An alibi

From this question, Umberto Eco on photocopies: ‘Photocopies are indispensable instruments. They allow you to keep with you a text you have already read in the library, and to take home a text you have not read yet. But a set of photocopies can become an alibi. A student makes hundreds of pages of photocopies and takes them home, and the manual labour he exercises in doing so gives him the impression that he possesses the work … There are many things I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it.’ Eco might have been talking about any form of mechanical reproduction (shades of Benjamin), in that the act of acquisition and collecting seems to rapidly usurp the experience of actually using or enjoying something. This collectomania is one of the defining elements of modern consumption. Discuss / other things. Music by Art School Girlfriend / paper cuts and doodles by Melanie Titmuss / paintings by Jon Pilkington / the story of the Headington shark.

This entry was posted in collections and archives. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.