5. Reproducing/Replicating

Annual Topic 2018/19

The creation of an object in interaction with another object operates in exemplary fashion in reproduction. A reproducible or reproduced object transcends the form of the fortuitous or systemic effect, and acquires reliability and therefore stability; objects reproduced by repeated operations gain tangibility, as do the operations themselves; they become encounterable and predictable. To examine operations of reproduction, duplication, replication and repetition, we once again have to draw on image operations and image relations as paradigms. What we are talking about here is historical and contemporary image practices such as the copiability of images and their arrangement in chains and cycles of images, and in series. The phenomena of mirroring, including the thematization of the mirror relationship, will also be considered, once again in and through images, or the closely related mise-en-abyme. This allows us to see not only outward replication, but also iteration, the setting of intervals, and recursivation. The phenomenon of the image within the image, generally produced by repetition of the framing procedure within the framed image, points back to the question raised in the first phase of the project, about the operation of framing.

At this point the specifics of reproduction under digital conditions will also need to be discussed, i.e. those of the relationship between original and copy, problems of quotation and plagiarism, and questions of document protection and copyright. Along with legal issues, economic object constructions also come to the fore here: a specific group of object types, produced by operations of reproduction, comes under the heading of commodity and commodity form, stereotype, or genre and series.