E_N_D // Reid Passmore // Final Blog Post

What was it all for?

Celebrities and artists like Coldplay clearly prove cultural appropriation still exists. If the goal of this class was to determine that cultural appropriation was entirely bad, then it failed poorly. Cultural appropriation is one directional version of cultural exchange.  With Coldplay, the holi themed music video painted a positive light on Indian culture in such a way that satisfied the majority of Indians but overall misrepresented and appropriated it for the purpose of creating an exotic and vivid video.

White rappers like Macklemore appropriate from black culture with every rhyme and beat they lay, yet Macklemore serves as an social rights advocate and white rap groups like the Beastie Boys broke new ground in the hip hop scene.

Conceptual artist Kennith Goldsmith was my catalyst for understanding cultural appropriation as an artistic style. At first my interest in his work came from telling other people about him and seeing their reaction. While still fun, I see that there is more to his work than just being dumb.

Cultural appropriation or appropration in general co-opts elements for the use of re-expressing an old idea in new light. Goldsmith takes art and puts it on a pedestal so it can be examined from a different angle. Danger Mouse mixes Jay-Z and the Beatles to make something entirely new.

Of course there exists this balance between stealing and recreating. While the aforementioned Goldsmith leans to the former, Danger Mouse leans strongly to the latter. Appropriation is a powerful tool in an artist’s arsenal for the new age of free data and ideas. To continue to protest against it in favor of originality and what Goldsmith calls smart smart ideas is futile.

 

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