Notes about interview

April 26, 2009 permalink

Db We Used to Say Pirating I Mean the Term

DB: We used to say “pirating.” I mean, the term pirating was used for my early work.

CA: Was it really?

DB: Yeah. For example, when I started, there were no home-recording units. There was no TiVo. There was nothing like that.

CA: I must have been very difficult for you to get that footage.

DB: It was. There was no way to get the footage I needed directly. I had to find people inside the industry who believed in my artwork and were willing to get images out to me. So they called me a “pirateer” of imagery. That had a very romantic sound to it: “Oh, she’s the one who pirated imagery from television.”

Maybe this is the real difference between our generations. In pirating, originally, there was no way to talk back to the media. That’s why I did it. The stuff was coming one way at you, and there was no way to arrest it, stop the action, divert it, alter the vocabulary, or change the syntax.

From Do It 2, a conversation between Dara Birnbaum and Cory Arcangel. Artforum International XLVII, No. 7, p198