|eyeshot: you are the most prolific practitioner of creative
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: 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
boman: i mean, who would have replaced lesbians with terrorists
eyeshot: the creative element!
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: there are visual artists who specialize in "found art"
eyeshot: rauschenberg, collagists, etc
boman: there are musicians who are turntablists
boman: there is a group proposing the name: plagiarhythm for the musical plagiarism technique
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
eyeshot: giving credit is interesting, right?
eyeshot: when you attribute your appropriation you're no longer really plagiarizing
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: 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
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: 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: 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: now you're losing me
eyeshot: with marxist talk
boman: i'll get off that
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: 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
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
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
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: 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
boman: sometimes enlightening! always entertaining!
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.
boman: sure, sounds good to me.
eyeshot: springing from the depths of your soul?
boman: a little bit of it all!
boman: itíd have to be.
eyeshot: very well then
eyeshot: all that coke has made it so i have to pee
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
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
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
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