On the death by dilution through copying, there is a great short story by Philip K. Dick, ‘Pay for the printer’ (read on http://www.american-buddha.com/dick.phildickreader.18.htm), published in 1959; where in a post apocalyptic World printers print objects brought to them by surviving humans to make copies. After they become old the printing becomes faulty and all the copied stuff disintegrates to ash. It takes one individual who made a wooden cup himself declaring it to be the ‘real thing’ which is the first step to civilization… ( makes me think of 3-D printers…)


I came across this when I got sidetracked for writing a paper for a conference on ‘authenticity in Contemporary Art and its conservation’.

I got side tracked as I wondered why the term Authenticity is such a big thin’k’ (not a thin’g’ as that implies something tangible) in times where much of our World is just simulacra or simulation of the real, the physical (celebrity, 24 hours news feeds, plastic surgery, stock market bubbles, politics, education, Health services, etc…) at the same time thinking that this might also be the answer…

All this craze for performance Art and artist practices, processes, its incessant documentation and soooooooo much to say about anything that has some notion of ‘doing’- is it artists who have become the experts in making something? Is experience now something that people need to go to an Art Gallery for?

Is all of this not just copies of copied and simulated expressions that can be flocked through smoke and mirrors branding and marketing? Resulting in humanity loosing the abilities to be and experience life and the World without recording, documenting and communicating them as copies and diluting any meaning to its saleability?

Or is the continuous ‘re branding’ through continuously re defining of language to alter values, making more and more copies of decreasing quality- oblivion through repetition- the real Art form of the 21st century?