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TRANSCRIPT OF AN INSTANT-MESSAGE INTERVIEW WITH
THE WORLDíS LEADING CREATIVE PLAGIARIST, DONNIE BOMAN,
PERTAINING TO HIS TECHNIQUE, INTENTION, UP-BRINGING, & SITUATION
*
eyeshot: you are the most prolific practitioner of creative plagiarism

eyeshot: you have had one or two pieces on this site

eyeshot: possibly three or four

eyeshot: that copy and paste tons of text from obscure sources online

eyeshot: changing a few key nouns from the original to some absurdity 

eyeshot: like a giant squid

boman: indeed, the giant squid

eyeshot: so i ask you

eyeshot: have you found this technique valuable strictly in terms of its ease 

eyeshot: or is there something else about it that has inspired you to attain your status as 

eyeshot: the world's leading creative plagiarist?

eyeshot: i ask you

eyeshot: . . . . 

eyeshot: . . . . 

boman: ok

boman: it is extremely easy to find things on the internet once you figure out where to look

boman: and the copy and replace technique is really easy 

boman: but you have to know what to replace the text with

eyeshot: aha!

boman: i mean, who would have replaced lesbians with terrorists

eyeshot: the creative element!

boman: indeed

eyeshot: but by saying "who would have replaced . . . " you're emphasizing your originality

boman: let me see what i replaced for giant squid . . . 

boman: I replaced "virtualization of reality" with "giant squid theory"

eyeshot: so you're saying that the art is in YOUR SELECTION

boman: exactly

boman: there are visual artists who specialize in "found art"

eyeshot: rauschenberg, collagists, etc

boman: there are musicians who are turntablists

eyeshot: x-cutientaros

eyeshot: (spelling?)

boman: x-ecutioners

boman: there is a group proposing the name: plagiarhythm for the musical plagiarism technique

boman: http://evolution-control.com

eyeshot: a group of what?

eyeshot: a group of wildebeest?

boman: a group of artists... shit, they might be penguins

eyeshot: and what's up with them?

eyeshot: assuming they are humans

eyeshot: not pigeons

eyeshot: or penguins

eyeshot: but people

eyeshot: what's up with them?

eyeshot: and why mention them in an exclusive IM interview?

boman: they take the #1 billboard singles, the first 10 seconds of each song

boman: and splice it all together as their art

eyeshot: in a joyful, melodious, mellifluous way?

eyeshot: or does it sound like chaotic trash?

boman: i heard it the other day, and i liked their term plagiarhythm

boman: it was kind of straining to the ear and mind to listen to all that music

boman: it was like 70 minutes long

eyeshot: isn't there also something going on in which people remix songs together?

eyeshot: blending everything

eyeshot: it's all about appropriation, right?

eyeshot: (no duh, as the kids used to say)

boman: yeah, of course, they remix what they've already heard and make a "new art" out of it. most of the time they give "credit" so that it will not be "plagiarism"

eyeshot: but this is all aesthetic talk

boman: yeah

boman: aesthetics

eyeshot: giving credit is interesting, right?

eyeshot: when you attribute your appropriation you're no longer really plagiarizing

boman: yeah, at the end of the first piece eyeshot published, there was a big eye to click on that referenced the original slavoj zizek interview

eyeshot: the fact of the link 

eyeshot: how does it change things?

boman: the link showed where the source material was from, proving that you knew where the plagiarism was from. 

boman: and i think it could prevent us from being sued

eyeshot: right!

eyeshot: but there's something else, too

boman: if a reader actually waded through the original zizek piece, they would see that it means just as much as the search for the giant squid theory

eyeshot: i think there might be something else there about originality

eyeshot: about the process

eyeshot: about the taking of an obscure bit of personal text (lesbian terrorists)

eyeshot: and tweaking it just enough so it spins out of control in an interesting way

boman: the original pieces don't really mean anything unless one has a personal interest in them

boman: lesbians may find it interesting to read interviews with lesbians 

boman: taking a creative spin on things about the nature of sexuality, maybe lesbians are really terrorists in their own rights

eyeshot: but everyone would want to read confessions of lesbian terrorists

boman: well, i think everyone should read the confessions of [lesbian] terrorists

eyeshot: do you have a specific intention when you decide to replace nouns?

eyeshot: a political or aesthetic intention?

boman: well, when i did the latest piece, i was going to find some leading postmodern critic [hell, eyeshot is supposed to be a literary site] talking about the theory of terrorism

boman: and have them subscribe to it, and have them be terrorists themselves

boman: i guess thatís political

eyeshot: but then you decided to use lesbians

boman: i couldn't find a good interview to cut and paste 

eyeshot: so you look for the interview AFTERWARDS?

