[iDC] Re: notes on media remix

Ryan Griffis ryan.griffis at gmail.com
Mon Apr 24 00:06:00 EDT 2006

On Apr 22, 2006, at 11:00 AM, Curt wrote:

> For me, at least one significant difference between DJ Spooky
> remixing spoken word Kurt Schwitters with Bill Laswell (what I'm
> calling remixing) and MK12 putting a motion blur on a Mike
> Cina-designed typeface (what I'm evidently now calling
> "hybridizing") is in the intention of the artist and the purpose of
> the genre.  As I read Paul, remixing is a personal cultural survival
> tactic for him. The specific sources (content) are all-important.
> As I've written elsewhere, the remix is "a sort of
> talisman/immunization strategy against commodification."  As such,
> it is far from content-agnostic.

Hey Curt,
I don't mean to imply that these things can be agnostically studied... 
quite the opposite. but my interests, in these things as culture, is 
less concerned with the kind of subjective intentionality that you're 
ascribing to "content." i don't mean to suggest that i'm going to look 
at com motion graphics with the same interest and intensity as Paul's 
work by any means. but i think that one can ask what motion graphics 
"mean" as to the how and why of its acceptance and ubiquity that can be 
just as critical as anything with more overt and historically 
accessible "content." i'm not trying to flatten them. In fact, i would 
hold out the difference as political. using sources in a somewhat 
transparent and "meant to be read" manner is a difference political 
position that making references opaque and hiding the history and 
appropriation that happens in commodity fetish practice. perhaps this 
is part of my question regarding Lev's talk.

Paul said:
> Anyway, the idea of textual poaching comes from the basic frame of 
> multiple narratives co-existing simultaneously - this is something 
> that Mcluhan pointed out on the record version of "The Medium is The 
> Massage" - a rare record indeed! But it's also something you could 
> find in an Ornette Coleman record like "Free Jazz" or the polyphony of 
> painters like Wilfredo Lam who Picasso famously copied - Wilfredo Lam 
> was Afro-Cuban, and Picasso, was of course, European - who do you 
> think is more well known now?

This is kind of what i thought i was getting at... i don't think the 
qualities that made Picasso more historically archived than Lam are 
"in" the work (i.e. - not in the content), but in the context - as Paul 
(i think rightly) says. At least i thought that's what i was trying to 
say with the point about the critiques of earlier celebrations of 
"hybridity" in theory or "multiculturalism" in the larger US culture. 
Bush has had a _fairly_ diverse cabinet technically speaking, no?
Does that mean one can't criticize his policies as exclusionary?

> Curt: Does an open source programming language or software interface 
> somehow de facto lead to the creation of more "liberated" art than a 
> corporate programming language or software interface?

it's in the valuation of "art" that matters here. Some people would say 
the model of governance does matter, but not if that model is only 
applied to the production of the tool and not extended to the forms of 
reception and distribution. i think Sack's notion of an "aesthetic of 
governance" is worth considering here. but i also know by now that we 
just really differ on these ideas Curt.
But as someone already mentioned, i still maintain that you can't 
separate the technical and cultural so easily... maybe it's my 
assimilation of the Heisenberg principle and John Berger as influences.
maybe i'm getting away from the remix discussion a bit... sorry about 
that. but i think there's still something pressing about the 
convergence of the technical and social that needs to be unpacked (i'm 
just not the person able to do it i guess) here, regarding exclusion 
and homogenization.
anyway, i'm looking forward to hopefully seeing DJ Spooky in Chicago 
next weekend (have good travels Paul).
take care,

More information about the iDC mailing list