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Durham e-Theses
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The Iterative turn

MARCZEWSKA, KAJA (2015) The Iterative turn. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis investigates the implications of the increasingly prominent propensity to copy as a creative practice in contemporary culture. While debates about plagiarism, copyright infringement, and the state of copyright inform this project, the focus here is on broader issues. The argument is formulated as an attempt at defining a cultural condition that triggers novel attitudes to creativity in order to explore the possibilities of a reconceptualisation of copying as a creative category. The aesthetic tendencies identified in this project are presented as heavily influenced by the emergence of new technologies. But the thesis is not an analysis of the twenty-first century new media culture. Instead, the contemporary technological moment is discussed as a condition of postproduction, in an attempt to devise a historical and critical framework that goes beyond questions of the intersection of creativity and technology. By doing so, this project strives to interrogate the restrictions and inadequacies of the dominant categories of originality, creativity, and authorship, in legal and creative terms, to propose the notion of iteration as a possible alternative. Practices of copying are represented as a necessary condition of contemporary culture and a manifestation of a shift in aesthetics, here defined as the Iterative turn.

Chapter 1 formulates a critical framework for discussing iteration and positions the contemporary Iterative turn in relation to developments in the visual arts, literature, publishing, and law. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 offer a discussion of representative approaches to contemporary iterative writing and possible ways of conceptualising the means by which they engage with notions of originality, creativity, and authorship. While the focus here is first and foremost on literary texts, extensive references are made to the arts broadly conceived: the media and media theory, philosophy, literary and art theory, as well as case law and critical legal studies, to arrive at a more comprehensive formulation of the aesthetics of iteration for the emergent cultural condition. In its attempt to think about the contemporary, the thesis posits a framework for looking beyond the established paradigms of writing.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Apr 2015 08:53

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