“Remix culture is a term employed by Lawrence `lessig to describe a society which allows and encourages derivative works. Such a culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders” L.Lessig (via wikipedia)
It has become a cliché to announce that we live in remix culture. Yes, we do. But is it possible to go beyond this simple statement of fact?. Can we distinguish between different kinds of remix aesthetics? What is the relationship between our remixes made with electronic and computer tools and such earlier forms as collage and montage? What are the similarities and differences between audio remixes and visual remixes?
In his forward to ‘Counterculture through the Ages’ a book written by Ken Goffman, a.k.a. R.U.Sirius, the co-founder of MONDO 2000 the American magazine that defined the digital culture of the early nineties. Timothy Leary makes the striking connection between the modern day ‘Hacker’ and that of the fire snatching Prometheus.
Hacking quite simply put, is the force to go about something with a personal agenda – This image radically challenges our impression of Hacking as something mystic and profane, exclusive to computer programmers playing with digits from within their dark dense network of modem cables, and alternatively suggests a way of interacting with media, the environment and people, on an everyday level. In fact anybody who is aware of the media environment we occupy and how this effects and directs us, and who counter attacks this in a personal manner, ‘wrestles with technology, techniques, connections and ideas out of the hands of the elite’ and liberates them for the whole of society can be called entitled ‘A Hacker’.
Thus, Prometheus stole fire (and with it technology and science) from the God Zeus and offered it to humanity.
And Heraclites never stepped in the same stream twice...
20th CENTURY PIRATES
‘Every important sector of big media today - film, music, radio, and cable TV - was born of a kind of piracy’
The Hollywood film industry was built by fleeing pirates. Creators and directors migrated from the East Coast to California in the early 20th century in part to escape controls that film patents granted the inventor Thomas Edison.
California was remote enough from Edison's reach that filmmakers like Fox and Paramount could move there and, without fear of the law, pirate his inventions. Hollywood grew quickly, and enforcement of federal law eventually spread west. But because patents granted their holders a truly "limited" monopoly of just 17 years (at that time), the patents had expired by the time enough federal marshals appeared. A new industry had been founded, in part from the piracy of Edison's creative property.
Hollywood craved the attention and with a considerable profit margin, the manufacture and delivery of motion pictures and photography also changed. Coinciding with, what Walter Benjamin has coined ‘ The work of art in the age of mechanical age of reproduction’? It was in the essay of the same name, in 1935 that Benjamin wrestled with many of the ideas still prevalent around the notion of the reproduction and its position within society.
Benjamin argued that mechanical reproduction undermines traditional ideas of originality, because it overwhelms the ”aura” of the original work. The aura decays and the distance between the work and the audience shrinks allowing art to be absorbed into everyday life instead of being fenced off in a museum or gallery.
In reaction to this ‘Crisis in Art’ as Benjamin put it, Romantisicism flourished, Artists associated with this movement conceived of the ritual of art for arts sake. Art that was disconnected from all of daily life and devoid of any social function.
More intense and overt challenges to this concept of an artistic ‘mainstream’ were founded by gestures throughout art, poetry, writing, and film in the form of Dada.
Dada celebrated the death of the original genius and danced on its grave.
Dada was born in Zurich around the year 1910 and was essentially a polemical assault on the accepted notions of a mediocre bourgeois society. Irrationality and provocation were the main thrusts of this attack. ‘The Dadaists’ approach to cinema and literature focused on perverting the logical and coherent concepts of narrative.
The ‘Situationists’ took the pop culture that surrounded them and remixed it to include a critique of the dominant culture.
