[iDC] Remix Reader

isabelle arvers zabarvers at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 18 04:02:55 EDT 2006

Hi Everybody,

This remix discussion is really interesting
i was also trying to find names i could add to the list and wasn't so much 
able to do so...
what i was also thinking about reading all the posts was that we should also 
look at african and arab artists in our own countries, we all know that in 
new media shows and in the new media artists there are very few people of 
colour (there are, but it is mainly white) so perhaps we should create some 
context to change this situation? by the mix and remix of audiences and by 
finding new ideas to give an access and an interest to new media to new kind 
of populations?

isabelle arvers

Isabelle Arvers
Paris HQ
+33 6 61 99 83 86
zabarvers at hotmail.com
Geneva HQ
+ 41 78 741 69 15
zabarvers at bluewin.ch

----Original Message Follows----
From: john sobol <john at johnsobol.com>
To: "Paul D. Miller" <anansi1 at earthlink.net>
CC: idc at bbs.thing.net
Subject: Re: [iDC] Remix Reader
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 20:36:40 -0400


listserv discussions are always somewhat non-liner and certainly we each try 
to push them along paths that interest us, but personally I find that this 
discussion has taken an odd turn in the past few posts.

It seems to me that after crying 'eurocentric' in our crowded auditorium, 
Paul, that you have name-checked a seriously eurocentric canon in your 
subsequent posts. I have a problem with that, especially since I think some 
of the people on your list (Adorno and Mailer, to name but two) are abysmal 
sources for intelligent critiques of African-American cultural practices.

It also seems to me that the essay/discussion on Jamaican dub has done 
little to advance the discussion about contemporary remix culture. Isn't it 
more important for our purposes to ask if – and how – the remix culture that 
has been so pervasive in Jamaica is being transformed, enriched or beat down 
by digital media, rather than to point out that toasting and vinyl 
versioning is as popular today as it was 40 years ago? Yes you are right 
that "You can think of the whole culture as a shareware update" but does 
this mean that Jamaica is a hotbed of FLOSS? And if not, does it matter? 
Does today's global mediascape mean things are different for Sizzla, who 
releases about 150 tracks a year, than they were decades ago for King Tubby 
when he was doing the same? And if so how and why? And if not why not? In 
either case what does that say about the status and future of Afrocentric 
remixology in networked culture?

I think the discussion about music is hugely important and I welcome it, but 
only up to a point, especially since it is evident from several postings 
that many of us are already very knowledgeable about 20th century music 
history. What is of far more interest to me is the extension of our 
discussion about Afrocentric remixology into the sphere of new media. Nobody 
has responded to my request for suggestions of innovative non-eurocentric 
new media artists whom I could usefully check out. Is this because the 
answers are so obvious that nobody can be bothered to help me out of my 
pathetic ignorance? Or is it because people are worried about getting into a 
racially charged debate? Or is it because nobody has any names to 

My guess is that the list of innovative artists doing Afrocentric new media 
work outside of the strictly musical sphere is fairly small. Off the top of 
my head people like George Lewis, Chuck D, Keith and Mendi Obadike and 
DaveyD come to mind, (as well as yourself, Paul) but not a lot of others. If 
someone can extend this list to 20 or 50 or 500 that would be totally great. 
Please do so so we can all be less ignorant, especially me. But if 
collectively we can't, then shouldn't that be a crucial element of our 
discussion about remix culture, rather than a mild citing of the amazing but 
familiar historical reality that is Jamaican music?

I just visited the Afrofuturist site, which I know hasn't been updated in a 
while. But doesn't it matter that the link headed Black Pioneers of the 
Internet is dead? Where should it link to?

John Sobol

2 Million Years of Technology
A one-man show by John Sobol
@ The Bowery Poetry Club, nyc
April 29, noon, pwyc

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