But how does recognisable repetition operate as a unique kind of site for invention, and for speech? And how might we see a Global South engagement with the tragic canon as a de-stabilizing gesture – an un-working, rather than a re-working?
Factum Arte’s prodigious industry since the mid-nineties means we will have to rethink what we mean by original, copy, and authenticity. Technologies developed under its aegis mean it is now possible to capture and record data about an artwork to an accuracy of 100 microns (100 million measured spatial points per square meter) – and for the first time, this year, these works can now be rematerialized to an accuracy of 20 microns. This is, as Simon Schaffer says, marks a ‘complete revolution in the last two decades’
Asked by an academic friend to name one book I would save if the world were to collapse in an apocalyptic climate change scenario, I thought: ‘it’s too hard’, but then started going though my mental library. ‘You wouldn’t want to save an academic book, would you,’ said my friend, ‘surely a novel, an artist’s book…’. But in those few seconds I had already settled in my head for Salvatore Settis’ The Future of the ‘Classical’ (Polity, 2006, translated by Allan Cameron). Why?
The ‘Re-‘ network asks what repetition does. Why do we repeat, revive, re-enact, restage, reframe, remember, represent, and refer – to whom, when, where and why – and why is this a topical question in a digital era?