Recreativity: The Past in Pastiche, and How to Get Past It
In his lecture for Platform Reynolds will take up what he calls “recreativity”. In the wake of the publication of Retromania many people have pointed to an objection to the postulate of the book that artists have always recycled, and that originality and innovation are myths. In the lecture he will deal with the emergence of theoretical positions that encourage artistic practices based on copying, appropriation and plagiarism. Champions of such theories can be found across the cultural spectrum from music to art and literary criticism. Writers like David Shields, Jonathan Lethem, Marcus Boon, Nicolas Bourriaud and many others have made DJ-ing, mash-ups and remixing models for theoretical perspectives on contemporary art production. In Retromania, however, Reynolds criticizes mash-up thinking and questions whether DJ culture has reached saturation point. Both Reynolds and those who argue for a remix-based art production do agree, though, that digital culture and the Internet have changed “the nature of creativity”.