Diran Lyons has been producing political remixes for some time. I recently received a tweet of his latest mashup “Political Remix Video: An Interview with Dr. Colin Gardner” which combines selected clips from Lyons’s own previous mashups with an interview with Dr. Gardner, who is professor and chair in the department of art at UC Santa Barbara. Following his previous approach, Lyons’s video mashup questions the way we perceive the moving image, which in this case is redefined as the time image by Dr. Gardner, according to philosophical writings on film by the late French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. The time image questions our expectations of cause and effect; it is an image that reminds us to look beyond the surface of movement. Based on this premise, Lyons goes on to show clips from several films, mass media, and speeches by politicians on the left and the right of American politics. The result is a mashup that takes no sides but questions all things persons could possibly assume about power and absolute positions on right and wrong.
Archive of the category 'video'
During Fall of 2015, I taught two classes in The School of Visual Arts at Penn State, in which students explored creative practice in time based media. Art 316 focused on video art, and Art 415 focused on integrating media to develop experimental works that explored principles of remix, beginning with sound, moving on to the time-based media. The final project for both classes was to evaluate and re-edit selected work produced throughout the term, and organize it into a cohesive body of work. This means that the projects did not need to be organized chronologically.
I share compilations by some of my students below. First are selections from Art 316 followed by selections from Art 415. I believe all of the students in class grew quite a bit in the process of exploring the aesthetics of contemporary time-based media in image, sound, and text.
Art 316 assignments begin with stop motion with no sound. The reason for this is so that students can focus on the image editing process. Eventually, students move on to explore video and sound in relation to text. Some students used music which they composed themselves, others chose pre-existing tracks. What was crucial when using pre-existing sound was that it did not overpower the video footage, but that it developed a balance that allowed for autonomy of the videos as works of their own.
John Guilyard, Video Project, Fall 2015
In Art 316 students explored concepts of sequential media, meaning the concept of movement with different forms of digital visual presentation, such as still graphics, animation, typography and video. The influence of film language across various media disciplines was discussed at length and explored with a hands-on-approach to produce video projects.
Eden Yung, Video Projects, Fall 2015
Students explored concepts of motion in art, film and video. Issues of design practice in time based media in general were covered. Students gained a theoretical and practical understanding of sequential movement.
Brendan Rogers, Video Projects, Fall 2015
Art 415 consisted of an interdisciplinary approach to the production of art and media design. Its conceptual platform is the act of remixing as initially understood in music, which is increasingly influential across media in terms of remix culture. Students were introduced to the basic principles of remix with a hands-on approach in order to develop independently driven projects.
The starting point of class, in terms of hands-on production, consisted of mixing and remixing music with different software. Students then applied their initial knowledge and methodology to image/time-based media and text.
The class consisted of three major projects, each building on the skills, history and theory students learned throughout the term. The class was designed to enable students to acquire a methodology that will eventually help them develop an ambitious vision of their own practice, and complement the eventual production of a thesis and/or portfolio in their respective discipline.
Julianne Weinman, Video Projects, Fall 2015
Video: This video segment is from the early part of DJ Raph’s set at the Iwalewahaus’s opening event for the art exhibition Mashup The Archive.
I was invited to participate in a panel discussion for the Exhibition Mashup the Archive at the Iwalewahaus, Bayreuth. The opening reception took place on May 30, 2015. It was an amazing night. There were three DJs who performed: DJ Raph from Nairobi, who is also an artist and remixed songs from the Iwalewahaus’s sound and music archive, DJ Zhao from Berlin, and musician Spoek Mathambo from South Africa. Their sets were amazing and the sound was so loud that the microphone of the iPhone I used to record excerpts of the performances does no justice to the energy of the party. People danced into the early morning.In this post I share videos of their respective sets, which took place in the order the DJs are listed.
I want to thank Sam Hopkins, Nadine Siegert, and Ulf Vierke for inviting me to participate in the events. I was fortunate to participate in a panel with Beatrice Ferrara, Nina Huber, and Mark Nash. It was a real pleasure to engage in a debate with them on what it means to mashup an archive of African Art. I will be sharing images of the exhibit along with a brief critical reflection in a separate post.
Video: DJ Zhao working the crowd at the Iwalewahaus’s opening for the exhibition Mashup the Archive.
Video: Spoek Mathambo working the crowd at the opening reception of Mashup the Archive.
A Modular Framework: Beyond Tautological History
Essay written for the exhibition A Modular Framework
CCESV, El Salvador
November 9 –December 17, 2010.
by Eduardo Navas
Note: This essay was written for the exhibition A Modular Framework, which took place at the Cultural Center of Spain in El Salvador, November 9 – December 17, 2010. The catalog was never published due to limitation of funds. I considered publishing this essay in art journals focused on Latin American Art, but the response by some was that it was either too specific and could not fit their specific theme at the moment, or that it read too much like an exhibition catalog essay which would not sit well outside of the context for which it was originally written. It has been nearly five years since I wrote the text, and I have decided to release it online, as part of my general research shared on Remix Theory. I am doing this because I believe that it is fair for the artists who participated in the exhibition to have access to the writing I produced. I also think that what I write in terms of critical theory and postcolonial studies may be of interest to people invested in Latin American Art.
