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  #21  
Old 19 April 2018, 07:01 PM
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With something like an axe, I would tend to say that the haft (handle) is not the actual weapon/tool, so until the blade/head gets replaced, then yes, it is still your grandfather's axe.

With something with multiple parts like a boat, it gets trickier and the witty answer of 'exactly halfway" is just that, a witty answer.

If there are 201 boards, 7 ribs, 3 masts, etc...where exactly is "halfway"?
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  #22  
Old 19 April 2018, 07:06 PM
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A biologist would point out how regularly all the cells in your body get replaced and ask if you're really the same person as who you were 10 years ago.
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  #23  
Old 19 April 2018, 07:17 PM
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At which point a philosopher would ask what constitutes being "the same person". Is it simply if person A has memories of being person B?
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  #24  
Old 19 April 2018, 07:26 PM
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I get that we tend to be superstitious or at least wildly speculative about the contiguity of our own conscious experiences - and even those of animals and plants - but for objects it's just a kind of magical thinking. Without some kind of animism or object homeopathy, why should it matter that that's an actual sweater worn by Fred Rogers? An excellent replica is exactly the same for all purposes (except those that rely on those irrational and superstitious claims known as memorabilia). (Again, just to be clear, I'm not commenting about the objects in the OP, which were obviously irreplaceable and very dear to many.)
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  #25  
Old 20 April 2018, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
With something with multiple parts like a boat, it gets trickier and the witty answer of 'exactly halfway" is just that, a witty answer.

If there are 201 boards, 7 ribs, 3 masts, etc...where exactly is "halfway"?
I honestly didn't think he was being witty, but attempting to maintain a world view in which no true paradoxes existed. I'm sure he would have an answer about where halfway was.

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Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Without some kind of animism or object homeopathy, why should it matter that that's an actual sweater worn by Fred Rogers? An excellent replica is exactly the same for all purposes (except those that rely on those irrational and superstitious claims known as memorabilia).
You're starting to sound a bit like Walter Benjamin.
Agreed, but many of us do still have those irrational and superstitious beliefs, at least on a gut level. At the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, you can touch a piece of Moon rock. I'm sure there's lots of similar rock on Earth, but dammit, I touched a Moon rock!
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  #26  
Old 20 April 2018, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
A biologist would point out how regularly all the cells in your body get replaced and ask if you're really the same person as who you were 10 years ago.
But a biologist might also point out that neurons rarely get replaced. If you are 50 years old you've got the same basic set of neuronal cells that you had 30 years ago. So you get a new skin every couple months but your brain lasts pretty much your whole life. So the quintessential "you" doesn't ever get replaced (at the cell level).
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  #27  
Old 20 April 2018, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
I honestly didn't think he was being witty, but attempting to maintain a world view in which no true paradoxes existed. I'm sure he would have an answer about where halfway was.
I cede to your knowledge of him.

To me, it just seems there are some things that can't be precisely known, because they are subjective, rather than objective.

Many people would agree that an object is no longer the same object if it is more than 50% replaced, but not everyone would agree on what actually constitutes 50% of the object.
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  #28  
Old 20 April 2018, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasFink View Post
You're starting to sound a bit like Walter Benjamin.
Agreed, but many of us do still have those irrational and superstitious beliefs, at least on a gut level. At the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, you can touch a piece of Moon rock. I'm sure there's lots of similar rock on Earth, but dammit, I touched a Moon rock!
No, that is not comparable to what I'm saying. For starters, I never said an exact copy of your moon rock would make your moon rock less real. It just means there are more of them with equal value. Other people can touch one too and, perhaps, experience the same thrill you did.

Here we have to be clear about the difference between market value and aesthetic or artistic or cultural (etc) value. The fact that there is only one copy of a certain Wu Tang album increases its market value, not necessarily the others! The fact that someone sits on a stockpile of diamonds that would destroy the market in one day does not make diamonds any less 'special' except to people who have never actually appreciated a diamond.

Also, while I'm sure it often comes off as so, I am not saying that irrational things are bad. I fall in love too and it is not bad; it's the best. Recognizing that love is irrational doesn't ruin the experience for me or take away from its value. I don't see why it should.

We don't have to wait for some science fiction world for this to happen. We already have petabits of digital art where a copy is exactly the same as the 'original'. (ETA Obviously not talking about digital copies of analog art here. I mean where the art is based only on the data.) It hasn't destroyed art or killed its 'aura' or whatever, again, except for those who can only see market value rather than the art itself.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 20 April 2018 at 08:45 PM.
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  #29  
Old 20 April 2018, 11:22 PM
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I'm momentarily tempted to start the Star Trek transporter debate....
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  #30  
Old 20 April 2018, 11:57 PM
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With digital art, I don't see any difference between the original and copies and wouldn't consider one to have more value than the other.

With physical art, take say a Van Gogh. There isn't any 'real' difference between the original and a molecular level copy, but the for me the original was in the presence of the man himself, each one of those strokes was placed there with his hand. The copy might show you exactly where he placed the brush strokes, but they weren't placed there by Van Gogh. I would love such a copy of Starry Night, but I wouldn't expect to pay anywhere near what the original would cost.
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  #31  
Old 21 April 2018, 01:07 AM
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Well, I think yours is by far the majority opinion, Beachlife. IMO it amounts to a kind of magical or superstitious thinking that some "essence" of Van Gogh is transferred to the objects.