The closest English translation of d’tournement falls somewhere between diversion and subversion. Another translation might be un-turning or de-turning - where culture is turned back on itself, against itself. D’tournement is a plagiaristic act that, like a martial-arts move, shifts the strength and weight of the dominant culture against itself with some fancy linguistic and intellectual footwork. Debord insisted that a ‘Dadaist-type negation’ must be deployed against the
language of the dominant culture. He claimed that it is impossible to get rid of a world without getting rid of the language that conceals and protects it, without laying bare its true nature. The Situationist’s believed that the truths revealed by d’tournement, the lifting of ‘the ideological veils that cover reality,’ were central to its revolutionary project. Echoing the Situationist and Dadaist spirit of engagement, Derrida argued that deconstruction doesn’t want to ‘remain enclosed in
purely speculative, theoretical, academic discourses.’ It wants to ‘aspire to something more consequential, to change things,’ he argues, ‘Deconstruction can’t really be understood in the abstract because it is first and foremost an activity. Nor should it be considered simply textual vandalism, for the word ‘deconstruction’ is a close linguistic cousin of the word ‘analysis,’ rather than ‘destruction’, the origins of the word ‘analysis’ means ‘to undo’.
9 RUE GIT LE COER
In Paris, September 1959, both Burroughs and Gysin were in residence at 9 Rue Git le Coeur (the famous “Beat Hotel”). It was there that Brion Gysin, while mounting some drawings, accidentally sliced through a pile of old New York Herald Tribunes, which he was using to protect his table. He observed that where a strip of text had been cut away, the print on the next page linked up and could be read across, combining different stories from other pages. Later Gysin showed the discovery to Burroughs. Having himself recently completed the avant-garde novel The Naked Lunch, Burroughs pronounced the technique a project for “disastrous success.”
Burroughs stated, "I felt I had been working towards the same goal … any narrative passage or any passage of poetic images is subject to any number of variations, all of which may be interesting and valid in their own right … cut-ups establish new connections between images."
Burroughs’ own literary work was in a naturally fragmented state, he felt that ‘anyone with a pair of scissors could become a poet,’ echoing the sentiments of Lautremont, who said that ‘poetry should be made by all.’
This technique is not without its precedents. In 1897, Stephane Mallarme’s poem “Un coup de des jamais n’aborlira le hazard” (A throw of the dice can never abolish chance) distributed the individual words across 21 pages scattered and disjointed with the occasional blank page, giving “structure” an equal compositional value to content. Also, Guillaume Apollinaire in “Calligrammes” (1914) composed poems into typographical layout shapes. Dadaist Tristan Tzara’s random poetry from the 1920s bears a remarkable similarity to the cut-up technique in that he had cut-out phrases and words that he produced from a hat and read in random order. However if there were a patron saint of experimental poetry, it would be Quirinus Kuhlmann (1651-1689), who wrote the “variable poem” “The Kiss of Love.” Only the first and last words of any line are to be kept, along with any one of the thirteen in between, thus maintaining meter and giving millions of possible combinations (Kuhlmann was burned at the stake by the Lutheran patriarch of Moscow for his chiliastic beliefs).
"The cut-up method treats words as the painter treats his paints, raw materials with rules and reasons of its own."
Burroughs and Gysin’s individual and collaborative efforts in these areas have extended into a vast range of media aside from literature such as tape cut-ups and more significantly, the technique was transferred to cinema.
DESERT OF THE REAL
‘Everywhere the fabricated, the inauthentic and the theatrical have gradually driven out the natural, the genuine and the spontaneous until there is no distinction between real life and stagecraft.’
Virtually no system today is built from scratch on first principles.
In the ‘Desert of the real’ Baudillard asserts mirages outnumber oases and are more alluring to the thirsty eye. Moreover, he argues, signs that once pointed toward distant realities now refer only to themselves. Disneyland’s main Street. U.S.A. which depicts the sort of idyllic, turn of the century ‘burg that exists only in Norman Rockwell paintings and MGM back-lots, is a text book example of ‘self referential simulation’ a painstaking replica of something that never was. Whilst contemplating the decomposition of culturally-defined reality “These would be the successive phases of the image” writes Baudillard. “The image is the reflection of a basic reality; it bears no relation to any reality whatsoever: it is its own pure simulacrum.’
‘ We believe we live in the ‘age of information’ that there has been an information explosion, an information revolution. While in a certain narrow sense this is the case, in many important ways just the opposite is true. We also live at a moment of deep ignorance, when vital knowledge that humans have always possessed about who we are and where we live seems beyond our reach. An unenlightenment. An age of missing information.’
