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A Bibiliography of Related information, in analog and digital forms. Although we here at were the first to think of recombinant art, others have followed in our footsteps over the years, studying or creating work that utilizes various techniques, from detournement to Merz. The detritus files are filled with clippings, quotes, scrawled references, and media of all kinds. Here is an attempt to collate it.

This is a start. This list will be added to and embellished continuously.
Have a link or reference to suggest? (add something new, or if you think you can describe something better than how it is done here, write a new blurb and send it in.)

Books | Zines | Audio | Film | Other Art | The Net | News and Recent Events | New links

Books, Journals, and Essays (above ground print media)
Noise: The Political Economy of Music, Jacques Attali, 1985, University of Minnesota Press.
Excellent discourses on the power of sound, music, and media over society.
Will Pop Eat Itself?, Jeremy Beadle, 1993, London, Faber & Faber.
Examination of the cyclic nature of dance music and pop culture ripping itself off over and over again, in addition to the artists who sample others as an aesthetic technique.
Stolen Words, Thomas Mallon, 1989, New York, Penguin Books.
Case Studies of literary theft from the Rennaissance to the 1980s.
The Culture of the Copy, Hillel Schwartz, 1996, New York, Zone Books.
An in depth study of copies, from mannequins to siamese twins and more. See here for a review in the New York Times.
Plunderphonics, Pataphysics, & Pop Stars, Andrew Jones, 1995, Wembley, SAF Publishing.
A nice big chapter on John Oswald, another on Chris Cutler, and other less relevant but still extrememly interesting "difficult listening" artists.
File Under Popular, Chris Cutler, 199?, Autonomedia.
An excellent and highly relevant work, especially the chapter called "Neccesity & Choice in Musical Forms," dealing with the history of music how its been effected by written notation and then recording technology.
Fair Use, Negativland,
An huge volume detailing the entire Negativland/U2/Kasey Casem/SST fiasco. Filled with legal documents, letters, faxes, photos, press releases (both real and hoaxed) and essays, including a large appendix of related writings and legal cases. Highly reccommeded.
Silence, John Cage, 1961, Weslyan University Press.
The book to read if you're interested in experimental music. Cage's work and thought is a superset of what we're talking about here, but it is relevant.
The Invisible Generation, from The Ticket that Exploded, William S. Burroughs
Excellent essay by the master of text cut-ups. This is about tape cut-ups, media manipulation and found sound. Recommended.
Cut and Mix, Dick Hebdige, 1987, New York, Comedia
Concentrates on Carribean music, with lots of discussion of technology and recyling of music ("versioning").
Black Noise, Tricia Rose, 1994, Hanover, NH: Weslyan University Press.
Deals with the history of African-American music and the emergence of rap music. Extensive discussion of rap music's use of sampling, reclaiming culture from corporate ownership,etc.
Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord
The leader of the Situationiste Internationale and great thinker on detournment among other things. I'm told Debord should be read in the original French.
Simulations, Jean Baudrillard, New York, Semiotext(e).
A classic of postmodernism. All about....well, simulations.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin
Another classic written long before most of the technology that allows us all to sample and mix, but still with valuable insights.
Oswald, John. 1986, "Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative," Musicworks 34
Oswald's article predates his recording of the same name. A must read for anyone into sampling. Also reprinted in Cassette Mythos, Robin James, ed. New York, Autonomedia, and at the official plunderphonics web site.
"Plunderphonia," Cutler, Chris. 1994, Musicworks 60
One of the best articles ever on musical appropriation. Particularly interesting is his categorization of different types or degrees of "Importation".
Music Grooves, Charles Keil and Steven Feld, University of Chicago Press, 1994.
Various ethnomusicological essays on popular music and its roots, world music, and commodification of culture. Particularly interesting is Feld's exploration of Murray Schaeffer's concept of "schizophonia", the separation of sounds from their original sources.
The Tuning of the World, Murray Schaeffer, Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
A study of sound research and acoustic ecology.
Lipstick Traces, Greil Marcus, Harvard University Press, 1989.
Excellent introduction to the history of Lettrism and Situationism, detournement, punk, and the underlying recurrent themes in culture.
Jamming the Media, Gareth Branwyn, 1987.
Title is pretty self-explanatory. Reportedly quite good. There is a website for the book as well.
Zines (undergound print)
Photostatic Retrofuturist
Lloyd Dunn's many-titled publication(s).
Yawn, Smile, and the Copyright Violation Sqaud Bulletin
Plagiarist Publications, Stephen Perkins
A series of small pamphlets addressing concerns of artistic appropriation.
Copy Culture issue of New Observer guest ed. Lloyd Dunn and Stephen Perkins
Each issue of New Observer is guest-edited by different people and features a special topic. This one focuses on Copy Culture, with articles on mail art, the history of the Xerox machine, and more.
