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ARH 200: Theory & Criticism of Art & Design - Karimi

Theme: Appropriation in Popular Culture

The concept of “appropriation” in your textbook has been described as the act of borrowing, stealing, or taking other’s meanings to one’s own ends and cultural appropriation as the process of “borrowing” and changing the meaning of commodities, cultural products, slogans, images, or elements of fashion. Using library resources, choose an image or film clip in which you believe appropriation is at work (please attach this image or reference where it can be viewed by the professor to your paper). How has the creator of this image appropriated another’s meaning to suit his goals? What was the original intended meaning? In what way is the image or artifact appropriated? What is the new meaning intended through the appropriation?

First Steps


Baby wombat, animated gif, GIPHY, http://gph.is/1maf9Hi.

  1. Think about some alternate terms or phrases for "appropriation."
     
  2. Write them down.
     
  3. Consider an image or film that might involve appropriation.
     
  4. Write them down (but also don't worry if you can't think of any just yet).

Building Blocks


Ladislav Suntar, Build the Town Building Blocks, 1940-43, painted wood, block .1-.16: 1 3/4 x 2 1/8 x 2 1/8" (4.4 x 5.4 x 5.4 cm) wedge .17-.26: 2 1/4 x 2 5/8 x 1 1/4" (5.7 x 6.7 x 3.2 cm) cone .27-.30: 7 x 2 3/4" (17.8 x 7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, New York, https://www.moma.org/collection/works/101552?.
 

Here are just some suggestions for resources I would use for the assignment and the approach I would take. Try it and make it your own!

Remember, researching is exploration, so be patient with the process. 

If you're doing this ahead of time and we don't have a book or access to the full article on the topic you want, you could always request it from Interlibrary Loan. See the tab above for more info! 

Also, you can always just Google it. Use the smart web searching tips we talked about in class (remember, site:.edu or site:.gov? also think critically about why you might trust that source and who authored it), then search for the work you found via Google in the library resources above!