Stuart Ewan, a critic of consumer culture argues for a radical rethink on the poilitics of visual literacy. ‘ `We live at a time when the image has become the predominant mode of public address, eclipsing all forms in the structuring of meaning’ he continues ‘ yet little in our education prepares us to make sense of the rhetoric, historical development or social implications of the image within our lives.’
Perhaps the answer lies in the ‘semilological guerrilla warfare’ as once imagined by Umberto Eco. ‘ The receiver of the message seems to have a residual freedom: the freedom to control the message and its multiple possibilities of interpretation’ he adds ‘ one medium can be employed to communicate a series of opinions from another medium… The universe of Technological Communication would then be patrolled by groups of communications gorillas, who would restore a critical dimension to passive reception’.
BRING THE NOISE
‘The studio for the culture jammer is the world at large’
To Culture Jam - to bring noise into the signal, as it passes from transmitter to receiver, encouraging idiosyncratic, unintended interpretations. Refusing the role as passive bystander, and renewing the notion of public discourse.
Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters Magazine and author of Culture Jam, uses the term ‘Jolt’ to describe, ‘any technical event’ that interrupts the flow of sound or thought or imagery; a shift in camera angle, a gun shot, a cut to commercial. A jolt forces your mind to pump for meaning”. Lasn thinks ‘Jolts’ trigger our biological programming.
‘ The behavioural psychologist Ivan Pavlov was among the first to try and understand this. Any stimulus change… any jolt… release hormones that trigger the biologically encoded fight on fight response, vestigial from a time when survival depended on being alert to anything in the environment that happened at faster than normal or ‘natural’ speed. The response was designed to keep us from being eaten by cave bears. It was not designed to keep us glued to our television sets.’
We regularly deal with high levels of stimulation and fast paced linear content. The younger generation are at most effect by this.
‘Kids are developing skills through the process of socialisation to deal with the information explosion and a traditional notion of ‘attention’ may not be one of them. They are diagnosed with having Attention Deficit disorder, as if there is a calculated amount of attention necessary..’
‘What if ADD isn’t a disorder at all, but an evolutionary adaptation to the culture? What if the ability to deal with high levels if stimulation and fast paced, nonlinear content is actually providing these children with a way to cope with the next level of information explosion?’
This elastic category which includes Jamming, Mashing, Hacking, Slashing, Remixing, DIY, Subvertising, and appropriation, is in itself difficult to define in any one word. Spans the works of the Russian Samisdat (underground publishing in defiance of official censorship), the anti – fascist photomontages of John Heartfield; Situationist d’tournement (defined by Greil Marcus, in Lipstick Traces, as ‘ the theft of aesthetic artefacts from their contexts and their diversion into contexts of ones own device”), the “cut up” collage technique proposed by William Burroughs in ‘Electronic Revolution’ (“The control of the mass media depends on laying down lines of association… Cut/up techniques could swamp the mass media with total illusion”), the ‘Plunderphonics’ attitude towards the remixing of pre-recorded sounds by the American artist John Oswald, Vikki Bennett (People Like Us) and her avant garde cut up approach to audio and video content, The ‘relational aesthetics’ cited by Borriaud present within contemporary art, including the work of such artists as Eric Doeringer, Nancy Drew, Phillipe Parreno, Douglas Gordon, Liam Gillick, Vanessa Beecroft and Jim Lambie and the rise of video artists and VJ’s representing and miss – representing footage from mainstream source.
DO OR DIY
“Usually, all I need is tracing paper and a good light. I can’t understand
why I was never an Abstract Expressionist, because with my shaking hand I would have been a natural.”
Artists have continually challenged concepts of originality and authorship. In the process, they have internalized the use of pre-existing material, weaving it into the fabric of contemporary art making. Now a new generation of borrowers freely take or copy from popular culture (including art history) for a variety of expressive reasons. Appropriation has thus grown from an isolated movement associated with artists like Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince and Jeff Koons who rose to prominence in the ’80s to a paradigm of art making.
