Sitting in the Bunker last Tuesday afternoon, after an already long day, my brain was reluctant to cooperate. So, unfortunately, Dr. Andrew Whelan’s explanation of remix and remix culture went straight over my tired head. So to the Internet I went to seek out a (much simpler) explanation of the concept. This is when I came across The Evolution of Remix Culture, by the Youtuber, normative. I found his explanation and examples really interesting- and frankly… understandable.
He describes Remix Culture as ‘… a platform for collective expression by—and conversations between—social groups’. The one example that stuck with me was the evolution of the mashup of the Brat Pack. Mashup’s represent, what Normative calls, stage one the remix culture. The Brat Pack Mashup by Youtuber, avoidantconsumer is a compilation of clips from old 1980’s John Hughes movies into a feel-good music video.
After avoidantcomsumer’s video was posted, a group of friends from Brooklyn posted their own emulation of the original, before another group from San Francisco created and posted their own.
This created a chain reaction of video’s appearing on the web from all around the world. There is a page on Pinterest dedicated to Brat Pack Mashup’s. There are videos from America, New Zealand, Hawaii and Amsterdam, just to name a few. This exemplifies the participatory nature of remix culture. When people engage in this culture of remixes, mashups and parodies, they are participating in the text and engaging with it.
Like in any case of media interaction, remix culture can lead to legal concerns. Unfortunately avoidantcomsumer’s account has been shut down by Youtube “due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement.” …Woops. When participating in remix culture, fair use needs to be considered. Normative also provides the example of a group of colleagues who put together a ‘lip dub’ of the song Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger, who were sued after not gaining permission to use the song.
I recommend that you check out Normative’s video. It is only a short 8 minutes and is very explanatory. He also provides hyperlinks to the examples that I have discussed.
I also suggest that if you are after more information on remix and remix culture that check out Larry Lessig’s TED talk, ‘Laws that choke creativity’, Eduardo Navas’ definitions from Regressive and Reflective Mashups in Sampling Culture, 2010 Revision or the TED Blog post, ‘14 Brilliant quotes on remixing‘.
Normative, 2010, The Evolution of Remix Culture, online video, 5 February, Youtube, viewed 1 May, 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watchv=4BZ06Kwbi5s&list=UUVMjaD4Mrn1ZSEhN1kDJdrw>.
The Video’s talked about in The Evolution of Remix Culture
- Brat Pack Mashup by avoidantconsumer (Youtube)
- Brooklyn Brat Pack Mashup by the pinkbismuth (Youtube)
- SF Brat Pack Mashup by chinorockwell (Youtube)
- Flagpole Sitta Lip Dub by amandalynferri (Vimeo)