This is one of my favourite remixes of all time. Why? Beyond the fact that it’s an Hip-Hop remix of a Dubstep song called Rock and Roll, the original track, which is comprised of numerous samples from various viral videos and songs, is remixed and mashed in with even more samples from pop culture. It’s not exactly related, just some posts need a soundtrack.
The dialogic nature of modern media means that, obviously, write follows read. Remix, rewrite, is unavoidable. As fans of a text, in this case a song, gain access to the building blocks of it they are able to re contextualise or remix a song in order to lend it a greater depth or enhance it’s longevity. With this, the control of the song quickly flees the original creators. In fact, once it is available for distribution and available for download by anyone, it becomes nigh impossible for anyone at all to control it. For all intents and purposes, a text, a piece of media, belongs to everyone and no one.
With this it is easy to conclude that the emerging remix culture is a product of the internet, when in reality the internet only acted as a catalyst and allowed the process to re-emerge and move faster than ever before. Culture and media had been remixed to varying degrees throughout history, from the Brothers Grimm to Mozart to Mario Cart. It has only been since the emergence of copyright laws that the remix has been frowned upon. With access at incredible speeds internationally through the internet, a large part of the population has had the ability for their culture to become participatory again.
When these two processes are viewed in tandem, it’s possible to theorise that the rise of remix culture is a return to a status quo. The return of culture to the public at large (through the internet) and the ability to mash, remash, mix, remix and publish being the way that humans interact and connect through common culture.
Sorry, got a touch philosophical.
- Lessig, L. 2008, Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, Bloomsbury, London. pp 23 – 31
- Jenkins, H. 2008. “What Is Remix Culture?”: An Interview with Total Recut’s Owen Gallagher (Part Two), Confessions of an Aca-Fan, Posted 4/6/2008, Accessed 11/5/2014 http://henryjenkins.org/2008/06/interview_with_total_recuts_ow.html