In a cut ’n paste, information-based culture where sharing is becoming an ideal (think Wikipedia.org) and intellectual ownership is being questioned, what chances of survival have the practices of those artists mentioned above realistically got?
A few notes on fair use and copyright law. To quote the Brennan Center report, “Copyright law gives authors, artists, and musicians—or the companies they work for—the 'exclusive right' to reproduce, distribute, and perform their works, or to allow others, usually for a fee, to do so. But fair use is an exception to this monopoly control. It allows anyone to copy, publish, or distribute parts—sometimes even all—of a copyrighted work without permission, for purposes such as commentary, news reporting, education, or scholarship.”
Recently, many artists have followed the leads of Levine, Prince, and Jeff Koons in challenging fair use and copyright law.
Nancy Drew, a New York-based artist who shows at Roebling Hall, makes renditions of classic paintings by Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman, but personalizes their familiar compositions with glitter, felt, flocking, and slightly altered color schemes.
Eric Doeringer rips off designs by well-known artists such as Lisa Yuskavage, John Currin, Takashi Murakami, and Elizabeth Peyton and sells them for cheap on the sidewalks of the Chelsea gallery district. Calling his copies Bootlegs, Doeringer appropriates the business model seen on Canal Street, where vendors sell fake luxury brand handbags and watches just blocks away from SoHo, where the real things sell for much, much more.
Jim Lambie often rips his findings from music culture and translates these findings into visual statements, often directly referencing particular albums and LP imagery –
In a recent exhibition ‘The Byrds’ Lambie, recreated a set of giant ceramic birds, enlargements of models He had bought in junk stores over the past years. The fact that the ceramic birds where actually made in Mexico by Mexican craftsman made this spectacle even more intriguing.
Fair use protects all of these artists from copyright owners in different ways.
Because Drew only imitates certain styles without copying specific works, her practice is safe from allegations of copyright infringement. Styles cannot be copyrighted, only specific works can. In the case of Doeringer, by calling his pieces Bootlegs, he can argue that there is no chance of confusing his copies with the originals.
Artists these days aren’t borrowing from existing works to profit from them, which the law was trying to protect against. Intrinsic to the strategy of ‘appropriating’ practiced by the artists mentioned above is a critique of creativity. But it is also homage to the original and an attempt to create something new from it.
The distinction between sound producers and sound reproducers is easily blurred, and has been a conceivable area of musical pursuit at least since John Cage's use of radios in the Forties. One such pioneer in this area of sound reproducing is John Oswald.
"Plunderphonics" - is a term originally coined by John Oswald at the Wired Society Electro-Acoustic Conference in Toronto in 1985. It has since been applied to any music made by taking one or more existing audio recordings and altering them in some way to make a new composition. There is no attempt to disguise the fact that the sounds making up the composition have been "borrowed" in this way, and sometimes the sounds may be taken from very familiar sources.
The process of Sampling other sources is found in various genres (notably hip-hop), although in plunderphonic works the sampled material is often the only sound used. These samples are usually uncleared, and sometimes result in legal action being taken due to copyright infringement (some plunderphonic artists use their work to protest about what they consider to be overly-restrictive copyright laws.
‘Some of you, current and potential samplerists, are perhaps curious about the extent to which you can legally borrow from the ingredients of other people's sonic manifestations. Is a musical property properly private, and if so, when and how does one trespass upon it? Like myself, you may covet something similar to a particular chord played and recorded singularly well by the strings of the estimable Eastman Rochester Orchestra on a long-deleted Mercury Living Presence LP of Charles Ives' Symphony, itself rampant in unauthorized procurements. Or imagine how invigorating a few retrograde Pygmy (no slur on primitivism intended) chants would sound in the quasi-funk section of your emulator concerto. Or perhaps you would simply like to transfer an octave of hiccups from the stock sound library disk of a Mirage to the spring-loaded tape catapults of your Melotron’.
