Friday, April 20, 2007

ComPostproduction: Some Simple Samples

Sampling is the best way, and perhaps the only way, for art to come to terms with a world of brand names, corporate logos, and simulacra. Pure originality is a myth, in any case; art and culture can only be made from previously existing art and culture.

- Steven Shaviro, from "Connected"

Method of this project: literary montage. I needn’t say anything. Merely show. I shall purloin no valuables, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse - these I will not inventory but allow, in the only way possible, to come into their own: by making use of them.

- Walter Benjamin, from "Passagen-Work"

All of us come from stories, out of myths, out of shared beliefs. Artists, we take these myths, these histories, these bodies and remake them according to the words we hear the gods say.

One of the names of the earth, that body, is story.

Requiem is the story of a girl and woman named Electra. Through her eyes, we see her childhood, upper or upper-middle class, Jewish, New York City, modern day. At the same time as we're seeing this, we watch her learn to see her own story as a story. To learn that it is incorrect. To learn that it must be heard anew and so remade. To listen is to remake.

- Kathy Acker, on her work "Requiem"

In a world where discovery is more important than delivery, it's the people who find, remix and direct attention to old stuff that should be rewarded, not the people who deliver it or sit on it waiting for someone to show up.

- Joichi Ito

Remix this, remix that.

New media artist as "mashup filter" (you control the experiential opacity, crunchy altertones, asynchronous assemblages, etc.).

- Professor VJ

Mix, mix again, remix: copyleft, cut ‘n’ paste, digital jumble, cross-fade, dub, tweak the knob, drop the needle, spin, merge, morph, bootleg, pirate, plagiarize, enrich, sample, break down, reassemble, multiply input source, merge output, decompose, recompose, erase borders, remix again. These are among many of the possible actions involved in what can be broadly labeled “remix culture” - an umbrella term which covers a wide array of creative stances and initiatives, such as: plunderphonics,, recombinant culture, open source, compostmodernism, mash-ups, cut-ups, bastard pop, covers, mixology, peer to peer, creative commons, “surf, sample, manipulate”, and uploadphonix.

As this plethora of activities indicates, we are clearly living in a remix culture: a culture that is constantly renewing, manipulating, and modifying already mediated and mixed cultural material. A distinction must be made, however, between lucrative mainstream cultural “remixes” which are protected under copyright, and the remix methods of more marginal underground artistic practices and approaches. One could argue that mainstream culture has little to do with the remix as an open process - it is a “remake” culture that thrives on an endless parade of rehashes, repackaging, and repeats that do nothing more than recirculate the old in a new guise.

- Bernard Schütze, from "Samples from the Heap"

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