Mr. Hamilton Burger
of Hollywood, California writes:
"I have recently viewed one of your video productions (to wit The Iraq Campaign 1991, a copy of which I now offer, with the Court's permission, as Exhibit A), and in the name of the People of the State of California I now ask how you managed to obtain permission from the copyright holders for all that audio and video material clearly stolen from television and movies, and by the way, where were you at 9:00pm on the night of August 21, 1996."
The producer responds: Hamilton
, you ignorant slut... that material wasn't stolen, it was sampled (or appropriated, or found, or cited, different people use different verbs).Semantics aside, it is a time-honored cultural and artistic technique, employed in various art media, of collage and deconstruction, or recontextualization, of the popular culture, using its own output."Sampling" is the more current and perhaps most accurate and inert term, its usage as such increasing in this era of Digital Media.
But whatever era, Digital or its electromagnetic predecessors, Taped and Broadcast... and in whatever medium - electronic, visual, print, and so on... it all adds up to the Culture.
The Culture is not really a thing in itself, Hamilton
, it's an amalgam of the entire visual and aural cacophony that surrounds us 24 hours a day, every day of our lives.
And I would've expected you, Hamilton
, as the District Attorney for the County of Los Angeles
, to know all this, but if not, you have the right to click the links below.
Oh, by the way, Mr. Burger
, I was at home alone at 9:00pm on the night of August 21, 1996, taping the Miss Teen USA pageant, without the sacred permission of the CBS Television Network (your old employer), on the assumption that the Monkees reunion therein might provide some material for my new Nostalgia video.