A four-issue run published by Viral Communications which frequently featured articles on plagiarism and anticopyright.
Xexoxial Endarchy
Negativland Web Site
The copyright-bustin' media-tweakin' band from Contra Costa County... See here for a very interesting interview on KPFA with the group's Don Joyce and other copyright "experts".
The Tape-beatles/Public Works
Iowa-based group which builds their music exclusively from other music, first with traditional tape-cutup methods and now, as Public Works, using digital techniques. Highly recommended.
John Oswald
The inventor of Plunderphonics. Absolutely excellent work. His banned CD, Plunderphonic, is featured in our archives.
Sucking Chest Wound
Canadian Industrial/Sampling group whose music tears huge huge gaping holes in late-capitalist society.
Stock, Hausen, and Walkman
British group that makes particularly twisted sample-based music.
English group that crafts eerie soundscapes and quirky mechanical beats from samples.
The Evolution Control Committee
Sampler-based group from Ohio. An excellent example track is the 1995 single "Rebel Without a Pause (Whipped Cream mix)", a juxtaposition of Public Enemy and Herb Alpert.
Carl Stone
Amazing sample-based compositions, subtle, abstract but filled with fascinating shards of found sound.
Otomo Yoshihide
Noisy turntabalist and sampler artist from Tokyo, also has band Ground Zero and has collaborated with numerous others including Bob Ostertag, Carl Stone, and Jon Rose. Pay particular attention to his CD on Extreme, Night Before the Death of the Sampling Virus. His CD with Carl Stone, Monogatari: Amino Argot, is also excellent, being the result of repeated long-distance collaboration, mailing DAT tapes back and forth.
This band is great for many reasons, including that they've run afoul of copyright law at least 2 times. Most recently, the North American version of their latest album, "Tubthumping", had to have its liner notes abridged. In place of the offending sections, which were quotes that couldn'tcouldn't be cleared, is a message to check their website for the original text. This is great that they've made it available via the web. But i'm still furious at U.S. libel lawyers who threatened them. It doesn't feel very good to be a citizen of this country, supposedly so free and open, where i can't read the same album liner notes that someone can in Europe. Ridiculous!
Public Enemy
Legends of hiphop, masters of the sampler.
A bizarre band from Los Angeles that layer strange electronic noises over groovy retro samples and a twisted surrealism. Produced by the Dust Brothers, on Nickelbag records.
Christian Marclay
Downtown New York turntable improviser and collage artist. A turntablist who does not come from the hip-hop tradition but from the avant-garde.
Bob Ostertag
Continually pushes the envelope of sample-based composition to new extremes. Collaborates with a variety of other composers and improvisors such as Otomo Yoshihide, John Zorn, Mike Patton, and Fred Frith.
British band that spawned the genre "trip-hop". Their music is an infusion of vinyl records, djs, film noir, and the use of the recording studio as an instrument. Interestingly enough, they seldom actually sample other artists work, especially in their latest, self-titled release. Instead, they record instruments and put them through a variety of processes and effects so that the recording takes on the character of pre-existing music (case in point- most of their songs contain the sound of crackling hissing records in the background).
Pop Will Eat Itself
British industrial/techno/dance/rap band that uses an incredible amount of sampling, and virtually evangelizes this practice in their lyrics (and name).
Cut Chemist
A relatively new DJ from Los Angeles who creates subtle and clever mixtures of old educational and industrial tapes, pop music, and other sources. Appears on the Deep Concentration CD from Om Records.
Also known as the Timelords, The Jamms (Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu) and most recently, K2. KLF stands for "Kopyright Liberation Front". A British pop-dance band that plays the media like an instrument, they consist of Jim Cauty and Bill Drummond, savvy music-industry manipulators who are masters of the press release and the contrived news event. Their first album, "1987: What the Fuck's Going On?" Was destroyed in a legal settlement with Abba, who's "Dancing Queen" was sampled without clearance. (Now available in our archives.) The KLF are also authors of an excellent book entitled "The Manual: How to Get a #1 Hit the Easy Way," a sarcastic yet strangely Zen look at the pop music establishment.
DJ Shadow
From the liner notes to his album Endtroducing: "This album reflects a lifetime of vinyl culture. For further research on the evolution of sample-based music, check the innovators:" He goes on to list a huge number of DJs and hip hop producers. Interestingly, the music on the album is obviously not your normal hiphop. It borrows from a lot more than hiphop's usual targets. Even more interesting, as with most pop records that use samples these days, all samples of other music is cited (and presumably, cleared), but the album is also replete with other samples, from films, television, etc. which are not mentioned at all in the notes...
Amon Tobin, Bricollage and Permutation
Tobin uses an amazing barrage of instrumental samples to construct a techno/dance-oriented sound, ranging from extremely mellow, jazzy trip hop to intense rapidfire drum and bass.
