Friday 27 February 2009

Remix redux

Via Nat Torkington, a pointer to a lecture today (well - American today) on the topic of Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.

Speakers at the event are Lawrence Lessig, (founder of Creative Commons, IP warrior), street artist Shepard Fairey (creator of the Obama HOPE poster) and cultural historian Steven Johnson, "whose new book, The Invention of Air, argues that remix culture has deep roots in the Enlightenment and among the American founding fathers."

'Remix' is a newish word (adapted from the music context) to describe an age-old cultural and artistic phenomena. In fact, phenomena might not even be the right word - I'd argue that remix is one way that culture keeps developing (shades of my Masters thesis intrude here). A quick search of the photos on the Manuscripts and Pictorial site shows that we've been remixing for fun and profit for decades, at least.

In his short post, Torkington calls for similar events "all with a few tech-literate artists, academics, journalists, etc. telling it how it is.". I couldn't agree with that more; Remix is a scary concept for many, and it would be great to see it demystified, even encouraged.

Top: John Pascoe, 'A member of the Home Guard at the Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki', 1939 - 1945. Reference Number: 1/2-154214-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, image from the Manuscripts & Pictorial website.
Bottom: Leslie Hinge, 'Man 'catching' a shark', [ca 1910]. Reference Number: 1/1-022046-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, image from the Manuscripts & Pictorial website.

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