Death of the author; birth of the plagiarist

posted on March 18th 2009 in Web / flash design & Writing with 0 Comments

This is a project I created in 2003 for my Honours degree in Literary Studies. In researching a very, very dry essay on the rise of plagiarism, I decided that the best approach to make my point was to actually plagiarise the entire work. I stole around 3000 words of other people’s ideas on authorship, literary private property and intertextuality, then built a 3d Flash system to explore the idea of writing as being a mosaic or tissue of past ideas. The result is a non-linear, cross-referenced, polemical exploration of plagiarism whereby I stole the words, which in turn themselves ‘steal’ from the texts around them. I ended up writing more words of code than I would have had to had I just done a normal essay, and it nearly got me kicked out of the subject because it’s not your typical academic essay, but it does have the unique quality of making you seasick if you look at it for too long.

File: Death of the author; birth of the plagiarist (flash)