Iconoclasm Then and Appropriation Now

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  1. Discuss: How does the control of images during the Medieval Period compare to the free-wheeling appropriation of images available today on the internet?
  2. Discuss: Should there be limits on re-using images at all, today? 
  3. Embed an artwork of artist John Baldessari’s that you find on the internet and decipher what part of the image he borrowed from contemporary culture.

Images Communicate

Increasingly strong ideals during the religious Crusades  (Links to an external site.)of the Medieval Period, 1095 CE- 1300 CE,  religious leaders on both sides, Christian and Muslim, sought to stamp out what they considered untruthful heresy.  As late as the 1500’s, members of the Christian  Catholic Church and  the alternative Protestant sect, created an iconoclastic culture (Links to an external site.) that forbid certain types of imagery. The church also during this time, issued an index of forbidden books (Links to an external site.) that put limits on words.

Today we are in the midst of ideological disagreements, again, about the limits of protected speech and the free use of images. Who really owns an image on the internet?  

Are you aware of the artist Shepard Fairey’s appropriation of a news photo to create his famous poster of Barack Obama? Check out this watch this video narrated by Tom Waits about John Baldesarri (Links to an external site.) (5:54 min), and his use and reuse of contemporary images.  https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/global-culture/concepts-in-art-1980-to-now/beginners-guide-1980/v/contemporary-art-intro


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