Musical instruments produce sounds. Composers produce music. Musical instruments reproduce music. Tape recorders, radios, disc players, etc., reproduce sound. Many sound artists have long considered the tape recorder a musical instrument capable of more than the faithful hi-fidelity role of traditionally, manufactured presets. A device such as a wind-up music box produces sound and reproduces music. A phonograph in the hands of a hip hop/scratch artist who plays a record like an electronic washboard with a phonographic needle as a plectrum, produces sounds which are unique and not reproduced - the record player becomes a musical instrument. A sampler, in essence a recording, transforming instrument, is simultaneously a documenting device and a creative device, in effect reducing a distinction manifested by copyright.
PEOPLE LIKE US
"all one has to do is hit the right notes at the right time and the thing plays itself." – J.S.Bach
Aided by the increasingly broad-minded approach to music events programming taken by major arts venues, internet free radio and the growing popularity of festivals such as Sonar and All Tomorrow's Parties, sound artists are pushing the boundaries of what music can do, and melding it with technology and art.
People Like Us is one such outfit. The brainchild of Vicki Bennett. UK sound artist.Vicki refers to her process as 'collage’ and her works often consist of a splicing together from an incredibly diverse array of samples - classroom recordings and national anthems, obscure jazz loops and the likes of Tammy Wynette
People like us addresses the many individuals involved with sound and sampling exploration. After decades of being the passive recipients of music in packages, individuals now have the means to assemble their own choices, to separate pleasures from the filler. Home editing systems and laptops are enabling a new generation of sound artists with the means to dubbing a variety of sounds from around the world, or at least from the breadth of their record collections, making compilations of a diversity unavailable from the music industry, with its circumscribed stables of artists, and an ever more pervasive policy of only supplying the common denominator.
The inspiration for her performing name People Like Us came when Vicki listened to an album by Negativland in the late Eighties. Hip hop, which had been raiding samples for a good 10 years by then, was also an inspiration but Vicki was more interested in post-industrial groups and the 1989 John Oswald album Plunderphonic, the title of which was appropriated to describe the act of cutting music from diverse sources and pasting it together in striking ways. The 'mash-up' craze of recent years is a direct descendant of this (see kid606, shitmat, venetian snares)
In Definition the term “flipping” is to sample and manipulate a pre-existing piece of music and result in something original and unique which lends new beauty to the old, and in which the old offers a striking context to the new.
MADONNA REMIX PROJECT
Way back in 1976, ninety nine years after Edison went into the record business, the U.S. Copyright Act was revised to protect sound recordings in that country for the first time. Before this, only written music was considered eligible for protection. Forms of music that were not intelligible to the human eye were deemed ineligible. The traditional attitude was that recordings were not artistic creations, "but mere uses or applications of creative works in the form of physical objects."
The present law assimilates sound recordings to musical, literary, or dramatic works, This categorization is outdated. It is time to protect sound recordings as a separate category of subject matter. In addition, the law should specify that the protection of a sound recording is totally independent of what is recorded. It is irrelevant whether what is recorded is a work which is protected by copyright or is in the public domain. For example, bird sounds do not constitute subject matter protected by copyright because such sounds are not works. But a sound recording of the same bird sounds would be protected as falling within the new category of copyright subject matter suggested in this recommendation.
The Madonna remix project began in mid-April 2003 when the well-known recording artist Madonna surreptitiously released some so-called 'spoof' MP3 files of the tracks from her forthcoming CD American Life onto the 'illegal' peer-to-peer music filetrading services. While the filenames of these spoofed files indicated that they were tracks from American Life, when played back all they contained were brief recordings of Madonna's voice, including one in which she angrily asked downloader’s
'What the f--- do you think you're doing?'
Her apparent intention -- to deliver a rebuke to those of her fans who might be trying to obtain pre-release copies of the tracks from the Internet without paying for them. However, the results leading from this act soon followed what in retrospect might have been a predictable trajectory...
HACKERS HAVE FIELD DAY WITH MADONNA DECOY
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Anyone who thinks they can control the Internet received an object lesson during the past week.
