A Different Kind of Story: Tracing the Histories and Cultural Marks of Pirate Copied Film

Maria Eriksson


Abstract: Pirate copied objects are fiery artifacts that have caused much anxiety and debate. This article explores the cultural biographies of one particular type of such objects; digital pirate copied films. More specifically, it traces two neglected aspects of such object’s life histories: their entanglement in systems of standardization and quality control, and the ways in which new types of aesthetics and narratives are inscribed (or added to) pirated audiovisual content. Paying close attention to the layered and multifaceted dimensions of digital pirate copied film, the paper approaches the act of pirate copying as a form of transfiguration, and suggests that pirated objects are much more than plain replications. By housing a multiplicity of material identities and by carrying (and being surrounded by) alternative narratives of production, the article argues that these objects intervene, disorient, and disrupt the power dynamics of cinematic circulation and ultimately serve to queer commodity spheres.

Keywords: piracy; queer theory; transfiguration; copying; inscription.

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