Monday, January 30, 2017

I have mentioned that this process of copying copies barely differentiates from the process of the colonial discourse. It is still operating under the same umbrella. This happens because the colonial discourse relies on mimicry to create the notion of the other. Hommi Bhabha defines mimicry “as a subject of difference that is almost the same, but not quite.”[1] Then the colonial power relies on this ambiguity to not let the local be part of the dominant culture, excluding them from any important plan or decision. This placed the colonizers on top of the hierarchy scale as the canon by which to measure everything. But how is it that Don Santo and the C.P. software reversed the power of mimicry? The response to this is in the incomplete copy. Bhabha indicates that the origins of mimicry are part of an intentional partial representation. “The success of colonial appropriation depends on a proliferation of inappropriate objects that ensure its strategic failure, so that mimicry is at once resemblance and menace”[2]. The intention was to generate dependency on the colonized or local’s mind.  However, this partial mimicry needs to fill out the gaps with something else. In the colonial discourse according to Bhabha it is filled with fixations and stereotypes.[3] In the case of the C.P. Software it is filled with inaccuracies.[4] Since the C.P.Software uses the metis as its main source of knowledge, this one adds new qualities to the object that is being copied and simultaneously reduces some aspects as well. This is how the process of copying copies helps the copy to escape from the power of the original. 

[1] Bhabha, Homi. "Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse." October 28 (1984): 125-33. doi:10.2307/778467. 126.
[2] Ibid. 127.
[3] Ibid. 126.
[4] Many colonial paintings have their origins on mistakes. The artists eliminated what they did not understand or simply adapted it to their knowledge. For instance, Carolyn Dean mentions how some paintings of carts were altered because the locals had no idea of what they were copying. That’s why the image of Jose Gaudi, “Cart of the Tailors” looks more like an organ. In another painting “Corpus Christi Procession: Parish of the hospital de los Naturales” the document from the person holding it has disappeared. Now it looks like he is singing.
 Carolyn S. 1996. “Copied carts: Spanish prints and colonial Peruvian paintings.” Art Bulletin 78, no. 1: 98. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed December 13, 2016). 102

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