350MC – Research Project Proposal

by alexmasonphotography

Alex Mason

Title Of Research Project

Authorship, The Remix and Appropriation

 Mode Of Presentation Selected

Audio Visual Pre Recorded Presentation


When people think of an author, I imagine they think of somebody like C.S Lewis or Charles Dickens but there is a bit more to it than that. I am going to explore what makes somebody the author of an idea or concept and how somebody can claim authorship over something that isn’t physical.

Description of Specific Subject to be Investigated

A practical project I am undertaking is short documentary film about ‘freerunners’. Whilst doing my research, I discovered that there are two men who are considered to be the founders of ‘freerunning’. I found it interesting that people can be the founders of something that is arguably just an advance on walking. Here’s an example that illustrates my point: a cave man jumped over a log, was he freerunning? After discussing this issue with a couple of the participants in my film, they said that this is both a common and controversial topic within the culture of freerunning. I will be looking into several different creative concepts for example design, music, TV, art and film and analysing how they sit within the concept of authorship.

Key Ideas

 ·       How authorship has changed

·       Who owns a concept?

·       Appropriation, what is right and wrong?

·       Reflection on my own practice

·       What is right and wrong within authorship?

If nobody had invented the wheel and realised that it can roll than we wouldn’t have cars. If people hadn’t decided that binding materials like card and paper together created a folder or a book, we wouldn’t have folders on the desktop of our computers. Some people would argue that having a book on a tablet or digital device is an ‘original’ idea. These examples may seem a little far-fetched but they apply to people’s approaches in terms of authorship and occur in many areas of life for example song writing, photography and entrepreneurialism. A writer once asked David Bowie if he thought he is an original artist and Bowie replied, “No no no I’m more like a tasteful thief” I will be investigating the importance of using the resources others have left behind and how this effects what people think are original ideas.

Sources to be Utilised – Ted Talks, Online resources, first hand research (interviews), articles, books.

Methods to be Used in Acquisition of Sources – Engage and utilise sources that I find on the web about my subject followed by searching for relevant articles and books. Whilst doing this I will also be sending some emails to people I would like to gather first hand research off.

Results/Findings – Research I have found thus far. TED talks ‘Embracing The Remix’, ‘Re-examining the remix’ and ‘Steal Like An Artist’ I will be looking at the essay ‘What is an Author’ by Michael Foucault and the book ‘The Death of the Author’ by Roland Barthes. I will also be looking at things into authorship in social networks (ie. sharing, ‘re-tweeting’, re-blogging).

 Methods/Forms of Interpretation/Analysis to be Used With the Information and Sources –

I will be analysing my findings by trying to gain my own understanding and reflecting on it by not just taking the writer of the article’s word as gospel.

Plan/Schedule of Work –

Gathering 2nd hand research from books, articles and various mediums that I mentioned earlier.

 Emailing participants for 1st hand research to try and plan interviews or get them to answer some questions via email.

Write up all the information I have gathered thus far.

 Create a first draft of presentation and gather relevant multi media to illustrate my points.

I will be creating the presentation throughout my findings in order to get a well balanced piece of media that hasn’t been rushed. I will try and write and speak the language in a colloquial format to engage with my audience.

Finish up audio-visual presentation.

Prepare potential answers for questions.


Austin Kleon . (2012). Steal Like An Artist. Available: http://blog.ted.com/2012/08/10/14-brilliant-quotes-on-remixing/. Last accessed 18 Nov 2013.

 John Hoda. (2013). Re-Blogging vs Copyright Infringement. Available: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/re-blogging-vs-copyright-infringement/. Last accessed 16th Nov 2013.

Kirby Ferguson. (2012). Embracing The Remix. Available: http://www.ted.com/talks/kirby_ferguson_embrace_the_remix.html. Last accessed 18th Nov 2013.

 Lawrence Lessig . (2010). Re-examining the remix. Available: http://www.ted.com/talks/lessig_nyed.html. Last accessed 14th Nov 2013.

 Marshall McLuhan (1967). The Medium is The Massage . 4th ed. UK: Penguin Books. 157.

 Michael Foucault . (1969 ). What Is an Author? . Available: http://artsites.ucsc.edu/faculty/Gustafson/FILM%20162.W10/readings/foucault.author.pdf. Last accessed 12th Nov 2013.

 Oxford Dictionaries . (). Definition of author in English. Available: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/author. Last accessed 10th Nov 2013.

 Roland Barthes. (1967). The Death of the Author . Available: http://www.tbook.constantvzw.org/wp-content/death_authorbarthes.pdf. Last accessed 14th Nov 2013.