In contemporary art, it is easy to work with someone else’s material legally or illegally thanks to the wide digital networks, but the creative process remains an individual quest. The starting point for this thesis was to study how appropriation is applied in contemporary art and how art history has affected the ways in which artists take inspiration and material from others. By examining different theories, opinions and example cases, the concept and current state of art appropriation was researched. Ideas about artistic authenticity were studied and the current copyright laws were shortly presented in the thesis. Postproduction art was analyzed in theory and defined in different practical cases where new creative work was made from existing artistic material. Based on the research, clearer definitions were made, and new emerging creative areas were mapped more in-depth. Working with other people’s material creates new possibilities for individual expression and experimentation as well as social commentary, but it will nevertheless remain in a moral and legislative sense a grey area when it comes to ownership. The thesis includes also a report about Placeholders, a video installation with mural artwork and mixed media paintings, that was made for the Fine Art study path’s degree show Atomic Jungle. The exhibition was planned for Galleria Himmelblau but was implemented virtually on the degree show website due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The artwork was based on thoughts about authenticity, collage identity and outside influence affecting our individuality.
The most important parts of color theories of the moving image are discussed in this thesis. The thesis starts with discussing the history of color theory, more specifically Isaac Newton’s discoveries about colors and the history of how the three primary colors in fine arts were agreed upon, alongside with the development of the color circle. Modern color theories by Johannes Itten and Josef Albers are also explored. Itten developed the color circle that includes the primary, secondary and tertiary colors. It is still often used during the introduction to color theory nowadays. Furthermore, in this thesis the seven color contrasts by Itten and their predicted outcome and effect on the artwork are presented, as well as the deceptive nature of colors as described by Albers. In the last part of the discussion about color theories in the moving image, the different meanings that colors carry are investigated. Discoveries about the change of meaning, depending on context and background of the viewers were made. Nonetheless there are more common associations of a certain color with a certain emotion, which has been used in cinematic works, for example in Alfred Hitchcock’s films. As examples of how video artists apply color theory in their work, the works of Pipilotti Rist and Isaac Julien were examined and analyzed. It was concluded that color is a powerful tool that can help artists to create strong atmospheres and implement emotions in their work. After a deep research into color theory and looking into cases where the influence of color can be clearly seen in the work, SeekShift was created as the case study. The report of the work process is presented. In SeekShift, the color theories by Itten and Albers, along with the psychological effects of colors to create feelings and emotions that are associated with teenagehood, were utilized. This project was created to be part of the Kaleidoscopers exhibition at Galleria Himmelblau, Tampere in spring 2021, but it had to be postponed to autumn 2021 due to the Covid-19 situation.