Jos Smolders
Dutch composer of electroacoustic and sampled music, also a writer of several interesting articles including one "The House that Schaeffer Designed".
Invisible Scratchh Picklz
Some of the most amazing hip-hop based turntable manipulations ever. This is actually a band of DJs who all scratch and mix together on stage to form amazing "songs". They include Q-bert, Mixmaster Mike, Shortcut, and A-Track. They have a record out on Asphodel called "Clams of Deth".
TKDF Audio Collage Radio
Weekly sound collage around a theme, broadcase in Durham, NC.
The Most Wanted Song and the Most Unwanted Song
Painters Komar and Melamid team up with composer David Soldier to create music generated from a survey....
Nurse With Wound
Legend of Dada sound.
Francis Dhomont, Frankenstein Symphony
A piece built from the works of 22 composers.
Lecture on Nothing
Poppy, funky songs built from a huge variety of samples. Very catchy.
The Bran Flakes
Seattle-based sound-recycling artists. Very interested in audio collaboration, so be sure to contact them if you're similarly inclined.
Press The Button
A band & weekly radio show greatly influenced by Negativland, ECC, EBN, John Oswald, and John Cage. They also have a new CD available.
Film and Video
Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
The self-described "first wholly-detourned film". An old black and white Kung Fu movie overdubbed by French situationists with political and philosophical theory. The sword-wielding Bureacrats get trounced in the end by the powerful kung-fu of the Proletariate. Lots of hilarious self-referential commentary along with tons of allusions to everything from Foucault to Bakunin. Highly recommended.
What's Up, Tiger Lily?
Hilarious film by Woody Allen in which he redubbed the entire soundtrack of a cheesy Japanese spy thriller. There are funnier movies to see, but the fact that it's probably the first (or only?) relatively mainstream film that employed this technique is noteworthy. Featuring music by The Lovin' Spoonful!
Sonic Outlaws
Craig Baldwin's amazing avant-documentary on Negativland's U2 story. Also includes interviews with John Oswald, the Tape-beatles, Barbie Liberation Front, EBN, and others.
Pat O'Neill
Pat's work over the last 20 years or so has featured found and altered footage collaged together with a variety of techniques. A great example of recontextualization of moving images and sounds.
Hollywood Archeaology
Lowell Darling's longterm project that has taken many forms. It consists of discarded and damaged film footage found in the dumpsters of Hollywood studios. Darling has presented this material in various ways, but most recently he edited some of it together into a film. He also blows up individual frames into large (4' x 4' or so) color prints.
Emergency Broadcast Network
In their own words, a group that does "hypercollage videomusic". I place them in this section because i see them primarily innovating in the video medium. Incredible resyncronized and recontextualized mass media, featuring various celebrities and politicians. Be careful, may produce seizures...
Predictions of Fire, Michael Benson
A documentary about NSK (New Slovenian Arts), a collective that includes the band Laibach and the visual artists IRWIN. NSK appropriates history, ideology, and politics in the service of their pointed aesthetic goals.
Martha Colburn
A Filmmaker from Baltimore, Colburn uses collaged found footage and animation to create a noisy assaultive barrage on super8 film, commenting on advertisting, consumerism, and more. She also plays in a band called The Dramatics for which she makes handmade collage album covers, and collaborates with Jad Fair of Half Japanese.
Subtle video manipulation, both hilarious and eerie.
Uncut, John Greyson
An amazing and bizarre film about copyright infringement, circumcision, and Pierre Trudeau. Includes interviews with John Oswald and other artists who have had trouble with copyright law. Highly recommended.
Other Artists
Max Ernst
An early master of collage and assemblage. Ernst's reworkings of 19th-century catalog engravings to form totally new images are legendary.
Kurt Schwitters
Inventor of Merz, his word for art made from garbage and other found material.
Marcel Duchamp
A key proponent of found art, inventor of the term "readymade". See his "L.H.O.O.Q.", a manipulation of the Mona Lisa.
Joseph Cornell
Creator of numerous small box sculptures filled with all sorts of found objects. (There's an exhibit of his works at SFMOMA till june 1998, if you're in the San Francisco area)
Pablo Picasso
Supposedly either Picasso or Braque invented collage, back in 1904 or something.
Robert Rauschenberg
Creator of numerous mixed media sculptures and paintings that steal liberally from everywhere. A Major retrospective exhibit is currently at the Guggenheim in New York City.
Andy Warhol
Pop Art innovator, he made silk screens of other people's photographs, sculptures of consumer products, and more.
Jeff Koons
Koons has repeatedly gotten into legal hot water for his appropriative art. He is best known for his "Banality" show which featured several large sculptures based from pre-existing photographs. The original photographers of 3 of the works sued him successfully, thus ensuring Koons' place in legal and art history.
Among his works are large sculptures made out of many copies of one object, like phone receivers.
