Caught Up in the Remix!

Due to the rate of convergence moving rapidly, there are new opportunities for the passive consumer to produce and distribute their own content. In today’s society nothing is original. Remixes enable artists to rearrange and modify the original content. Although the past inspires users to re-invent original content, the user should somehow manage to put their own unique twist on their creation. In the book, Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, Lessig (2008)“describes two cultures: one made to be consumed (Read-only), the other made to be remade (Read-write).” The diversity of new media technologies such as the internet will enable the RO and RW culture to flourish in the future.

Overtime, the evolution of genres and the rich history of music had enabled artists to re-invent and transform original content. The six second drum beat of the Amen Break continues to be in popular demand by gospel, funk, hip hop and electronic artists. The success of the the drum loop has generated decades of musical innovation of scratching and remixing. With the explosion of technologies, more artists in the music industry are exploring music sampling. Take a look at American R&B singer Jason Derulo’s song “Fight for You” which samples Toto’s 1983 hit ‘Africa’. Numerous other Artists such as JoJo, Wiz Khalifa, and Ja Rule have also sampled Toto’s most recognizable song. The remix culture is responsible for bringing old and original content back to life.

The various use of remix, mash up and media repurposing practices have led to audience participation and empowerment. Filesharing is offering users to engage in produsage cultural practices. According to Bruns (2010), he states that Produsage is an “ongoing, never finished process of content development and redevelopment” in the pursuit of new possibilities. YouTube has created a platform for users to showcase their mash-up creations. The music and video mash-up below by Daniel Kim, ‘Pop Danthology 2012 – Mashup of 50+ Pop Songs’ has received over 30, 885,474 views and still counting. It is evident that if a mash-up is made successfully it can gain more attention and popularity than its original source (Bruns, 2010).

It is important for all users not to get swept up in the whirlwind of their remix and mash-up success. They must remain grounded and respect the copyright laws and intellectual properties of other artists. Subsequently, the remix culture phenomenon will continue to grow.


Bruns, Axel (2010) Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage

Lessig, Lawrence (2008) Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, pp.23-31

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM112

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