The Ecstasy of Plagiarism
Plagiarism of copying others’ authorization is typically seen as an act of piracy and is linked to un-creativity. Competing with this worldwide idea, The Ecstasy of Influence by Jonathan Lethem contains essays by mostly plagiarizing other people’s words while managing to keep his own voice. I want to show how plagiarism can be an act of a creative process and encourage people to change the common connotation about plagiarism.
The concept for this editorial design came from one of Jonathan Lethem’s quote, about how “influence is everywhere and the connectivity of influences become inspiration for us”. The outside cover design is about the connectivity by connecting threads to create letters. The book looks incomplete without much context at first, but it becomes complete and gains meaning when the readers copy and paste plagiarized words using the acetate that comes with the book. This activity shows that a new meaning and idea can be created based on other people’s work.
Jonathan Lethem voices out that plagiarism is something natural and that everyone innovates from a starting point. I also wanted to voice out and motivate people to change their mind about plagiarism by letting people take quotes from famous people about the positive influences that plagiarism can bring.