In work remains. Foucault argued that the question

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In work remains. Foucault argued that the question

In the contemporary
understanding and usage of the term author,
it is inevitable that it be defined as an “individual who is solely responsible—and
deserving to receive credit for the production of a unique work” (Woodmansee,
1984, p. 426). Woodmansee (1984) stated that the late 18th century was a time when
the concept of intellectual property was not yet developed (p. 433), and the
modern concept of author was a recent
invention (from the 1980s; p. 426). Woodmansee (1984) claims that by the end of
the 20th century, the notion of authorship had come into question. In his book The Death of the Author, Roland Barthes
(1977) stated, “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the
Author” (p. 148). In the 1969 essay “What Is an Author?” Foucault developed the
idea of the “author function” and argued that the concept of the author is
tyrannical in that it does little more than restrict readers’ free thinking (Foucault,
1984, p. 120). For example, Barthes would “kill” the concept of the author and
tell us that only the work remains. Foucault argued that the question of what a
work is remains just as problematic as the question about sustaining the author
of a work.

Drake (2013) stated that the
term author seems to be closely
linked with the term authority. According
to Barthes (1977), either there is an author, which prevents a focus on the
reader’s role, or there is a dead author, which frees a text to include its
readers’ limitless varieties of interpretation. This interpretation raised the question
of whether work performed by the intentions of a competent interpreter should
be attributed to the artist or author. In an interview, Prince (as cited in
Kinsella, 2016) stated that, although he engages in appropriation, he has a
lack of consideration—or, rather, disregard—for the concept of copyright. However,
it is inarguable that, in Levine’s case, she was ultimately the author of her
works, as she made them interpretable and Irvin (2005) elaborates ‘interpretability’
as artists’ ultimate responsibility for every aspect of their objective goals
is precisely what makes interpretation of their works possible (p.21).

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Upon reading about the
emergence of the concept of authorship, I wonder whether an idea, an abstract
thought without physical form, can be patented or copyrighted. An abstract
thought is by its nature abstractly defined. According to Steinweg (2009,
p. 1), an artist brings forth a concept of art that did not exist before. Since
the emergence of Dadaism and Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the ready-made, the
selection and re-representation of premade objects has continued throughout the
twentieth century, and the idea survives and plays an active role in the art
world in 2017. 

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