‘It all started when Madonna literally lent her voice to a popular antipiracy technique. Warner Music Group had audio files purporting to be her new songs uploaded onto peer-to-peer file-sharing services. Anyone who downloaded the decoys, however, heard nothing but the pop star swearing at them.’
This story was released through Reuters and appeared on Yahoo News and other major online news services on 27 April 2003. Some observers thought Madonna was smart to fight piracy with its own tools. Others perceived a thrown gauntlet -- hackers soon defaced Madonna's Web site with an equally profane retort along with several downloadable files of the then-unreleased songs. A third group saw a creative opportunity. "What the f--- do you think you're doing," Madonna's now-infamous phrase, has turned up in dozens of remixes, cutups and mashups. The London-based iriXx, made her own remix of the original Madonna MP3 Soon the independent music site DMusic.com began hosting a competition for the best Madonna-based track, with the first prize being a "boycott-riaa" T-shirt and stickers.
"Madonna was trying to put one over on the kids ... and they in turn wanted to let her know that she's not in as much control as she thinks she is..."
''By remixing her warning and putting it to a headache-inducing techno beat, I am both ridiculing its content as well as attempting to demonstrate that any creation or utterance put forward into the public sphere necessarily becomes grist for the mill of future creators, no matter what the original intention of the author [and that is as it should be]. Make it illegal if you want but these critiques will still circulate in the underground and on the Net. Using her own words to make this point is 'signifying' in the [Henry Louis] Gatesian sense, and should be seen as a way to level the playing field and make oppositional voices heard'
Seegem - Digital cut up lounge
Rosemary Coombe wrote about something similar in The Cultural Life Of Intellectual Properties , which is to be highly recommended to all...
‘Messages conveyed by quickly circulating evanescent signifiers on a multitude of shifting surfaces cannot be effectively countered with written treatises that lie on library and bookstore shelves. As Koenig's Joe Camel examples showed, criticism that deploys the protected symbol is inevitably stronger and more effective than written references to it... Writing or lecturing about the obnoxious use of cartoon imagery to entice children into a health-destroying habit simply does not have the same punch as a parody of the trademarked cartoon character itself...’
‘the artist as a facilitator rather than a ‘maker’, a DJ rather than a performer’
The world we live in today is one that actually offers us much more choice to resist, rebel and construct our own community than ever before. Since the mid-1990s ‘relational aesthetics’ has become an increasingly popular term for a series of practices identified in contemporary art by French curator Nicolas Bourriaud, Bourriaud’s conception of practice is located in postmodernist developments that span back at least to the mid-1950s and which found widespread expression in the conceptual practices of the later 1960s and early 1970s. Bourriaud regards art to be a form of information exchanged between audiences. The artist, in this sense, gives audiences access to power, the means to change the world. Bourriaud believes that for an artist to intervene in the economy in a practical sense might allow for him / her to do something functional, to actually make a difference. Bourriaud, therefore, stresses the importance of utility, asking artists to put effects to work rather than simply remain with the safe realms of a critique of representation.
This call has numerous precedents in cybernetic and socially engaged practices of the early 1970s. In the United Kingdom this was particularly important to critics such as Richard Cork, who curated a number of exhibitions and conferences on the theme of art for society at the end of the 1970s. Socially engaged practice continued to find a great deal of support in Scotland in the later 1980s and early 1990s, particularly among artist-inititives such as Transmission, which in the later 1980s was dominated by the free-university model, and from the Scotia Nostra graduates of Glasgow School of Art’s Department of Environmental Art. Bourriaud, for this reason, cites Douglas Gordon as a key player in the international development of relational aesthetics in the 1990s. This kind of work could still be seen in prominent exhibitions such as Transmission’s Never Been in a Riot (1998) - a culture-jamming show put together to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the May 1968 uprisings - and The Modern Institute’s project with Rirkrit Tiravanija, Community Cinema for a Quiet Intersection (Against Oldenburg), as part of Glasgow’s City of Architecture festival in September 1999.