Some of the issues raised in terms of the history of new media and Latin America may have changed since I wrote the essay in 2010. I leave it unchanged because I don’t see the point in updating the cultural context given that the exhibit was curated to reflect on the issues at play in 2010. Below is an excerpt. The full text can be downloaded in PDF format.
A Modular Framework is an exhibition that brings together artists from Latin America, or artists who have ties to Latin America, and have been producing new media work since at least the mid-nineties, when new media and digital art began to take shape. Most of the works included in the exhibition are recent, and were chosen as examples of diverse and rigorous art practices. The artists, themselves, while they crossover into art practice at large, are pioneers in digital and new media art in their own countries and for this reason they were invited to participate in the exhibition.
A Modular Framework is the first of its kind in the Central American Region, and as such its purpose is to better acquaint the local culture with new media and digital art practice. At the same time, the exhibit is designed as a marking point, as a fragmentary modular assessment of the rich production of new media art by a specific set of artists who share similarities in their approach to the medium of digital art as a proper practice. The works included comment in one way or another on interconnectivity and possibilities of communication by exploring diverse interests in politics and aesthetics. This diverse activity is the result of a long process of art production that is intertwined with global culture. For this reason, before examining each of the selections, it is necessary to briefly outline the relation of new media and digital art practice in contemporary art history.
The Context of New Media and Digital Art
The type of work produced in new media and digital art is often linked by art and media historians to an interdisciplinary practice defined by the interest to move outside of the gallery as previously explored during the seventies with site-specific art, and especially conceptual and performance art. Of these three, conceptualism has been more often presented as a predecessor of new media and digital art practice. During the nineties, the Internet was viewed by emerging artists, who had online access, as a space in which to present work outside of not only the gallery but also their immediate locality. Such developments have influenced how new media works are currently presented as objects of art in a physical space. The works included in A Modular Framework reflect on this process, from different starting points.
I just received in the mail a hardbound copy of The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies. It’s been such a long process. Editing 41 chapters has been quite an endeavor, but a good one. I would like to thank my co-editors, xtine Burrough and Owen Gallagher, who are just amazing collaborators. This book could not have been published on time had it not been for our mutual diligence in meeting deadlines. I also want to thank the contributors who were just amazing during the long editing process (for a full list of authors see the dedicated site for the book: Remix Studies).
I really hope that researchers, academics and remixers find the anthology worth perusing.
More information on the book:
Figure 1: selected shots from Capote (left) and In Cold Blood (right).
Interdisciplinary Digital Media Studio is a class in the IDS program in The School of Visual Arts (SoVA) at Penn State in which students are introduced to methodologies and conceptual approaches of media design. For the class, I taught them how to research and develop design presentations with the implementation of data analytics for moving images and texts.
One of the assignments consisted in analyzing the films Capote (2005) directed by Bennett Miller and In Cold Blood (1967) directed by Richard Brooks in relation to their corresponding books, Capote by Gerald Clarke and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. We viewed the films in class, and read, both, the novel and the biography. The class then analyzed the respective books by doing word searches, analysis of specific passages, and creative approaches by the respective authors, to then evaluate those searches in relation to the films. For the films I provided montage visualizations, which are selected screen shots representative of all the scenes (figures 2 and 3).
Read the complete entry at Remix Data
Figure 1: four shots from around a third into the film. Left is original edit, Right is chronological edit
During the Fall of 2013, I analyzed Pulp Fiction with my students in my Video Art Class for the School of Visual Arts at Penn State. One of their assignments was to produce a video and then re-edit it to tell the same story but in different order, and therefore explore how aesthetics play a role in experiencing a narrative. We went over a few examples that would give them ideas, some of the links I provided as resources included Pulp Fiction and Memento.
Read the full analysis on remix data.
