Monday, February 7, 2011

Everything, even blog posts, is a remix

So there's a fun video series (2 of 4 of which have now been produced) called Everything is a Remix. Its premise is that every form of art owes so much to previous works of art that calling it a remix isn't too much of a stretch. It calls into question our notions of "creativity" but in a good way: I don't think it's saying that creativity doesn't exist, but rather that it's not quite so isolated as we think. Anyways, here's the most recent installation in the series, about movies. Part I, about music, is here.

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

I like this idea, and I think it's pretty true. It reminds me of a paper I wrote in college for a class on the detention of Japanese-Americans of the West Coast during World War II. Specifically, it was about Topaz, one of the camps they were sent to in desolate central Utah. Seeing the remains of the camp (which were minimal) and thinking of the forced removal of thousands of American citizens and loyal legal aliens reminded me of a song by The Nightwatchman (a.k.a. Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine fame) called No One Left, embedded below. My rough draft was subtitled No One Left, as I recall, and I may have quoted a line or two from the song. As my paper evolved (I love watching drafts do that, especially the interplay between the title and what you actually write, and vice versa), I moved away from the idea so that it wasn't explicitly mentioned, but it remained an inspiration. Just the fact that a song about 9/11 by a member of RATM inspired the beginning of a written document for a BYU class about Japanese-Americans strikes me as a good example of the Everything is a Remix ethos.

Have you ever remixed anything like that? I know my sister once wrote a philosophy paper about Calvin and Hobbes, I think that's a great example. Or what's your favorite movie/music/art remix (preferably non-overt)?

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