NATÁLIO, Rita. “Parrots in the mirror”, São Paulo, 2015,

Master Dissertation, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.

Tutor: Prof. Peter Pal Pélbart


In this work, we will start from the imitation theories of the nineteenth-century French sociologist Gabriel Tarde, and the revision of these theories by the Italian philosopher Maurizio Lazzarato. These authors will allow us to think the contemporary processes of subjectivity, in which appears a specific dynamic between imitation and invention on individual life and that, in turn, go hand in hand with neoliberal capitalism dynamics and its incessant deterritorializations. Today, contemporary individuals quickly mobilize their imitations and inventions, their opinions replicate on a large scale and they are driven by the  belief in the possibility of interfering, divert, sculpting, modeling and even reverse the direction of their own lives. Imitation and invention can be seen as tools of social construction. Furthermore, in the case of virality and contagion of ideas through social networking on the Internet or analog networks of consumption and influence, a bestial force of imitation is set up that seeks a global spread, a force whose power is extra-individual and allows us to consider subjects beyond self-contained units. To think this theme, we will establish our research in dialogue with other authors and examples from contemporary art to internet examples and, between chapters of the work, we will propose small textual short-circuits that break the linearity of reasoning. These short-circuits can, in some cases, challenge the conventions of academic text, but they are mainly an experiment on the relationship between invention and imitation in the creation of my own voice.

Key-words: Imitation, Invention, Subjectivity, Repetition, Difference, Parrot, Mirror, Machinic Enslavement, Gabriel Tarde, Maurizio Lazzarato