What was referred in post-modern times as quoting, appropriation, and pastiche no longer needs any special name. Now this is simply the basic logic of cultural production: download images, code, shapes, scripts, etc.; modify them, and then paste the new works online - send them into circulation.
People Like Us has extended the plunderphonic ideal to video, during her live shows, Vicki complements the audio collage with a visual one, projecting spliced-together 'found images' on to a screen behind her mixing desk. These images are collected by plundering the resources of freely available online video archives such as the UBU WEB
The Prelinger Archives, the film collection belonging to the archivist Rick Prelinger. Anne McGuire used similar techniques in her 1992 film ‘Strain Andromeda The’. With permission, McGuire reversed The Andromeda Strain shot by shot so that everything unfolded in reverse order, although with each scene running in normal time with comprehensible dialogue.
“24 Hour Psycho,” by Douglas Gordon also manipulates and makes direct reference to the original bearing the same name.
"24 Hour Psycho, as I see it, is not simply a work of appropriation. It is more like an act of affiliation... it wasn't a straightforward case of abduction. The original work is a masterpiece in its own right, and I've always loved to watch it. ... I wanted to maintain the authorship of Hitchcock so that when an audience would see my 24 Hour Psycho they would think much more about Hitchcock and much less, or not at all, about me...”
An alternative presentation of re-interperating original footage, is also evident within the new work of video artist Michael Gondry – ‘Be Kind, Rewind’ Gondry’s latest directing success is a film about a man who becomes accidentally magnetized while trying to sabotage a power plant. His magnetic field erases all the tapes in the video store where his best friend works. To save the store, the duo have to re-enact and re-film every movie that its single loyal customer, an elderly woman, rents. Within the movie Gondry recreates bootlegs of ‘back to the future’ ‘ the lion king’ and many others.
A MySpace LuvStory is a project developed for Concept Trucking, it is an unfolding automated jam - a conscious sampling and randomized regurgitation of media artefacts common to "social networking" sites such as MySpace.com. OneSmallStep provides a context for the exploration of identity, desire, fantasy and fetish in an eternally habitual loop of voyeuristic consumption, spectacular regurgitation, virtual intimacy and identity production/consumption.
OneSmallStep runs continuously while randomly remixing content from a database that is periodically updated.
The International Remix festival San Fransisco
The program was developed in collaboration with Yahoo! Research Berkeley and the Institute for Next Generation Internet at San Francisco State University. And more recently screened at Edinburgh Castle (April 24th 2006)
KinoTek, International Remix reinvigorates essential ideas about modern media production and use through the lens of technology. The program allows Festival Web site visitors to reedit, repurpose, remix and mash up an array of clips from selected Festival films. Remixes are then posted back to the site for others to view and enjoy.
The program pays homage to a lineage of cut-and-paste sensibilities that pervade modern media aesthetics, echoing many experiments in cut-up artistic practice such as Kuleshov, Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov's film tests and Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray's Dadaist use of ready-mades and absurd juxtapositions. These early experiments helped pave the way for the powerful artistic concept known as montage, which itself has been repurposed and remixed over the years through contemporary practices such as pastiche aesthetics, collage and mashups, which, in turn, owe a huge debt to the breakout of hip-hop turntablism in the early 1970s.
Tony Scott, Dimtre Lima, and Iman Morandi allow us to reconstruct the image contents of browserspace with their recently released Glitchbrowser. Glitchbrowser returns all images on a site with aberrated versions. Lovely discolourations, dislocations, pixellations and colour bands infect the original image and in invariably beautify content through this intentional corruption.
Although glitch seems a word that people would always have found useful, it is first recorded in English in 1962 in the writing of John Glenn: “Another term we adopted to describe some of our problems was ‘glitch.’ ” Glenn then gives the technical sense of the word the astronauts had adopted:
“Literally, a glitch is a spike or change in voltage in an electrical current.” It is easy to see why the astronauts, who were engaged in a highly technical endeavour, might have generalized a term from electronics to cover other technical problems. Since then glitch has passed beyond technical use and now covers a wide variety of malfunctions and mishaps.’
