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Upcoming Book: Keywords in Remix Studies


Cover concept by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher and xtine burrough
Cover image: DJHughman

I have not posted for many months, the reason being that I have been working on several writing projects. One of them will be released very soon. The cover for Keywords in Remix Studies, to be published by Routledge later this year, has been released. I am so happy to have been able to collaborate once again with xtine burrough and Owen Gallagher. I hope everyone finds the book of relevance in terms of remix as a creative field. Below is a brief description.




Keywords in Remix Studies consists of twenty-four chapters authored by researchers who share interests in remix studies and remix culture throughout the arts and humanities. The essays reflect on the critical, historical and theoretical lineage of remix to the technological production that makes contemporary forms of communication and creativity possible. Remix enjoys international attention as it continues to become a paradigm of reference across many disciplines, due in part to its interdisciplinary nature as an unexpectedly fragmented approach and method useful in various fields to expand specific research interests. The focus on a specific keyword for each essay enables contributors to expose culture and society’s inconclusive relation with the creative process, and questions assumptions about authorship, plagiarism and originality. Keywords in Remix Studies is a resource for scholars, including researchers, practitioners, lecturers and students, interested in some or all aspects of remix studies. It can be a reference manual and introductory resource, as well as a teaching tool across the humanities and social sciences.

A Modular Framework: Beyond Tautological History, by Eduardo Navas

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.

Download the full text in PDF format.

Three Junctures of Remix Catalog Available

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.

–Eduardo Navas

Sound Improvisation at El Chopo Museum, September 7, 2013

Video streaming by Ustream

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.

Panel Discussion for Three Junctures of Remix

Calit2 has made available the panel discussion for the exhibition I curated, Three Junctures of Remix. Artists part of the panel include, in order of appearance, Giselle Beiguelman, Elisa Kreisinger, Mark Amerika, and Arcangel Constanini. The discussion ends with a 10 minute performance by Constanini with his own musical object named Phonotube.


Exhibition: Three Junctures of Remix, Curated by Eduardo Navas

Date: January 17th, 2013
Time: 5p Panel; 6p Reception
Location: Calit2 Auditorium and gallery@calit2, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
Host: Jordan Crandall, Vis Arts and gallery@calit2

Guest Speaker: Eduardo Navas, Curator (pictured); Artwork by
Mark Amerika & Chad Mossholder, Giselle Beiguelman, Arcángel Constantini, Elisa Kreisinger

A panel discussion and reception mark the opening of Three Junctures of Remix, curated by Eduardo Navas. It runs Jan. 17 to March 15 in the gallery@calit2.

The exhibition THREE JUNCTURES OF REMIX features the art of Mark Amerika & Chad Mossholder, Arcángel Constantini, Giselle Beiguelman, and Elisa Kreisinger, a group of international artists who have explored and reflected on the implications of the creative act of remixing since the concept became popular beginning in the nineties. The art works crossover and explore three junctures (moments of production) of remix: the pre-digital/analog; the digital; and the post-digital which developed in chronological order, but after their initial manifestation, became intertwined and currently are often reintroduced in conjunction to inform the aesthetics of remix as a creative act in art practice. The exhibition is curated to reflect on how computing has enabled people to recombine pre-existing material with unprecedented efficiency that is relatively affordable just about everywhere information-based technology is widely used. This has affected how local and global communities view their cultural production, from politics to the arts.


Support RE/Mixed Media Fest

The RE/Mixed Media Festival, now in it’s 3rd year, is an annual celebration of collaborative art-making and creative appropriation. It’s the artists’ contribution to the ongoing conversation about remixing, mashups, copyright law, fair use, and the freedom of artists to access their culture in order to add to and build upon it.

The festival – which this year will take place at the Brooklyn Lyceum – a 3-floor 10,000 sq. ft. venue on the border of the Park Slope and Gowanus neighborhoods of Brooklyn – will feature performances, panel discussions, live musical collaborations, hip-hop, sampling, film & video, DIY, food and drink, DJs, technology, interactive installations, painting, sculpture, software, hacking, and much more!

Read more at KickStarter and Remixedmedia.org

Upcoming Book, Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling

Image: Preliminary cover design and logo for upcoming book by Ludmil Trenkov.

I am very happy to announce that my book Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling is scheduled to be published later on this year, by Springer Wien New York Press.  If all goes according to schedule, it should be available no later than this Fall.  The book offers an in-depth analysis on Remix as a form of discourse.  To get a sense of what to expect, you can read my previously published text, “Regressive and Reflexive Mashups in Sampling Culture,” also available through Springer: http://www.springerlink.com/content/r7r28443320k6012/. You can read my online version as well, though I encourage you to support the publishing company by downloading the official version.

I will offer more information about the book in the near future, such as the table of content, and excerpts from the text. For now I wanted to share the promotional abstract:

Remix Theory: The Aesthetics of Sampling is an analysis of Remix in art, music, and new media. Navas argues that Remix, as a form of discourse, affects culture in ways that go beyond the basic recombination of material. His investigation locates the roots of Remix in early forms of mechanical reproduction, in seven stages, beginning in the nineteenth century with the development of the photo camera and the phonograph, leading to contemporary remix culture. This book places particular emphasis on the rise of Remix in music during the 1970s and ‘80s in relation to art and media at the beginning of the twenty-first Century. Navas argues that Remix is a type of binder, a cultural glue—a virus—that informs and supports contemporary culture.

The Influence of Non-places in the Concept of Latin America, by Eduardo Navas

Paul Ramirez-Jonaz, “Another Day” (2003), video installation, image courtesy of the artist.