I don't see that as a value judgement. I don't really see superstitious or magical thinking as something to necessarily avoid or disparage. I just don't always want to participate. Van Gogh I can kind of get even though I'd be just as satisfied with a perfect copy. OTOH, I hate memorabilia cults but I feel like, meh, if (g)you want to pay way way too much for the baseball, knock yourself out... I would see the price difference between the 'original' Van Gogh and a perfect copy as a ripoff, except, of course as an investment to dupe others. But these things are highly personal. I get that we all have our special irrational feelings. (I definitely have plenty of my own.)
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  #32  
Old 21 April 2018, 01:22 AM
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As a more real example, my grand mother always had a Picasso print in her bathroom. It was supposed to go to me when she passed, but my dad is an asshat. I have another copy of the same print, but I've never taken it out of the packaging it was shipped in. I also refuse to visit the house my dad lives in as long as my print is on his walls. I probably could put them side by side and even I wouldn't know the difference, but it clearly matters to me for some reason. I'm not sure I would call it superstition, but something like that.
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  #33  
Old 21 April 2018, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I probably could put them side by side and even I wouldn't know the difference, but it clearly matters to me for some reason. I'm not sure I would call it superstition, but something like that.
Similar situation. I was given the choice of items from my great grandmother and I chose a particular bowl. It was stored at my parents' house and my mother decided she had to have her own version and bought one. Later she brought one of those bowls to me here in Switzerland, but no one knows if it is the one from my great grandmother or the one my mother bought.

Because of this, it has lost any sentimental value it once had. I can't be certain it's the actual bowl from my great grandmother and I don't want to make a sentimental attachment to some antique store find.

I think I hadn't realized until now how much that annoys me.
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  #34  
Old 21 April 2018, 05:32 PM
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Well, seems like the police has two suspects in custody. Of course, they deny everything :

https://actu.orange.fr/france/vol-du...00011JrGj.html
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  #35  
Old 21 April 2018, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
With digital art, I don't see any difference between the original and copies and wouldn't consider one to have more value than the other.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, I'd just like to use your post as a jumping-off point.

There are Photoshop source files from professional digital artists I respect that I would dearly love to get my eager hands on (so to speak).

Quote:
With physical art, take say a Van Gogh. There isn't any 'real' difference between the original and a molecular level copy, but the for me the original was in the presence of the man himself, each one of those strokes was placed there with his hand. The copy might show you exactly where he placed the brush strokes, but they weren't placed there by Van Gogh. I would love such a copy of Starry Night, but I wouldn't expect to pay anywhere near what the original would cost.
Point taken that a bit for bit digital copy of a source digital document is indistinguishable from the original, I still have issues when certain comparisons are made between non-digital media to its digital counterpart.

That said, an intact Photoshop source document, with all its layers intact, can tell me volumes about how an image was created that have nothing to do with a physical connection between the artist and the work in question.

Depending on the intended use of the final image, the original is usually of higher resolution (in terms of dots per inch) and, likely, a different scale dimension-wise, in that its usually larger than the final image. Some artists flatten the layers at the end of a project to save on disk space, but many will at least make one final backup with the layers intact in case a creative or technical issue is discovered. The layers might show me alternate color schemes, the uncolored line-art on a separate layer (more on that in a bit), variations or other elements that didn't make it into the final version, or how the artist handled a particular challenge.

It may not be the same as being in the physical presence of something a great master of old touched, but looking at the layers of a digital file gives me a different connection to the artist; in that I may get a window into how they approach their work.

I'm certainly not discounting the arguments on the technical reasons why digital originals might not be different from their resulting copies... as it's the other side of this double-edged sword.

Unlike a physical painting, where an artist might sketch lines in pencil on a canvas and then paint over them as part of the process of building up a painting, a sketch in digital media need not be (and usually isn't) on the same layer as the color layers. Assuming I have not commissioned a digital work, in which I can negotiate to gain possession of the non-flattened, high-resolution Photoshop files, were I to gain access to another artist's source Photoshop files, or even back-ups of them, with the layers, line-art and all the digital watermarks intact, there is nothing preventing me from claiming ownership. I would, in effect, be in possession of an 'original' work.

Digital artists know this. I'm sure some fear it for exactly the reasons Beachlife mentioned.

Its also why I'm not likely to ever see those files of the artists I admire.

~Psihala

Last edited by Psihala; 21 April 2018 at 05:48 PM.
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  #36  
Old 22 April 2018, 01:19 AM
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I'm sure you already realize this but the point is that that 'original' is in digital form as well. (Even if you get the original hard drive, in the uncommon case that it's only on one, hard drives may constantly move that data around on the drive.) So any copy of those files, including backups, are exactly the same as the original. They are the original. True, that's not what the viewer usually sees and probably rarely leave the artist's possession but if that's what one is considering the artifact in question, it can also be exactly reproduced. Yes, you could see it and all those layers and history and so forth but so could anyone with the software applications and a copy of the original.
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  #37  
Old 22 April 2018, 08:05 AM
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Thank God, it's been found !

https://actu.orange.fr/france/reliqu...00011JtdE.html
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  #38  
Old 22 April 2018, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Yes, you could see it and all those layers and history and so forth but so could anyone with the software applications and a copy of the original.
Well, assuming there are any layers. Some artists approach digital painting like traditional painting and don't use them at all except maybe as color pallets, and are likely deleted afterwards. In which case I'd glean about as much information from the image as if I were pressing my nose to a physical painting.

Quote:
Thank God, it's been found !
I'm happy to hear that.

~Psihala

Last edited by Psihala; 22 April 2018 at 12:03 PM.
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  #39  
Old 22 April 2018, 02:23 PM
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Glad it's been found. My French is pretty bad, but the story sounds like it's still intact.
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  #40  
Old 23 April 2018, 05:23 AM
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Congratulations to it being found again! I hope this means an upgrade in security for the museum where it is being kept.
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