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE DIGITISED
"The public domain is like a vast national park without a guard to stop wanton looting, without a guide for the lost traveller, and in fact, without clearly defined roads or even borders to stop the helpless visitor from being sued for trespass by private abutting owners."
As the history of film, music, radio, and cable TV suggest, even if some piracy is plainly wrong, not all piracy is. Or at least, not in the sense that the term is increasingly being used today. Many kinds of piracy are useful and productive, either to create new content or foster new ways of doing business. Neither our tradition, nor any tradition, has ever banned all piracy.
Moreover, much of the sharing - which is referred to by many as piracy - is motivated by a new way of spreading content made possible by changes in the technology of distribution. Thus, consistent with the tradition that gave us Hollywood, radio, the music industry, and cable TV, the question we should be asking about file-sharing is how best to preserve its benefits while minimizing (to the extent possible) the wrongful harm it causes artists.
Think Internet: What was referred in post-modern times as quoting, appropriation, and pastiche no longer needs any special name. Now this is simply the basic logic of cultural production: download images, code, shapes, scripts, etc.; modify them, and then paste the new works online - send them into circulation.
SAMPLE VERSUS THE WHOLE WORK
If we are indeed living in a remix culture does it still make sense to create whole works if these works will be taken apart and turned into samples by others anyway? Indeed, why painstakingly adjust separate tracks of final cut movies or After Effects composition getting it just right if the public will open source them into their individual tracks for their own use using some free software? Of course, the answer is yes: we still need art. We still want to say something about the world and our lives in it; we still need our own mirror standing in the middle of a dirty road, as Stendahl called art in the nineteenth century. Yet we also need to accept that for others our work will be just a set of samples, or maybe just one sample.
Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House (Hardcover)
by Ken Goffman, Dan Joy
# Publisher: Villard (November 2, 2004)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0375507582
Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity,
copyright © by Lawrence Lessig,
# Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The (March 25, 2004)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 1594200068
The Society of the Spectacle (Paperback)
by Guy Debord, Donald Nicholson-Smith (Translator)
# Publisher: Zone Books; New Ed edition (September 23, 1995)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0942299795
The Age of Missing Information (Plume) (Paperback)
by Bill McKibben
# Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (May 1, 1993)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0452269806
Umberto Eco and the Open Text: Semiotics, Fiction, Popular Culture (Hardcover)
by Peter Bondanella
# Publisher: Cambridge University Press (April 3, 1997)
# Language: English
The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties: Authorship, Appropriation, and the Law (Post-Contemporary Interventions) (Paperback)
by Rosemary J. Coombe
# Paperback: 462 pages
# Publisher: Duke University Press (August 1998)
# Language: English
LIFE THE MOVIE
How Entertainment Conquered Reality
By Neal Gabler
303 pages. Alfred A. Knopf.
from Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster (Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1988), pp.166-184.
Illuminations, Essays and Reflections
-Walter Benjamin (Schocken Books, 1968)
Contains "The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction."
-Nicholas Negroponte (?, 1995)
The Media Lab
-Stuart Brand (Viking, 1987)
On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism.
Derrida, Jacques. Speech and Phenomena and Other Essays on Husserl's Theory of Signs. Trans. David B. Allison. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1973. ISBN 081010590X.
Directed and produced by Craig Baldwin.
San Francisco International Film Festival, 1995.
Pearce, Celia. The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution. Indianapolis: Macmillan Technical Publishing, 1997.
Nicolas Bourriaud, art critic, is the ex-curator of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. Les presses du reel.
(Documents - Documents serie (éditions anglaises)) 2-84066-0601
Will Fair Use Survive? Free Expression in the Age of Copyright Contro. By Marjorie Heins and Tricia Beckles
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Free Expression Policy Project. December 2005
"Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative"
as presented by John Oswald to the Wired Society Electro-Acoustic Conference in Toronto in 1985. http://www.plunderphonics.com/xhtml/xplunder.html