This essay, made available here in English and Spanish, was written for  the exhibition Transitio _MX 03, which took place in Mexico City in October 2009. The text was published in December 2010 in Errata, a Colombian journal dedicated to art and culture. The text explores the concept of non-places (which is the foundation of my curation for Transitio), as a recurrent and pervasive  cultural variable not only in Latin America but other parts of the world.

Above and below are images of the works curated in the exhibition, complemented with excerpts from the text.

Download the text in PDF format: English and Spanish. Download the actual publication (only in Spanish)  Also, read the complete journal (only in Spanish).

Sabrina Raaf, “Translator II: Grower, 2004-2006,” Robot and Installation, image courtesy of the artist.


The works included in “Autonomies of Disagreement” were selected to reflect on glocality versus locality in Latin-American production in relation to the concept of non-place.  Glocality is commonly defined with the saying, “act local, think global.” With this concept as a cultural foundation, my curatorial approach was developed to support what I consider a key element of Transitio_MX 2009’s theme of “Autonomies of Disagreement”, as evaluated in the Festival Statement, which is to keep in mind the relevance of geopolitical differences that shape the use of appropriation and technology in artistic practices.

Carlos Rosas, “GPS Pallet Series: (Coordinate) Paintings/ I Think I Got IKEA’d Project, Bulls on Parade: Protest Remixes y Step and Repeat Cycles: Live/ Networked Installation y Remixed Sessions,” Installation.


The term non-place is applied here after the theory of supermodernity introduced in 1992 by Marc Augé in his book Non-places, Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Augé views non-places as areas of transition, such as airports, conditioned with a familiarity that is homogeneous.  He also extends his concept to spaces that need not be visited, but named, or referenced through pervasive images. He argues that people eventually become familiar with such places by mere reference.

Owen Mundy y Joel Dietrick, “Anemophilous Formula for Computer Art,” Wall Projection, real time animation.


Auge’s premise was revisited in 2002 by Hans Ibelings in Supermodernism, Architecture in the Age of Globalization.  Ibelings views the homogeneity of tourism initially examined by Augé to be best expressed in the spectacular architecture of Las Vegas, which metaphorically speaking, names or cites a place.   In other words, Las Vegas is architectural simulacra of other places in the world.

Vicky Funari y Sergio de la Torre, Maquilápolis, video, 2006, Documentary Film.


The Internet also has non-places of its own.  Yahoo, Google, YouTube, Facebook and all other major portals and social networking sites help users navigate online spaces with interfaces that, like the airport, can be considered places of transition, of constant flow and change.  Users in turn feel more comfortable with the material that is accessed because individuals are often allowed and even encouraged to customize their interfaces with bookmarks and various forms of tagging for ongoing access.  Latin American art production is informed by such developments as well as the physical mobility of people from different countries.

The art projects I selected for Transitio_MX, in varying degrees, are informed by the current stage of networked culture; they also expose contradictions of global trends of migration.  Given this focus, not all the artists are “Latin American” but rather their work has an intimacy with issues that are relevant to Latin America as a concept that moves across borders as a collective of complexities that are difficult to define.  This approach opens up a space to discuss how cultural identification today is even more multi-layered than before, which is why the selected projects share questions on how locality and glocality are terms that may be interchangeable according to a person’s particular position in both class and culture–closely defined by education and accessibility to technology.  “Glocality,” as the ability to function locally with a global awareness, is a term that only a certain number of people, unfortunately, are able to contemplate at the moment.  This obviously needs to change, and the works chosen for Transitio_MX aim to demystify this elitism. Glocals are people invested in the actual production of a global culture at an informational level—the most important level in which meaning is currently produced and controlled.  The artists participating in Transitio_MX are part of this small, selected group, and as such have to be conscious of their practice as a critical tool that can ultimately endorse the global system.

Within this critical framework, Another Day (three monitors) 2003, by Paul Ramírez-Jonas (Honduras/ United States) depersonalizes and universalizes the ongoing travel that takes place around the world, by making the sun the traveler.  The video Maquilápolis 2006, by Vicky Funari (United States) and Sergio De La Torre (Mexico/United States) aims to expose the contradictions at play in the global economy on how goods are produced with unfair labor laws.  Translator II: Grower, 2004-06, by Sabrina Raaf (United States) exposes the tension, or discord of dislocation that can be superceded if the migrating subject is willing to come to terms with the displacement of the body by way of mechanical labor.  I THINK I GOT IKEA’D: Finish Fetish and other projects, by Carlos Rosas (Chile/United States) expose how location can become abstracted in terms of painting or sound, while still providing a sense of concreteness by mere citation of concepts. And Anemophilous Formula for Computer Art, by Owen Mundy (United States) and Joelle Dietrick (United States), literally takes apart the concept of non-place, by recontextualizing a paper-wall image of a national park located at an airport lobby.

Read the complete text in PDF format: English and Spanish. Download the actual publication (only in Spanish)  Also, read the complete journal (only in Spanish).

Summary of A Modular Framework, Part 4, curated by Eduardo Navas

The following are videos from a performance that took place on November 11, 2010 at the Cultural Center of Spain in El Salvador, for the Exhibition, A Modular Framework.

Brian Mackern performs his remix of the film, the Stalker by Tarkovsky

Arcangel Constantini remixes noises and video games live for the audience

Antonio Mendoza remixes pop media image and sound

Current Projects






    Remix Theory | is an online resource by Eduardo Navas. To learn more about it read the about page.

    Logo design by Ludmil Trenkov