Our Reblogs, Ourselves
For centuries, images were a fairly quantifiable, classifiable thing. One could, if one wanted, generally divide them into two categories: those made by artists and those not; artworks and everything else. There were always complications, of course — where did photojournalism fall, or works made by bad artists, or family photos — but the lines were pretty distinctly drawn: No matter the content or method, art images were those created by artists toiling away in studios or monasteries or workshops; they were shown in galleries and museums and sometimes books, framed very clearly as capital-A art. Plenty of artists have worked to undermine or discredit this system, like Richard Prince, who upset a lot of people when he started rephotographing Marlboro cigarette ads in 1980.