The Course

The information included in The Course section is modeled after Mark Amerika’s popular “Remix Culture” seminar as well as his international workshops in practice-based forms of remix theory. The premise of both the “Remix Culture” seminar and the hands-on remix workshops is that given the all-consuming infiltration of network and mobile media communications in contemporary digital culture, everything, including the role theory plays in practice-based research and pedagogical performance, is radically changing.

The resources linked to in The Course section point to early experiments in visual collage, literary cut-ups, appropriation, situationist détournement, Net art, DJ/VJ culture, and digital sound design, and set the stage for a more concentrated reading of both Amerika’s remixthebook and the many online remixes here at remixthebook.com that sample from and expand on the ideas generated in the book. In addition to teaching the print version of remixthebook in conjunction with the online remixes located on this Web site, educators are encouraged to use The Course section as a starting point to stimulate dialog and critique.

The remixthebook.com team is continually changing the site and would love to hear from anyone who is creating their own remix of the source material found in the book or on the Web site. We hope you will share your remixes with us so that we can share them with others.

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Overview

The remixological potential of what, in remixthebook, is referred to as Source Material Everywhere, is located on the Net. It’s where the artist, as postproduction medium, intuits their next live, remix performance and the conscious application of what feels like a contemporary gesture executed to test an experimental hypothesis in realtime. Digital culture opens up a Total Field of Action for contemporary theorists and remix artists to operate in.

Pla(y)giarism

To playgiarize is to perform with and/or playfully manipulate existing source material (thus the playful use of the letter “y” as in “play”). Playgiarism is the term coined by author Raymond Federman that refers to the intentional, conceptual, and playful re-use of existing source material. In Federman’s own use of playgiarism, he specifically remixes the different sources and versions of his own personal narrative to form that he terms a playful self-appropriation.

Potentialism

Potentialism also known as procedural composition or constrained writing is a literary practice in which the writer binds their process to an arbitrary, predetermined set of rules or patterns. Examples of writing under constraints could include allowing only certain letters to be used at certain times, working with set syllabic forms, prohibiting certain words or letters, and so on. In the visual and sonic arts, this style is sometimes referred to as procedural composition.

Literary Cut-Ups

The roots of the literary cut-up technique can be found in Dadaist chance operations where a text is literally cut up with scissors and rearranged to create a new text. In the 1920′s, Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of the Dada movement, created poems using a chance operation that any artist could easily execute by following a few basic instructions that he encapsulated in a poem titled “To Make A Dadaist Poem” …

Appropriation

The appropriation artist takes then announces to the world that she has taken. Or not. Appropriation art takes a (usually) recognizable object, text or image and recontextualizes it.  In the new context, the associations that the reader/viewer has with the appropriated object are subverted, and he or she is forced to reexamine his/her relationship to it.  Therefore appropriated art is often political, satirical and/or ironic.

Détournement

Détournement is the artistic practice of redesigning messages from the mass media and subverting or “détourning” their canned meanings so that a new message that emerges is antithetical to what was originally intended for the targeted audience. Employing the practice of détournement first came into usage in the late 1950′s by the revolutionary artist group known as the Situationist International…

Hactivism

The word hactivism is a neologism that mashes up the creative use of digital tools associated with the computer hacker with the interventionist strategies of political activists. Cleverly inserting themselves into the networked space of flows, digitally inclined hactivists use whatever new media technologies they may have access to to subvert the mainstream media discourse and tweak the way we construct meaning in the corporate media economy.

Postproduction

The term postproduction in film refers to the creative work done after principal shooting has taken place on a film or video project. In other words, it is during postproduction that the data that has been captured is cut up, moved around, filtered, and shaped into a finished work. On the other hand, postproduction art, a term coined by curator Nicolas Bourriaud, refers to specific artworks made of preexisting works.

Net Art 2.0

In the beginning, say, around 1995, there was something called Net art. No one knew what it was or what it would become. Wild experimentation was happening within a core group of internationally connected artists and writers, most of whom had never met each other, but who were able to simultaneously and continuously collaborate on various networking projects over the Internet.

Sound

What does the art of remixing ones life sound like? Is there a rhythm science that artists can turn to as a way of articulating how their body (as instrument) plays (with) the world, the Source Material Everywhere? What does it means for a contemporary artist/theorist to remix their thoughts, actions, and artworks into a time-based media performance composed primarily of sound artifacts?

Collage Film

Collage film has always been a major genre within remix culture.  Film footage that was not necessarily intended to go together is collaged in order to create a new work.  The elements used in collage film include found footage, animation, still imagery, news broadcasts, and popular culture.  Like most appropriated art, collage film is often intended to reveal then subvert the audience’s preexisting associations with the appropriated film image.

Live A/V

A live video or audio performance happens here, happens now and happens in public. Live audio and DJ (disc jockey, digital jockey) performances are time based sound collages that have long been familiar in popular culture, with roots in hip-hop. Contemporary DJs like Girl Talk and DJ Spooky create collaged soundscapes by remixing existing audio as live source material. In live A/V, VJs (visual or video jockeys) enter the mix.