PLAGIARISM AS NEGATION IN CULTURE
GIVEN the total colonization of daily life by Capital, we are forced to speak the received language of the media. It has always been impossible to give coherent expression to thought and practices which oppose the dominant ideology. However, we do not seek the creation of new languages Such an act is doomed to failure and plays into Capital's hands (by reinforcing the myths of 'originality' and 'idividual creativity'). Rather, we aim to re-invent the language of those who would control us.
While we refute the concept of 'originality', we do not find it problematic that the idea of plagiarism implies an original. Although we believe all 'human creativity' is accumulative (that is to say, that all 'innovation ' are built on the sum total of what has gone before), it does not trouble us that there is, in the past, a 'point of origin'. We cannot give am account of this 'point of ongin' and will not waste our time making philosophical speculations about such irrelevancies.
Plagiarism is the negative point of a culture that finds its ideological justification in the 'unique'. Indeed, it is only through the creation of 'unique identities' that commodification can take place. Thus the unsuccessful search for a new, and universal, language by 'modern artists' should be viewed as a high point of the capitalist project. However, this in no way implies that 'post- modemism' is somehow more 'radical' than its precursor. Both movements were simply stages in a single trajectory. Such developments reflect the establishment's ability to recuperate actions and concepts which in the Past threatened its very constitution. 'Post-modern appropriation is very different to plagiarism. While post- modern theory falsely asserts that there is no longer any basic reality, the plagiarist recognizes that Power is always a reality in historical society.
Post-modernists fall into two categories. The first of these are cynics who understand the ideological process in which they play a minor role and manipulate it for personal gain. The second category of post-modernists are simply naive. Bombarded by media images, they believe that the ever changing 'normality' presented by the press and TV constitutes a loss of 'reality'.
The Plagiarist, by contrast, recognizes the role the media plays in masking the mechanisms of Power and actively seeks to disrupt this function.
By reconstituting dominant images, by subjectivising them, we aim to create a 'normality' better suited to our requirements than the media nightmare directed by Power. However, we have never imagined that this can be achieved solely through 'gallery exposure'. The attitude used to sell washing poweder have a powerful hold over our consciousness precisely because the images associated with them are those most often reproduced in the media. For an image to be effective it needs continuous reproduction in the press amd on tv. The only viable alternative to our strateqy of exposure to images reconstituted by the process of plagiarism, is the physical destruction of transmission stations and print technology