We have now turned in the manuscript of The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, and can release the Table of Contents. The reader is due for release around December 14, 2014. The TOC is below:
Introduction Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, xtine burrough
Part I: History
1. “Remix and the Dialogic Engine of Culture: A Model for Generative Combinatoriality” Martin Irvine
2. “A Rhetoric of Remix” Scott H. Church
3. “Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal: Reflections on Cut-Copy-Paste Culture” Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss
4. “Toward a Remix Culture: An Existential Perspective” Vito Campanelli
5. “An Oral History of Sampling: From Turntables to Mashups” Kembrew McLeod
6. “Can I Borrow Your Proper Name? Remixing Signatures and the Contemporary Author” Cicero da Silva
7. The Extended Remix: Rhetoric and history Margie Borschke
8. “Culture and Remix: A Theory on Cultural Sublation” Eduardo Navas
Part II: Aesthetics
9. “Remix Strategies in Social Media” Lev Manovich
10. “Remixing Movies and Trailers Before and After the Digital Age” Nicola Maria Dusi
11. “Remixing the Plague of Images: Video Art from Latin America in a Transnational Context” Erandy Vergara
12. “Race & Remix: The Aesthetics of Race in the Visual & Performing Arts” Tashima Thomas
13. “Digital Poetics and Remix Culture: From the Artisanal Image to the Immaterial Image” Monica Tavares
14. “The End of an Aura: Nostalgia, Memory, and the Haunting of Hip-hop” Roy Christopher
15. “Appropriation is Activism” Byron Russell
Part III: Ethics
16. “The Emerging Ethics of Networked Culture” Aram Sinnreich
17. “The Panopticon of Ethical Video Remix Practice” Mette Birk
18. “Cutting Scholarship Together/Apart: Rethinking the Political-Economy of Scholarly Book Publishing” Janneke Adema
19. “Copyright and Fair Use in Remix: From Alarmism to Action” Patricia Aufderheide
20. “I Thought I Made A Vid, But Then You Told Me That I Didn’t: Aesthetics and Boundary Work in the Fan Vidding Community” Katharina Freund
21. “Peeling The Layers of the Onion: Authorship in Mashup and Remix Cultures” John Logie
22. “remixthecontext (a theoretical fiction)” Mark Amerika
Part IV: Politics
23. “A Capital Remix” Rachel O’Dwyer
24. “Remix Practices and Activism: A Semiotic Analysis of Creative Dissent” Paolo Peverini
25. “Political Remix Video as a Vernacular Discourse” Olivia Conti
26. “Locative Media as Remix” Conor McGarrigle
27. “The Politics of John Lennon’s “Imagine”: Contextualizing the Roles of Mashups and New Media in Political Protest” J. Meryl Krieger
28. “Détournement as a Premise of the Remix from Political, Aesthetic, and Technical Perspectives” Nadine Wanono
29. “The New Polymath (Remixing Knowledge)” Rachel Falconer
Part V: Practice
30. “Crises of Meaning in Communities of Creative Appropriation: A Case Study of the 2010 RE/Mixed Media Festival” Tom Tenney
31. “Of ‘REAPPROPRIATIONS'” Gustavo Romano
32. “Aesthetics of Remix: Networked Interactive Objects and Interface Design” Jonah Brucker-Cohen
33. “Reflections on the Amen Break: A Continued History, an Unsettled Ethics” Nate Harrison
34. “Going Crazy with Remix: A Classroom Study by Practice via Lenz v. Universal” xtine burrough and Dr. Emily Erickson
35. “A Remix Artist and Advocate” Desiree D’Alessandro
36. “Occupy / Band Aid Mashup: ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?'” Owen Gallagher
37. “Remixing the Remix” Elisa Kreisinger
38. “A Fair(y) Use Tale” Eric Faden
39. “An Aesthetics of Deception in Political Remix Video” Diran Lyons
40. “Radical Remix: Manifestoon” Jesse Drew
41. “In Two Minds” Kevin Atherton
The catalog for the exhibition Three Junctures of Remix, which took place from January 17 to March 15, 2013 is now available for download as a PDF. I would like to thank the entire gallery staff and committee members for making the exhibition possible, especially Trish Stone, Jordan Crandall, Hector Bracho, Doug Ramsey, and Scott Blair. I especially thank the artists Arcangel Constantini, Mark Amerika & Chad Mossholder, Giselle Beiguelman, and Elisa Kreisinger, who participated in the exhibition, and were generous in providing interviews now published in the catalog.
I recently participated at the El Chopo Museum‘s (Mexico City) series of events titled Bastard Pop. Above is the video archive of my performance which took place on September 7, 2013. The improvisation consists of three major sections. The first is an instrumental remix of Eric B and Rakim’s “Paid in Full” with James Brown’s “Payback.” This one is followed by a remix of John Cage’s “Music for 5 Pianos,” “Music for 4 Pianos,” “Music for 3 Pianos,” and “Music for 2 Pianos” which together form a sound piece I call “John Cage Music for 14 Pianos (Remix).” During the performance I doubled the remix and at one point people heard 28 pianos with different sound effects I set up specifically for the recordings. The last part consists of a remix of Kraftwerk’s “Numbers” with MJ Cole’s “Introduction,” a piece part of his seminal 2step album “Sincere.” The end consists of bass-lines and synth-sounds that I developed with Audiomulch, the software I used for the performance. Throughout the performance I also manipulated the introduction to Laurie Anderson’s “Superman,” which is the last sample heard at the end of the improvisation.
The sound in the space was simply amazing. It is too bad that the videostream went into the red, with the result of sound distortion. At least people online will have an idea about the development of the sound piece. I plan to post a better recording of the improvisation at a later point.