Week 8: Activity – Remix Culture

In our modern society, “remixing” seems to be the newest art form. Especially with the accessibility to music, video, photos, and information available through the internet and the new technologies that allow us to combine these elements, remixing is a very accessible art form. One can easily pick and choose from this wide array of resources and mix and match them on a whim to create interesting works of creativity. This can clearly be seen on websites like Youtube and Soundcloud, websites that are filled to the brim with music and videos that draw from many separate elements. Good examples of this include the “Brat Pack Mashup”  we saw in class on Tuesday and the Biggie Smalls and Miley Cyrus remix of the songs “Party and Bullshit” and “Party in the USA” posted on the activity page for Week 8. However remixing is not only limited to the digital. It can transcend to the classical and modern arts as well through paintings, collages, and many other things.

These various, remixed works that are created, particularly on the internet, can also be protected from theft by copyright. This often entails the crediting of the owner of a work of media and at times the payment of said owner. However, though this may protect some, it can be dangerous to others. For those who may take parts of a film or song to incorporate it into their work, the failure to cite the source or sometimes using the elements in general can call for legal action or the removal of a work. The most common form of copyright is the Creative Commons licence, which allows someone to use others’ works and others to use their works. There are various types of Creative Commons licences that range from the Attribution licence, which allows someone to freely use your work as long as you are credited, to the Non-Commercial licence that would allow someone to use your work as long as it is not for profit. Although, these licences can protect creators of online art, I believe at times they can be too strict which can cause interesting works to be removed and hard-working, creative people to face unnecessary troubles.

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For my activity this week, I have decided to take the physical approach to remixing, given that I am not the most tech-savy person out there. My activity consisted of several empty cigarette packs that I have accumulated over the past weeks that I cut up into sections and taped together to create a custom pack. The packs that I cut up to create this “remix” were those of Pall Mall Red, American Spirit Yellow, Marlbro Red, and Marlbro Gold. The reason I chose to remix cigarette packs is primarily because I take an interest in cigarettes, from smoking them occasionally to the interesting designs of the packs of the different brands they come in. I found this activity to be very interesting, it having broadened my ideas of remixing things in ways beyond the digital. I also found the information on copyright and the various copyright licences to be very informative and has made me aware of the many complex elements of our “remix culture.”

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And if that’s not enough, here’s a remixed cookie made of Nutter Butter, Oreos, and Chips Ahoy with a Hershey’s bar in the middle :).

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