Reading Thee Psychick Bible, just got to “Thee Splinter Test”. It’s talking about cut-ups and the “contagion theory” of magick:
… No matter how short, or apparently unrecognizable a “sample” might be in linear time perception, I believe it must, inevitable, contain within it (and accessible through it), the sum total of absolutely everything its original context represented, communicated or touched in any way; on top of this it must also implicitly include the sum total of every individual in any way connected with its introduction and construction within the original (host) culture, and every subsequent (mutated or engineered) culture it in any way, means or form, has contact with forever (in past, present, future and quantum time zones).
I disagree. I think what is really going on that makes the cut-up effective isn’t that each piece is somehow connected to its entire history but because each piece can be used as a seed to grow, in a fractal like pattern, a new creation. The new creation is seeded by the piece, but is a mutation away from it. There is no reason to insist that it must contain all of the information of the source. All that we need to know is:
* The product will be experienced by an audience with some similar cultural experience such that they will (sub-consciously) make similar connections.
* Where there are gaps in interpretation, the audience will find something to splice in. Most likely, what is suggested by cultural experience.
This is a much better explanation. If somebody samples a bit of John Lennon, people with more experience and connections with John Lennon get more out of it. People without the same experience either just won’t get it or will connect meanings in other ways to produce unpredictable interpretations.
Art is all the time interpreted differently by people with different backgrounds.
This is part of the problem with cultural appropriation. When we take something it doesn’t come with its full context embedded inside it.
When we take something from another culture we lack most of what its context. I think that is why appropriation is so attractive. We get this really amazing concept or symbol and it implies all this stuff we don’t remotely comprehend. We consider it and we see all these wonderful gaps in our understanding and into each gap we see potential new discovery, what we do is often new creation. We imagine what it might mean and come up with something that resonates in some amazing way and we run with it. We run with it away from the original context.
We create some wonderful or horrible new mutant form or idea with cross-breed DNA. Some mutt that to us is beautiful but strikes others as a travesty. We break up the purebred culture. In our minds we fuck with ideas we’re not supposed to be fucking and produce our mutant offspring which may just be the start of a new species.