cubist collages and constructions of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque (used real objects, like newspapers, as themselves, not as representations of something else).

→ 1917: Marcel Duchamp Fountain.



Robert Rauschenberg, Jacques Villeglé, Penelope Umbrico, Pierre Bismuth etc …


Retroactive II, Robert Rauschenberg (1963)


Lille - Rue Littré

Lille, rue Littré, Jacques Villeglé (2000)


Patrick Thomas



Following the Right Hand of – Sophia Lauren in “Too Bad She’s Bad”, Pierre Bismuth (2009)


However, the line between borrowing, appropriating, and copying is quite blurry and can quickly become confusing. It raises questions of originality, authenticity and authorship, especially now in a digital age where everything is laid out for everyone to see.

Richard Prince is an artist famous for appropriation and bringing these questions to the forefront of everyone’s minds. His work relies heavily on the work of others. Not all of his pieces or projects are appropriated, but his most famous pieces owe their existence to the technique.

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