Fun to find Stuart’s post on Hydragenic just now, part of which is below:
If I frame and capture something without conscious plagiarism, it doesn’t matter whether or not it’s been done before. The uniqueness is in the moment and the relationship.
I’d argue that distinctiveness and consistency are more desirable. Cumulative weight adds gravity, complexity and resonance. All leaves are singular, but a tree gives them purpose.
Stuart distinguishes between the artist’s act (intent and the moment’s art) and the result (objective “art”). In my post last night (Music on paper), I distinguish between Homer (as he’s been defined since the 60′s) and the modern writer. But I think we arrive at the same place: plagiarism and copyright rules try to protect artists at the expense of art and culture.