I’ve been reading a bit about the history of found object or “readymade” art, especially associated with Marcel Duchamp.

According to Wikipedia:

The first definition of “readymade” appeared in André Breton and Paul Éluard’s Dictionnaire abrégé du Surréalisme: “an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist”.

Readymades apparently fall into a few different categories that I won’t try to untangle here, but the place I wanted to get to is that this is not the first time that there has been rumbling around notions of “authorship” similar to what I saw in the many negative reactions to my AI Lore books when they made a brief splash on social media.

There were a great many comments about my work that I am “not a real author,” which I’m sure were leveled with equal ferocity against the early readymade art objects, which were simply repurposed and “elevated to the dignity of a work of art” merely by the artist finding them, and incorporating them into their body of work. Not so different from the process of creating with help from AI, if you ask me – but I’ll try to develop this line of comparison more in future posts.