Art Imitates Art

Coralie Volegaar thinks our "copy-paste culture" recycles a few good ideas ad nauseam.

The Dutch design student Coralie Vogelaar's new book, Masters of Rietveld, seeks to show that we're living in what she calls "the copy-paste culture," in which a few good ideas are recycled ad nauseam. To demonstrate this, Vogelaar borrowed from the work of 36 fellow design students and visually linked their creations with thousands of images by other artists and designers. "I believe that by placing the works of these students in a larger context," she says, "you actually add depth and meaning to the works at hand." The book, though, is ruffling quite a few feathers among her colleagues. "Some fear that if you reduce their work to a certain [idea], it will make them look like they are incapable of making original work," says Vogelaar. "But everybody knows there is no such thing as originality. It's all been done before."