Reproductions (perfection)

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Reproductions (perfection)

From Mani Deli

Published before 2005


In a NY Times article "When Technology Imitates Art" by JOSHUA TOMPKINS at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/22/technology/circuits/22mill.html?pagewanted=print&position=

Concern is expressed for the ability of computers to make replicas and facsimiles to degrees of unheard of perfection.

A quote:

In March, for example, using data generated during a monthlong scan of Michelangelo's David by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington, Gentle Giant Studios, a special-effects firm in Burbank, Calif., turned out a small replica of the 17-foot tall statue.

While reasonably faithful copies of David have been created using plaster casts, the 15-inch replica is the most perfect scale model ever created of the masterpiece. Made with permission from Italian officials, it could potentially seed an army of near-identical twins. (A Stanford University Web site says the researchers will indeed sell copies of the model eventually, although Marc Levoy, a computer science professor who oversaw the scanning project, said there were no plans to do so.)

Many critics seem to worry about the problem of authenticity. I believe this is because they have no concept of what constitutes information. Technically speaking an artwork is basically information. Critics forgot that the original artist is responsible for the origin of that information and that in any reproduction of his artwork. Simply put, the original artist is the originator of all the information in any reproduction.

Art has been reproduced since its beginning, better and worse. We have now arrived at a higher degree of perfection in the craft and ease of reproduction then before. Indeed a replica may not contain all the information of the original, as this is a matter of degree. What concerns the above critic is a matter of degree. I share no such concern.

Mani Deli