Hippocrit like words.
Hippocrit enjoys messing with words, and particularly likes it when language breaks down.
Hippocrit thinks language actively participates in the construction of reality.
Hippocrit is interested in how materiality and form affects the operations of language.
Hippocrit explores how digital technologies have affected our relationship to language.
Hippocrit thinks that Georgia is a lovely typeface for computer screens. It has a lovely lowercase g.


Remix While You Still Can

Semantically, a remix only qualifies as such when the remixer samples a pre-existing source, or pre-existing remix. This source must have some trace of “authorship” attached to it in order for it to be called a remix. This leads to an unintended effect of remixing: it operates like a negative theology. Remix reifies authorship. There would be no remix without authorship. The author isn’t dead*, s/he is just operating within different granularities of production.

As an artistic or cultural practice of production, remix has its limits. At some point, remix will reach a critical point, where the identity of the sample (or the trace of author) is no longer recognizable. The infinite regression of remixing will eventually bring about its own demise. Remix is an Ouroboros, which has the distinct disadvantage of not being able to grow its tail long fast enough to keep up with its appetites (e.g. late Capitalistic consumption of remixed infotainment). When the myth of authorship is sufficiently remixed, the result will no longer be a remix, it will just be. This is the post-remix.

We have already begun to see the “remix” lose it relevance in today’s networked-based practices. Facilitated by digital technology, the traditional demarcations of intellectual property are eroding. Future generations won’t view themselves as “remixers”; that word will no longer hold meaning for them. When I search for an image in Google images, I’m not consciously thinking, “I’m going to use someone else’s intellectual property and engage in a transgressive practice called remixing.” Instead, I  think, “I need an image. I will find one on the Internet.” It’s not remix, it’s just finding what I need. The time is coming (soon) when remix will be an antiquated historical term.

So what is the value of remix as an aesthetic/cultural/critical strategy in a post-remix culture? I confess, I am a hypocritical remixer. I see the limitations, and shortcomings of remix, yet I actively practice it. Even if remix is nothing more than an ideological frame, there is (still) something ineffably interesting about remix. It is also naive to think (in an epistemological sense) that any creative practice is anything but a remix . As Ecclesiastes so eloquently summarized centuries ago, there is nothing new under the sun. But, I do look forward to future methodologies that find nuance and complexity between the two (problematic) poles of remix and ex-nihilo authorship. But until then, I will remix away.

* “The Death of the Author” is often misunderstood. In the late 1960’s, Barthes published “Death of the Author” and Foucault published “What is an Author?” Both essays herald not the death of the authorial function of ownership (as it is often understood), but the death of the authorial role in the generation and control of meaning. Authors still exist, they just can’t control their children. Barthes and Foucault were critiquing the authorial role in interpretation, not intellectual property or ownership.