Rebecca Bollinger
Deals with mundane or not so mundane previously existing portraits placed in new contexts. One recent exhibit featured hundreds of anonymous portraits printed onto food with a color cake printing machine.
Cindy Sherman
Takes self-portraits of herself in a variety of cliched situations as a commentary on gender roles, stereotypes, and media.
Sherry Levine
Makes photographs of famous photographs.
The Net
"The" Copyright Website
Lots and lots of general and practical information. Its hard to tell what their stance is, but there's lots of useful reference material.
Copyright Clearance Center Online
They're an official and legal organization, but there's a wealth of background information and references here.
National Parelegal College Intellectual Property page
A great set of introductory and detailed information pages on trademarks, patents, and copyright.
An organization dedicated to the free use of audio samples in music.
Extensive material on Situationism.
A huge repository of electronic art, and the home of several recombinant collaborative online art projects, such as the Hygrid and Gridcosm.
The Static Output
Lloyd Dunn's umbrella for zines, the Tape-beatles, Public Works, etc.
The Mofo Outreach Ministries Copyright Violation Squad
Distributors of rare copyright violating works, in addition to more questionable (in our view) product such as bootlegs.
UWI Anticopyright Policy
Underworld Industries has the right attitude.
Putrid Afterthought
A digital artist who proudly appropriates.
The official site to find information about John Oswald and his activities, as well as extensive notes on the ill-fated Plunderphonic disc, and more.
The Plagiarist Codex
Built by Miekal And for the 1987 Festival of Plagerism (sic).
The Information Supercollider
Pieces of the WWW, smashed together, really fast. Interestingly, the programmer that made this cares enough about copyright that his software discards copyrighted material.
The Multicultural Recycler
Grab web cam images from around the infobahn and randomly composite them. hours of fun!!
VirComm anticopyright policy
An online experiment conducted by Entity, an art organization at University of Michigan.
Intellectual property, PHILOSOPHY and art
A thesis project by philosphy doctoral student Elizabeth Burns Coleman.
Ram Samudrala's Free Music Philosophy
Some extensive writings on the matter of music, creativity, and intellectual property. Also see his page on the ethics of intellectual property.
rtmark helps fund the intelligent sabotage of mass-produced items. While not directly concerned with copyright or appropriation, we suggest their site as possibly resonant in spirit with our own. Check out their list of projects and perhaps they'll fund your next act of cultural recycling.
The Free Music Archive
Large collection of uncopyrighted music.
Cut and Paste Theater
Textual poaching.
Abrupt Culture Jamming
An incredible site full of lots of visual detournment and inspiring resources. The cereal boxes are especially interesting...
Jack Wagner's Stereophonic Tour of Los Angeles
A very well-written thesis concerning recycled sound, recycled technology.
Dune Musical Industry of Sound Processing
dedictated to independant electronic music. Includes the magazine Chain DLK. A bit conentrated on Industrial music, but they are anticopyright.
Malice Inside gets a letter from Intel.
News and Recent Events - relevant happenings and developments.
August 15: A brilliant new project sponsored by Rtmark, Microsoftedu, is being threatened by Microsoft lawyers.
July 1: The latest on the Yahoo copyright grab. - original wired news report, june 28.
June 23: Dupont harrasses
March 23, 1999:An Article about Intellectual Property at
September 1, 1998:National Public Radio story about Negativland and the RIAA (realaudio)
August 17, 1998: DO WE REALLY HAVE TO SUE THE RIAA????
A Negativland Press release about the latest attempts at corporate control of culture.
April 7, 1998: Copyright Protection or Property Perversion?
Wired News article about new copyright bill.
January 21, 1998: Court Rules Against Net Music sites.
December 17, 1997: New Copyright Law
November 27, 1997: Story in MTV Online about
November 20, 1997: Story about in Wired News.
The Federal Trademark Dilution Act
New links submitted by viewers - recent urls brought to our attention. Have one to suggest? (note: we may not have time to write back, but we will probably post your URL if it's relevant.)
Almita's digital gallery
A collection of images digitally collaged from stock photos.
Good Cue Sign
Musiqe Concret audio artist from Columbus.
World Art Party
A democratic coalition of artists dedicated to peaceful art terrorism.
Joey Know
"posturban" digital collage.
Phineas Narco
An occasional co-conspirator with Negativland on the Over The Edge radio show. Interesting found sound essay here.
AVVO Trademark vs Copyright Page
Good legal summary of the difference between these 2 types of intellectual property.
. The page looks like crap, but I just started it. So far I have 2 versions of radiohead songs, a live remix(I did it with 2 cds and 2 cd players and nothing more) of an ani difranco song and an egghead song. Anyway, I am just looking to exchange links, find out info, etc. I am also involved in setting up the Free Music Archive(, an archive of freely distributable music around the net.

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