All Creative Work Is Derivative

, 15 October 2010

Our admired Nina Paley (Sita sings the blues) defendant of the free culture activism and questioning the current copyright system came up with this idea for her Minute meme series….

Nina illustrates here how all creative work builds on what came before. Photographed and animated by herself and with music by Todd Michaelsen, it was photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. 914 photos total. Nina carefully examined and adjusted almost every one. 435 of them made it into a folder called “Poses,” where she sorted them into categories: Standing, Sitting, Kneeling, Walking, Couples, Dancing, Running, Angels, Christ/Cross, Madonnas, Animals, and Other (more info on how she did it here).

Jesus sequence

As she puts it… “The whole history of human culture evolves through copying, making tiny transformations (sometimes called “errors”) with each replication. Copying is the engine of cultural progress. It is not “stealing.” It is, in fact, quite beautiful, and leads to a cultural diversity that inspires awe”.

The work is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license and as you can imagine… you can transform, copy, download or distribute it as many times as you please.