Beyonce "plaigarized" imagery
This may be running away a bit from 'When Images 'Lie,'" but I hope not too much (I'm still feeling my way around this forum...). I was struck by the following article (http://www.homorazzi.com/article/beyonce-plagiarism-claims-billboard-awa...) that accuses Beyonce Knowles of idea theft for her Billboard Music Awards performance. What is striking about this, for me, is that she isn't being called a plagiarist for the music (of which she is using a sample that is over a year old), but she is being called a plagiarist for her use of interactive digital graphics in her performance.
I'm not so much interested in the actual debate of whether Beyonce's use of the white screen was original or not (though, it might be helpful if used in the classroom). I'm interested in the vocabulary being used. What Beyonce used, original or not, was a technology: a white screen and a projector. A series of images were compiled that were then projected on the white screen for ber to interact with during her performance. I'm interested in the idea that use of this technology can be "stolen". And can Beyonce be called a plaigarist for having done so? Even under the circumstances that some of the images used in Beyonce's performance have been used in other performances by other performers, is plaigarism an applicable word to use? She might have violated a copyright, sure, but is she committing plaigarism?
This opens an interesting discussion about how digital media is changing the vocaularies of ownership and idea property. I'm just interested in hearing input from others on this issue.
If you want, however, to stick to a more literal translation of images themselves lying - it's also worth noting that the digital Beyonces projected on the screen have obviously been edited (the contours of her digital body are much less pronounced and slimmed down) - therefore even while she sings a song about female empowerment, she elected to digitally alter her physical form on the screens. An interesting paradox!