Art has been valued for many different reasons, but authenticity is usually the most important. Have an original Renoir is recognized much greater than having a Renoir poster. In Me++ Mitchell described how the original no longer exists.

Under conditions of materialization on demand from a digital file, there need be no original; new material instances may be produced at any time, and instances may differ widely from one anther-for example, by being produced at different scales, at different resolutions or with different materials. [137]


1. Now that much of design and art is produced digitally and there is no original, how is the value of art determined?

2. Things are now often produced from a digital copy. When someone prints out a photograph this picture will appear dramatically different depending on the type of printer, the quality of ink and paper, and many other factors. How, and should, these variants be controlled?

3. How does the ease in changing scale, color, and resolution, in the digital production of art change the way we look at and appreciate art?

4. Computers and ease in production make creating simple images a lot faster. People can now create their own art, with very little skill, how will this change our perception of what is art and what is just someone playing on the computer?


Mitchell, William J. Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.

Course Website cyborg Body & Self Me++

Last modified 11 September 2006