ARTC 444, Fall 2006
Digital Video Art
Heather Elliott-Famularo

Project #3:
RE-USE: Appropriation Art & Social Commentary

DUE: TUESDAY, October 24

appropriation art:
Incorporation of an existing image into a context different from the original in order to alter its meaning and to comment on originality.

Appropriate: To take possession of or make use of exclusively for oneself, often without permission; to acquire

Public Domain: The total absence of copyright protection. If something is "in the public domain" then anyone can copy it or use it in any way they wish. The original author has none of the exclusive rights. These include:

  • originally non-copyrightable
  • expired copyright (pre-1928)
  • authored by the Federal Government
  • specifically granted to the Public Domain

Copyright: © The exclusive rights of the owner of the copyright on a work to make and distribute copies, prepare derivative works, and perform and display the works in public.

Duration of Copyright:
Before 1978: expires 67 years from date of publication (pre-1939 = OK)
After 1978: 70 years after death of author (individually owned)
See: When Works Pass Into the Public Domain for more detail.

Proper syntax is: © 2000 Jane Doe or copyright 2000 Jane Doe (you should put this on your artwork)

Create a 2-5 minute video using Found Footage (appropriated audio, video, or both). Gather video and audio footage and re-edit it in a new and different way that will change its meaning or prompt the viewer to question their assumptions about either your subject or the medium of video/film itself. This piece should be a commentary, criticism, or parody of the subject you are interested in. Or you may also document a planned "Tactile media" event with video and edit the documentation video. You may also include audio/video that you have shot.

Consider what Kolker discussed in his writing, "The TRUTH of the Image" - that all images are mediated - no subject is neutral, and how composition, editing, and other properties are used by the artist to influence the image and therefore its interpretation by the viewer.

Because of the innate self-referential quality of the medium of video (used in TV, news, etc.), artists have been using video for activism since it's arrival to the art scene in the late 1960's. Film and video artists have frequently appropriated footage and incorporated it in their own work to create new pieces. Many have used this to make a commentary or as activism.
Some examples we have seen in class:

Check out these websites with Appropriation and Parody.

Professional Proposal:
You must write a professional, well-written Project Proposal. This must include 6 paragraphs (spell checked, grammar checked, and typed):

  1. Your concept clearly stated
  2. sources or type of footage you will use
  3. why you chose that footage
  4. your desired audience reaction (your intention)
  5. explain why it is fair re-use and NOT copyright theft
  6. details about the sound, editing, timing, and text if used.


Thursday, October 5: Field Trip to Toledo Lucas County Public Library;
Reading #6 Due!; Film Review #2 Due for extra credit!
Tuesday, October 10 NO CLASS - FALL BREAK
Thursday, October 12: Project #3 Proposal Due!;
Tuesday, October 17: Progress Check Point! - 75% Finished, rough edited in FCP (grade received)
Tuesday, October 24: PROJECT #3: DUE cued and ready to show on VHS or Mini-DV tape.
*NOTE: Works not 100% functioning and ready will be reduced one grade for each day not ready / late.


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