Personal identity,the art object and travel.

The following account is based on Derek Parfit theory of identity known as the teletransportation paradox.

  • Personal identity suggests the same person who begins the art work project is the same person who finished the artwork, therefore the author of the artwork .
  • Personal identity suggests travel over distance entails the same person beginning the journey is the same that ends the journey.
  • These accounts suggest a philosophical bias to the ego theory of what it is to be a person.

Ego theory verses Bundle theory

  • person persists as a mental thing- a soul, or spirit
  • a person is a material thing but has a supervening series of mental states or events- a person, social identity.

Art object as ego or bundle theory

  • art object as contingent on either a soul/spirit or a series of mental events
  • art object persists as a reflection of a soul so exists as a statement of soul
  • art object persists as a social event attributed to a persons life phase

Artist belief and unbelief

Suppose a public artist entered a workshop sealed off from any outside interference as an artist pod. The artist then presses a button that sets off a quantum scanner that records all brain states and cellular structure attributed to the creative process. The belief is a new art project. Hopefully, an outcome will be an artwork to be exhibited at a central gallery. Your choice as an artist is to either believe in the ego theory or bundle theory. You begin to work on the block of marble.

Thought experiment

However, unbeknown to the artist a replica of that artist , the scan produces a replica. Replica begins at the same instant in another art pod at the opposite pole position on earth. The outcome of the resultant artworks is identical in all visible respects. Question being , can an artwork be ascribed to one and only one artist? (The account is a reworking of the teletransportation paradox thought experiment)

Comparing the ego theory to bundle theory as to teletransportation paradox.

  • ego theorist might say there are two bodies but one original ego/soul.
  • therefore one artwork attributed to one and only on ego/soul
  • bundle theorist might say, there are to identical sets of physical and mental process.
  • therefore there must be two artworks attributed to two sets of physical/mental process operating in distinct spacial categories.

Will the artwork be yours?

So on the first account the artwork must be yours. There would be no doubt of originality that even if the two works had been swapped by the gallery staff. However on the second account it becomes less clear. Arguably there are two distinct artworks that look the same but attributed to distinct persons with their reasons.

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