Barbara Kruger, Untitled (That’s the way we do it) (detail), 2011, digital print on vinyl, 14' x 64' 9".

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (That’s the way we do it) (detail), 2011, digital print on vinyl, 14' x 64' 9".

Barbara Kruger

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (That’s the way we do it) (detail), 2011, digital print on vinyl, 14' x 64' 9".

I STARTED OUT IN THE LATE 1960s as a magazine designer for Condé Nast, where I had the luxury of working with the best technology at the time. In laying out editorial content, I became attached to sans serif type, especially Futura and Helvetica, which I chose because they were the most readable; they could really cut through the grease. Yet I never fetishized them or my process, and as time went on and the industry started using computers, I did too. One thing that never changed, however, is my preference for commercial and industrial formats. For one, they are incredibly effective at graphically communicating an idea. And they allow an image to be reproduced well and at a wide range of scales—room-size installations, catalogue illustrations, billboards, even digital-image thumbnails. I like that my work retains its identity regardless of size or medium. Of course this means it also lends itself to easy reuse by other people, but I’m fine with that. For my contribution to “That’s the Way We Do It,” a show exploring the “aesthetic of appropriation” at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria last year, I searched Google and Flickr and found 550 images based on my work. I then reproduced them as vinyl wallpaper that covered a 200-foot wall. None of these images were actually mine, but they were riffs on my “style.” To my mind, the expansion of technology and the notion of what art and authorship can be is a good thing. It’s not that I don’t agree with the idea of copyright, but as I see it, the regulation of “intellectual property” can be just a euphemized form of corporate control—and a futile one at that. I don’t believe that you can stop the flow of images.