When is a quote a steal? When is it an homage? Are the rules different in writing and in visual art? Bill Eppridge, the photographer who caught this terrific aerial shot in 1971 (it’s called Barstow to Vegas Motorcycle Race) is steamed because Seattle artist Deborah Faye Lawrence appropriated it to use as the sky image in her 2008 collage The Mysterious Allure of Rural America. Click on Another Bouncing Ball to see Lawrence’s work and compare for yourself.
I won’t repeat Eppridge’s argument, or Hackett’s response to it. (Lawrence isn’t quoted). The post is short, and you can get it all there — plus an interesting string of comments. I’ll just say, this is tricky ground. Nothing’s original, but some things are more original than others.
Also worth checking out: Theatrical luminaries Mr. Mead at Blogorrhea and Steve Patterson at Splattworks have hooked into the release of the new book Outrageous Fortune: The Life and Times of the New American Play, which gets down to some of the deep dark issues of how … well, plays fit into the contemporary American theater scene. Well worth reading, and also the followups at Parabasis. (And don’t miss Chicago Trib critic Chris Jones’s review of the book.)