Theft versus inspiration

Since I am not in the habit of stealing another man’s expertise, I shall ask you in due course to accept remuneration for your most valuable technical aid.
Just reading the excellent blog Dangerous Minds and saw the words above written by Ian Fleming, famous for writing the James Bond novels.

It strikes me as something that some of the professional artists I've had dealings with could learn from. I've been disappointed a couple of times now to have shared information about my practises after an offer of collaboration, only to see my techniques imitated without acknowledgment. I should be clear that I don't expect financial remuneration.

On one hand I know that in the arts if you give two people the same tools you often end up with very different results, but on the other, I know how little trouble it is to recognise when someone has provided inspiration. Which is why I continue to thank people like Alan Lamb and Scott Baker a decade after being introduced to 'the wires', even though the lessons I learned are now being deployed in contexts far removed from a large-scale aeolian harp.

Artists might think it best never to acknowledge the source of ideas as a way to elevate their standing but in doing this I think they miss the opportunity to allow an audience to understand their work or, even better, find their own inspiration. Or even just share the love a little -- it doesn't cost anything.

Very few ideas are original anyway, which is one of the things I like about using remixing as a creative approach. Kirby Ferguson has a bit to say on this.

This issue of appropriation has been on my mind since 2008 but in the last year Brian Eno has given me a healthier perspective on it, which was good as I was getting bitter. His concept of 'scenius' gave me a perspective on my role connecting ideas and artists.

And Eno's description of the differences between artists and musicians, while interviewing Grayson Perry last year, has made me realise I'm much happier working with musicians because collaboration and listening are key to their practises:
BE: I was thinking about the differences between the music and art worlds, and one thing that strikes me is that professional musicians are quite happy to share things with each other – their ideas and techniques, the tricks that made them famous. Is that something more characteristic of music than art?
GP: Well, music is more collaborative. In the art world, originality is seen as a precious commodity and it’s increasingly difficult to get because the territory of art is so trampled. I always think that painters are fighting over the last original brushstroke. To find your own voice is incredibly hard. There’s very few people who have a revelatory, original thought; I think they’re almost mythical. Most people start off being someone else and then they make mistakes.