eyeshot: it's not like you find it

eyeshot: and say cool

eyeshot: i'll change the words

boman: right. i have an idea in my head, and when i find a good interview that i can tweak, then i'm like, hell yeah, only a few words to replace

boman: the zizek interview was a long piece to wade through

boman: shit, i had to look up squid species, latin, nomenclature

eyeshot: i remember when i got it - i thought you wrote it!

eyeshot: i thought you were a fuckiní genius!

eyeshot: i hadn't heard of, or at least hadnít remembered having heard zizek's name

eyeshot: although i linked to something he wrote about 9-11 last fall

eyeshot: but when you sent the plagiarized zizek interview

eyeshot: i edited it a little 

eyeshot: then googled the name Zizek

eyeshot: and voila

eyeshot: a plagiarism!

boman: a graduate student friend of mine in postmodern american literature gave me some info about him, and i said, this guy is a fucking nut

boman: i could have him talk about giant squid theory and it might look real

boman: hell, your submission guidelines say you want to receive plagiarisms

eyeshot: but the point is that you almost slipped it past me

eyeshot: i took it as something you wrote

eyeshot: instead of something you manipulated

eyeshot: do you consider the plagiarisms as "things you wrote"? or is it something else altogether?

boman: sometimes i write things for real, but i often cull ideas from things around me

boman: i mean, everyone does

eyeshot: thomas wolfe said that fiction

eyeshot: is fact selected, arranged, and charged with purpose

eyeshot: which isn't too different from what you're doing

eyeshot: except itís way way way easier

eyeshot: to cut/paste 2000 words and change thirty of them 

eyeshot: than to write them all

boman: it is easier. and living in the internet culture, one can find information about anything and plagiarize all the time

eyeshot: plus, when online a lot, you want instant gratification

eyeshot: you want a cable modem!

boman: people don't even know where they found the information most of the time. we live in a society that allows people to quote facts and figures. do facts and figures really mean anything if there is no source or reference?

eyeshot: you want to be able to create as quickly as you can receive

boman: right. the cable modem allows for instant gratification

eyeshot: but i think by providing a link to the source material you enable the reader to see the difference between the two

eyeshot: while also subtly implying something about 

eyeshot: originality of the text (fiction) found online

boman: sure, the reader can decide if something is art or not. i am not the one saying that a "creative plagiarism" is art.

boman: plagiarism is what i do for a living. let me give you an example.

boman: i work in a library in cataloging.

boman: and i edit records for the online catalog. usually videos, movies, non-book stuff

boman: i donít really write summary notes or anything in the records. i cut and paste them from other sources.

boman: i use text that was already designed for the material that i am working with and then use something from the actual item in my hand

boman: example: i am supposed to include a field called a "520" in the records

boman: it is supposed to be a summary note

boman: if there is a description of a video on the back of the box

boman: i type it into the computer, strip it of buzz words or opinionated statements, and itís done. no creativity at all. 

boman: itís even better if the video is a feature film, then i can cut and paste a summary from online

eyeshot: i know a lot of freelance writers who find articles about what they're writing on and then rewrite those articles line for line. Same info as something already written, with different words and paragraph structure etc. Itís all about the efficient manipulation of text to achieve a desired end, quickly and adequately. 

boman: right, exactly what i do

eyeshot: but in general, especially at work, efficiency matters much more than originality 

boman: right. i could be original, but no one would really care.

eyeshot: itís maybe the same online too

boman: right.

eyeshot: maybe you could be original like drachen fliegen

eyeshot: and no one would really notice

eyeshot: so then why try?

boman: right. i have scoured his web pages. i found that i was like the 5th visitor

boman: on some of the pages

eyeshot: why not just change a few words of some wacky personal testament to make it be about having sex with opossum?

boman: some of his stuff is collage art

boman: and is that a plagiarism if it doesnít credit what magazine it came from? no one really calls it that

eyeshot: that's called copyright infringement

boman: well, there are a fuckload of personal testaments out there that no one cares about except the author

eyeshot: right

eyeshot: and you can take one

eyeshot: change it

eyeshot: and voila

eyeshot: what was "theirs" is now "yours"

boman: not many people get called out on that. but there is the webpage that i sent you earlier: http://www.illegal-art.org

boman: some of those people are getting screwed in court costs

boman: i think i might take someone's daily blog and put it up as my own

eyeshot: and say it was fiction? 

boman: well, maybe say it's fiction, or maybe say it's my life.

boman: "my life"

boman: or maybe i wouldn't change a thing.

eyeshot: so now we're taking about identity stuff

eyeshot: ownership of identity

eyeshot: which is funny

eyeshot: in a branded time

boman: yeah.

boman: it is funny.

