Nuqat Theme: The Copy/Paste Syndrome

This November, Nuqat’s sixth annual conference will be organized around the theme of COPY + PASTE SYNDROME, looking at how imitation both inspires and limits creative production. The process of “Copy + Paste” will be used as a departure point for questioning topics including originality, authorship, and the artist signature; social trends and business franchises; development of critical thinking in schools; creative copyright laws in music and fashion; virtual reality and simulation.

We were created through copying and pasting – strands of DNA unwind and replicate, molecule by molecule, to create new DNA. So is it natural to make art that imitates life? Is there any way to break and escape this cycle?

The printing press and its extension, electronic media, have turned the world into an interconnected global village, as iterated by media theorist Marshall McLuhan. Social media in effect has made people more tribal and conformist. People franchise businesses and educational institutions, effectively copying and pasting ideas, brands, trends, designs and art concepts across the Middle East and world. Given the influences of colonialism here, does culture already have a predetermined flow from West to East? It asks whether copying can be a creative act, how society measures originality and whether individuality is the highest goal of creative endeavors.

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