This week (or two weeks) is all about remix!!
These past two weeks we needed to explore the meaning of remixing and mashing up. The biggest and main point that I understood is that almost everything is a remix or mashup of some sort. Everything in nature, and in our lives is a product of building upon the creation of something previous. It makes a lot of sense if we think about it and so it’s funny that most people think that the objects and ideas surrounding them are mostly original. I watched “Everything is a Remix” Part 1 and Part 3 and both were really eye opening. Kirby Ferguson does a really great job of pointing ALL of the things that are not exactly original. Like Led Zeppelin and the fact that they were called “ripoffs” by many because of the many sound and lyrics they “sampled” from others. This word “sampled” is an interesting one because it implies that you just take a bit of another work and incorporate it into your own but many people take “sampling” to a whole new level. How much is a sample? When does it become a ripoff? In part 3, Ferguson mentioned a new fantastic term: Derivative work. It’s so true that most artists have to start with copying somebody else in order to get the feel for the great things. We play the piano by playing famous compositions first and maybe someday we can create something of our own. I think whether remixing is a creative act or not really depends. To me, it’s not really creative unless the majority of it came from your head alone. Even if you remix something into a new idea, the basic elements were not created by you and therefore the “creativity” is minimal.
I also watched a “Fairy Use Tale” about copyright and learned that there are some seriously blurred lines. What is fair use exactly?? Is it a few seconds? And what if one person thinks you are using it fairly, but the other doesn’t? It’s important to understand and be able to defend how you use copyrighted material. The Disney images were okay because they were being used to teach.
For the examples I watched “Can’t Tase This“, “Scary Mary” “Star Trek Meets Monty Python” and “Barack Obama Singing Call me Maybe“. All were fantastic except for one. “Can’t Tase This” was kind of funny but it was really pointless in my opinion. This is fine, since people remix for their own pleasure. “Scary Mary” was one of the funniest things i’ve ever seen! You don’t realize how creepy a movie is until somebody adds scary music. I mean, she did magic and flew out of the sky! The Star Trek one was hilarious and Obama singing was really well done and precise. I am fairly sure it took a long time to make.
I explained mashups to my husband and it was pretty self explanatory. I think I got the idea especially after seeing the examples. He understood it pretty quickly (he’s also extremely smart).