Piracy and Authorship in New Media Art


Abstract: The act of creation requires us to remix existing cultural content and yet recent sweeping changes to copyright laws have criminalized the creative act as a violation of corporate rights in a commodified world. Copyright was originally designed to protect publishers, not authors, and has now gained a stranglehold on our ability to transport, read, write, teach and publish digital materials. Contrasting Western models with issues of piracy as practiced in Asia, Digital Prohibition is the first book to discuss the politics of creative work and emergent models of authorship in a digital age.


This book explores the creation of new media forms by artists and groups who use technology to challenge established models and practices. It starts from the premise that creativity is no longer a useful concept in an age of data glut and perfect copies; instead we must now think of creative practice as a kind of creative critique and atactical aesthetics that repurpose existing materials to explore the nature of media and how they affect us. The book examines this through three different aesthetic approaches: interruption (stoppage and repetition), disturbance (critique and event), and capture/leakage (performance and documentation). Digital Prohibition is wide-ranging in its definition of authorship, exploring methods as diverse as sampling, mashups, hacktivism, social media, tactical media, productive mistranslation and digital anthropophagy.

Imprint Continuum

ISBN: 9781441131904


"As current as 'the day Wikipedia shut down in protest,' Guertin's deeply informed, wide-ranging, and provocative book resituates the questions of net freedom, intellectual property, digital distribution, and censorship. This is a heady and vibrant series of interlaced arguments and speculative forays." MICHAEL JOYCE 
Professor of English and Media Studies, Vassar College "Digital Prohibition was the perfect text to wrap up my grad seminar this fall, and I am very grateful to you for writing it. It was the perfect selection for our program, which straddles film, video, and digital media." STUART MOULTHROP Professor, Department of English, University of Wisconsin, Milwauke "Guertin's book is extremely timely in addressing the crisis in copyright but also in terms of the explosion of compositional/authorial modes and practices circulating through popular cultures. This interconnection brings together two issues that have, for the most part, been addressed separately. Connecting them through a framework of prohibition provides an excellent historical grounding and an innovative foothold for these discussions in progressive media studies."
JAMIE "SKYE" BIANCO Assistant Professor, English Department, Director, dm@p, digital media at pitt, University of Pittsburgh 
"Carolyn Guertin has long been embedded in the digital, both as a practitioner and as a critic. Her insightful and provocative ideas should be part of every new media syllabus."
SUE THOMAS Professor of New Media, Demontfort University, U.K



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Libraries, Archives, and Public Life. Pat Demers and Antonia Samek, Eds.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, date TBA




“Cyberfeminist Literary Space: Performing the Electronic Manifesto.”
Electronic Literature: Contexts, Forms, and Practices. Dene Grigar and James O’Sullivan, Eds. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, 2016.

©  2016 Carolyn Guertin