Saturday, December 15, 2007

Watching club artwork in Second Life

In a club..all by myself!
there was no VJ but I could watch the visuals

Insights and quotes that relate to the Remix Culture

As Duchamp pointed out many decades ago, the act of selection can be a form of inspiration as original and significant as any other [Negativland].

Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied [Deleuze and Guattari 1980,tr. Massumi 1987].

Siva Vaidhyanthan, an assistant professor of culture and communication at New York University and the author of Copyrights and Copywrongs, believes that what we're seeing is the result of a democratization of creativity and the demystification of the process of authorship and creativity.
"It's about demolishing the myth that there has to be a special class of creators, and flattening out the creative curve so we can all contribute to our creative environment," says Vaidhyanthan [quoted in Rojas 2002].
Note here that the 'democratization of creativity' that Dr Vaidhynathan refers to is made possible by still relatively new digital technologies of information manipulation, transmission, and exchange.

"Postdigital Remix culture and Online Performance"

Mash-up of Kanye West + Maroon 5

Great mashup example on Youtube.
The visuals as well as the music are skillfully combined and manipulated to create a new artform(I might need be a bit careful when labeling the word 'art', but anyway); creating of mashups on the web made by amateurs(such as this one) are becoming so popular that it already seems to have formed a whole new genre of its own. There were at least 15,100 entries on alone on searching the word 'mash up', a phenomenon which i believe has derived from and/or reflects the contemporary remix culture.

Kanye West + Maroon 5 (Mashup)

Derivative Art:Restriction is Futile

The following is a post made by 'Ian', creator of a site (whichI found closely relevant to my project theme) called "Derivative Art: Restriction is Futile" (, a site dedicated " to ponder and promote derivative works and remix culture wherever and whatever they may be", and to "promote the production of derivative art as a meaningful and valuable form of expression".

Ian quotes that "There is currently no better time to talk about the presence, significance and influence of participatory culture and the derivative works within them" and below is a post on some of his ideas and thoughts that I found interesting:

Mashup Schmashup
# Sept. 10, 2007 at 11:04 p.m. by: Ian

In many ways I like the term "mashup". It's playful, easy to say and not tied down to a particular practice (although it has its origins in music remixing so that other forms are usually prefaced e.g. Video Mashup). However, I really hate that it implies a lack of finesse... a sort of trivial abandon which restricts it to being entertainment for passive consumption at best. It really does a disservice to a great deal of truly incredible remixing (of all kinds) that exists out there. Of course, there are plenty haphazard "mashups" but, then again, the existence of sloppy notebook doodles does not invalidate Van Gough so why should the same be true here?
The term mashup was never intended to have a value judgement attached to it, just like "fan works" wasn't... but that doesn't change some perceptions.

To me, it's the same kind of cultural/generational snobbery that denounced Rock 'n' Roll. Andrew Keen's
Cult of the Amateur is just one example of this mistaken assumption - the assumption that radical new and decentralised art has little or nothing to offer. Most surprising to me is how this is exactly the same argument made of so many artforms over the years. Court poetry that isn't in Latin, inconceivable! A player writing plays, outrageous! Moving pictures? Nothing but silly watering-hose jokes. Well, if history really is repeating itself then I hope it's time for a decentralised digital renaissance.


Mashin' up with Granny Teller

If you have no idea what a Mashup is..learn from granny.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lev Manovich on today's remix culture

It is a truism to day that we live in a “remix culture.” Today, many of cultural and lifestyle arenas - music, fashion, design, art, web applications, user created media, food - are governed by remixes, fusions, collages, or mash-ups. If post-modernism defined 1980s, remix definitely dominates 2000s, and it will probably continue to rule the next decade as well.


Remixing originally had a precise and a narrow meaning that gradually became diffused. Although precedents of remixing can be found earlier, it was the introduction of multi-track mixers that made remixing a standard practice. With each element of a song – vocals, drums, etc. – available for separate manipulation, it became possible to “re-mix” the song: change the volume of some tracks or substitute new tracks for the old ounces. Gradually the term became more and more broad, today referring to any reworking of already existing cultural work(s).


Around the turn of the century (20tth to 21st) people started to apply the term “remix” to other media besides music: visual projects, software, literary texts. Since, in my view, electronic music and software serve as the two key reservoirs of new metaphors for the rest of culture today, this expansion of the term is inevitable; one can only wonder why it did no happen earlier.

It is relevant to note here that the revolution in electronic pop music that took place in the second part of the 1980s was paralleled by similar developments in pop visual culture. The introduction of electronic editing equipment such as switcher, keyer, paintbox, and image store made remixing and sampling a common practice in video production towards the end of the decade; first pioneered in music videos, it later took over the whole visual culture of TV.

From 'what comes after remix' by Lev Manovich

The art of reprocessing - Remix culture

Remixing -- cutting up -- editing -- collaging. Variations of these aesthetic approaches manifest themselves again and again throughout the twentieth century in the work of artists in a variety of media