Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Spring School 2016

The Aesthetics and Ethics of Copying

Convenors: Reinold Schmücker (Münster, GER), Thomas Dreier (Karlsruhe, GER), Pavel Zahrádka (Olomouc, CZE)

Date: 9 - 13 May 2016

With Amrei Bahr (Münster), Andreas Bruns (Münster), Anette Gilbert (Berlin), Johannes Grave (Bielefeld, GER), Eberhard Ortland (Bielefeld), Constanze Peres (Dresden), Antonia Putzger (Berlin), Maria Reicher-Marek (Aachen), Nico Strobach (Münster), Wolfgang Ullrich (Leipzig)

In cooperation with the Dresden art college, the ZiF research group The Ethics of Copying invited advanced graduate and doctoral students for a spring school in May. Members of the research group offered sessions on a broad range of topics, beginning with conceptual issues (what is a copy?) and an introduction to copyright and author's rights, and leading to more specific discussions of copying practices in the arts and sciences, media, music and literature. A focus was laid in particular on the interrelations and tensions between moral and aesthetic criteria in evaluating certain copies and acts of copying. The documentary „Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery“ was presented by Nico Strobach (Münster) as a starting point for a discussion about art forgery and the copying activities involved in it. Wolfgang Ullrich (Leipzig) discussed some recent examples of reenactment of art performances as well as cases of transformative, subversive, critical or exploitational copying in art photography. Discussing such cases proved essential for developing adequate criteria for the relevant moral and aesthetic distionctions. Participants contributed valuable input from their own artistic practice and ongoing dissertation projects. These included, among others, a study of the copying and quotation customs among early modern scholars (Christian Kuhlmann, Halle a.d.S.) and in contemporary literature, arts and sciences; plagiarism; the aesthetics and semantics of loops in video and media arts (Kristin Moellering, Berlin) and various contributions on sampling-, remix- and mashup-phenomena in contemporary music (Georg Fischer, Berlin), photography and the visual arts (Giannina Lisitano, Berlin).


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