boman: and creepy. who wants to be appropriated by someone else?

eyeshot: when so many people have marketed "identities" or pre-fab "lifestyles"

boman: well, no one wants to be that 

boman: but they become it 

eyeshot: it's a weird thing though, thinking about taking someone's unoriginal thoughts 

eyeshot: as your own

eyeshot: being intentionally unoriginal as a way to critique someone else's unintentional unoriginality

boman: hell yeah.

boman: marxist theory, alienation of labor.... people aren't really the masters of their production in this society anyway

eyeshot: um

eyeshot: now you're losing me

boman: sorry

eyeshot: with marxist talk

eyeshot: groucho?

boman: i'll get off that

eyeshot: harpo?

eyeshot: i think when you fall into theories like that

eyeshot: you're falling into the Gap, intellectually

boman: i'll go with your sociological talk

eyeshot: but you could talk about creative plagiarism in terms of logo jamming?

boman: yeah

boman: let me see.

eyeshot: you could probably change the text of a britney spears fan page 

eyeshot: to read about satan

eyeshot: or santa claus

eyeshot: or nixon

boman: yes, definitely. i think people probably do that.

boman: if not, there is nothing stopping them. it's just as valid as talking about britney spears as to "creatively" change the fan page, or whatever

eyeshot: but then we have to talk about location

eyeshot: about where it's seen

boman: yes, that is true. that is why i submit stuff to you, to be "internationally accessible" instead of on a free home page

eyeshot: logo jamming occurs at an ad's point of transmission Ė the same location

eyeshot: so when you change the words of the hypothetical fan page

eyeshot: it doesn't really appear on the fan page

eyeshot: but within a frame for "original" literary/humor stuff 

eyeshot: and in this way you make a point, maybe, about the arbitrariness of nouns and pronouns

boman: oh man. yeah.

eyeshot: like mad libs

eyeshot: we all did mad libs when we were young

eyeshot: do they still sell mad libs?

boman: [hold on, let me get a cup of coffee.] yeah. they still sell mad libs.

eyeshot: [i will get some more coke]

eyeshot: [coca cola . . . for all those wondering]

boman: [i'm sure a lot of people are wondering]

boman: well, when i was young, i did a lot of mad libs

eyeshot: yeah, me too

eyeshot: and now . . . 

eyeshot: you want that same sort of easy textual pleasure

eyeshot: but you want people to consider the result

boman: now there are computers and find-and-replace functions on microsoft word

boman: that enable easy creativity

eyeshot: it's a natural thing to do

eyeshot: but it can be used artfully

boman: right, i don't want to just sit on what i have produced

boman: i want people to see it

boman: and i used "produced" intentionally

boman: i guess i don't see it as something that i just find

eyeshot: or "replace"

boman: yeah. i have an idea that i want to see someone else say, and make them say it

boman: i wanted slavoj zizek to believe in a giant squid conspiracy

eyeshot: and voila!

boman: i wanted those lesbians to be terrorists

eyeshot: and voila!

boman: i wanted those palindromes to really mean something

eyeshot: interactive textual entertainment!

eyeshot: uploaded to international accessibility

boman: ha ha ha. yeah. i want to be accessible in my sometimes-inaccessibility

eyeshot: high-tech ease

eyeshot: complicit with

eyeshot: and critiquing 

eyeshot: its own process and the culture that created it

eyeshot: . . . at least it's free

boman: yeah. that's why i am glad i can talk about the plagiarism outside of the plagiarism

boman: and yes, it certainly is free.

eyeshot: you're not doing any of this to make money or anything?

boman: hell no. i would if i could.

eyeshot: and i certainly don't make money posting it

eyeshot: i lose money posting it

eyeshot: then why do it?

eyeshot: if it's not economically viable, then it's worthless, right?

boman: to many people it would be. i guess a modernist would like to create for the act of creating for himself, isn't that right?

boman: well, that's not me.

boman: i'm not making any money, but i want people to at least see my stuff.

boman: i don't keep a journal

eyeshot: modernists were big on originality - think joyce, faulkner, etc

boman: yeah. that's certainly not me!

eyeshot: but then the funny thing about postmodern realist writers like carver etc, is that so many of them sound the same

eyeshot: anyway

boman: i don't want to be like them either

eyeshot: so what's the point

eyeshot: what's the take-home message?

eyeshot: why have we spent this time typing all this silly shit?

eyeshot: why are we trying to figure this out?

eyeshot: does it matter?

boman: you've got me. maybe it's egotistical to talk about creativity and pretend to be creative.

eyeshot: that's a nice humble answer.

