The cheapness, fidelity and volume of reproduction made possible by new technologies have irrevocably changed the status of the work of art. A certain part of artworks can be ripped, mixed and re-contextualised in a more active, open and accessible way. As a result, culture has become more atomised and granular.
Increasingly, digital environments and social media are allowing audiences to participate in the creation of media and culture independently of traditional media organisations. Usership has become the new authorship. On top of that, the hyper-circulation of images has unraveled into new conditions of visuality, where the question of speed, scale and saturation as opposed to representation, are key. What matters is how widely something is disseminated, how rapidly it goes from one place to another and the scale at which this can happen.
One consequence of this cultural bricolage is an assault on traditional notions of ownership, copyright, plagiarism and fair use. What are the limits and what are the risks?