On the 8-hour drive home from the foundry where Connie had been body scanned for the sculpture to be later known as ‘Part D’, I had a crisis of conscience. Never before had I attempted to create an artwork without ever touching it. Would it be mine? At no point in the somewhat lengthy process would I get my hands dirty, or even touch a keyboard for that matter. As far as I knew, the concept was original. Certainly the work would be unique, and hopefully – compelling. But was I really its author?
It was at this point that my significant other, probably tired of driving and certainly tired of my whining angst, suggested that I write about my authorship anxiety. And thus, an academic paper titled ‘Hands-Off: Artistic Authorship in the Age of Technology’ was born. By born, I mean that it was researched at length, written and rewritten about 400 times, published in an academic journal, and painstakingly delivered, in a lecture format, at an Arts and Humanities conference at the Imperial College of London no less. It seems that academics are interested in the angst of artists.