boman: i want to google my name and have it come up on more than my library webpage. weíve talked about egotourism before

eyeshot: egotourism isn't about arrogance though

eyeshot: just inflating the ego to proper pressure

eyeshot: with experience instead of antidepressants

boman: ahh. to feel good enough about yourself to keep going

eyeshot: assuming that you're starting from inadequacy

boman: well, i am certainly not making enough money to keep going.

boman: you know, working at a university library, i make wages right at the poverty level for mississippi

eyeshot: that's poor!

boman: yeah, no shit

eyeshot: that's like super poor

boman: yeah.

eyeshot: but i bet you didn't grow up all that poor

eyeshot: (be honest)

boman: lower middle class in alabama and florida

eyeshot: but respectable?

boman: single dad living with my grandma off and on until 10

boman: in florida

eyeshot: i see

boman: then moving to alabama where he got married and sold potato chips for a living

eyeshot: truth?

boman: no lie

eyeshot: sold them on the street or sold them to stores and supermarkets?

eyeshot: like a salesman? a Fritos representative? 

boman: Charles Chips solicitor to offices and homes.

boman: then he started doing debt-collection insurance, where he went door to door in the very poor neighborhoods

boman: he got mugged twice

eyeshot: would you change anything about how you grew up? 

boman: um, i wouldn't have lived with my step-mother, or at least would have been more assertive in holding my own space

eyeshot: would you have preferred back then to take on someone else's identity or situation

eyeshot: (see where i'm going with this?)

boman: oh yeah, then i would have.

boman: [i think so]

eyeshot: (staying on topic)

boman: now, i see where i was and how i had to take care of myself, figure out how to get a job, learn how do my own taxes, and whatnot

eyeshot: (trying to find historical/psychological impulse that makes creative plagiarism appealing to you)

boman: i read good books, my dad started me out on steinbeck when i was 5.

boman: i always wanted to be creative, but there wasn't really a push for creativity where i grew up

eyeshot: more toward conformity

boman: mimicking was the key

boman: could you vomit back up what the teacher taught? could you follow the instructions at burger king on how to make a chicken biscuit?

eyeshot: no respect for originality at them fast-food joints

eyeshot: so now your creative plagiarisms simultaneous critique those restraints 

eyeshot: while giving them what they wanted

eyeshot: in a creative way

eyeshot: with really little "original" creation

eyeshot: other than manipulation of preexisting things

eyeshot: (selection and arrangement)

eyeshot: and then you charge it all with some sort of open-to-interpretation purpose

eyeshot: like a hermaneutical scatterbomb 

boman: yeah, it's all open to interpretation. (i would like to see more emphasis on creative thought in the schools, etc., but whatever)

boman: but most things are formulaic (like the similarity of those postmodernists)

eyeshot: and your process is formulaic too, intentionally so

boman: yeah.

boman: it's formulaic.

boman: idea, google search for interviews/essays/etc., find and replace, voila

eyeshot: and the disjointed juxtaposition thing you do gives it an irrationality that wants to be interpreted

eyeshot: easy!

eyeshot: fun!

boman: quite.

eyeshot: entertaining!

eyeshot: enlightening!

boman: sometimes enlightening! always entertaining!

eyeshot: right

boman: light, crisp, and refreshing

eyeshot: any plans for the future?

eyeshot: what's the next step for the world's leading creative plagiarist?

boman: writing a book.

boman: isn't that what everyone else is doing?

eyeshot: about what?

boman: theories of plagiarism.

eyeshot: really?

boman: sure, sounds good to me.

eyeshot: fiction?

eyeshot: essay?

eyeshot: plagiarism?

eyeshot: springing from the depths of your soul?

boman: a little bit of it all!

boman: itíd have to be.

eyeshot: cool

eyeshot: cool

eyeshot: cool

eyeshot: very well then

eyeshot: all that coke has made it so i have to pee

boman: indeed

eyeshot: piss

eyeshot: cop a whiz

eyeshot: drain the vein

eyeshot: hit the head

eyeshot: so i guess that's that

eyeshot: i think it was pretty good

eyeshot: i've never done that before

eyeshot: an IM interview

eyeshot: weird

boman: yeah, it was weird. and instantly gratifying

eyeshot: i'll copy and paste it

eyeshot: to a word file

eyeshot: then screw with it and edit it some 

eyeshot: then send it to you

eyeshot: you can do what you'd like to it

eyeshot: then i'll screw with it some more

eyeshot: and put it up the day after the lesbian terrorist thing 

eyeshot: maybe next week or the one after that

boman: excellent.

eyeshot: cool?

eyeshot: cool.

eyeshot: very well then

boman: ha, very well.

eyeshot: have a pleasant weekend and a happy tomorrow

boman: i will. i got paid today

eyeshot: yeah dawg 

eyeshot: yeah
((

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