History of Sampling – Art Always Builds On The Past!

Ik ben bezig met een training op te zetten over het onderwerp History of Sampling voor SAE. Een vervolg op mijn lezing The Art of Sampling.

Je komt de vreemdste dingen tegen als het gaat om de hypocrisie rondom sampling. Let wel: iedereen samplet/citeert/quoteert, elke artiest, iedereen bouwt voort op het werk van anderen, niemand begint met een geheel neutrale schone lei.

Een paar quotes:

“Damien Hirst’s work has been being ‘ripped off’ by a group of artists who want to make a point about the multimillionaire’s stringent use of copyright law. The artists include Jamie Reed, who designed the Sex Pistols’ sleeve for the single God Save the Queen, former KLF band member Jimmy Cauty and Tracey Emin’s former boyfriend Billy Childish. They have created a series of works containing images of Hirst’s £50 million diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God. Their action follows Hirst’s decision to threaten to sue a 16-year-old designer who used an image of the skull in a collage to sell on the internet.”


The practice of copying music traces back to the dawn of man and folk music. Almost every culture passed down melodies and musical story-telling devices to their heirs. Often times musical themes and note structures perpetuate the very genre of music. For example, blues music traditionally uses the same three chords. The practice of copying music is documented most notably in classical music, whereby composers commonly created new works upon the musical themes of earlier composers.


Now that entire orchestras can be replaced by synthesizers, some worry that thousands of musicians may be put out of work. Others fear that music as an artistic endeavor will stagnate as the new crop of musicians becomes ever more dependent on technology.

Most, though, believe new technology is giving musicians unprecedented creative tools. After all, what past composer could invent new instruments at will, make music from any sound, and hear their compositions just seconds after they were written?


The tenets behind the psychology of art have always favored fragmentary “theft” in a way that does not engender a loss to the owner. Appropriation has been an integral aspect of the creative process well before the emergence of digital technology. In the early 1900s, Cubists attached found materials such as product packaging, photographs, and newspaper clippings to their paintings. Andy Warhol appropriated popular images such as the Campbell’s soup can and the Brillo box. Marcel Duchamp made sculptures out of pre-existing objects with little alteration. Indeed, many scholars argue that appropriation has been an essential element of the creative process throughout history.


But I think Negativland put it better. Artists have always lauded and celebrated their natural environment. Whether in impressionist paintings of ponds and lilies, or poetic serenades about leaves of grass, it is quite natural, if not necessary, for artists to exalt, comment, and even confront his or her environment. In the present day, we live in an environment of electronic sounds and images. Our environment is television. Our environment is the radio. Our environment is film. Our environment is the internet. Our environment is advertising. Our environment is, in a way, a true virtual reality. It has become just as natural and acceptable an environment as the earthly one from which it has sprung. The bulk of our daily sensory input is not focused on the physical reality around us, but on the media that saturates it. Artists cannot help but find the new electrified environment irresistibly worthy of comment, criticism, and manipulation.


Ik kan zo nog uren doorgaan. Daarom ook mijn motto: Art Always Builds On The Past!

Door Marco Raaphorst

maakt podcasts en muziek

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *

Deze site gebruikt Akismet om spam te verminderen. Bekijk hoe je reactie-gegevens worden verwerkt.