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Art Packets & Cultural Politics: A brief reflection on the work of Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy, by Eduardo Navas

Image: Joelle Dietrick and Owen Mundy, “Grid Sequence Me and The Sea is a Smooth Space,” 2013, Three Channel Projection Dimensions variable, Flashpoint Gallery, Washington D.C., Photographs by Brandon Webster

The following essay was published in Joelle Dietrick’s and Owen Mundy’s art catalog survey of their ongoing art collaboration titled Packet Switching, published at the end of 2014. A PDF of the actual catalog is available for download. I want to thank Joelle and Owen for inviting me to write about their work, which, as the essay should make evident, I consider an important contribution to contemporary media art practice.


Joelle Dietrick’s and Owen Mundy’s ongoing body of work titled Packet Switching focuses on the relation among information exchange, architecture, and social issues. They examine and appropriate the action of data transfer across networks to show the major implications that these three cultural elements have at large.  Packet Switching, in technical terms, is straight-forward; it is designed to be practical, to transfer information over a network, broken into small pieces at point A then to be sent to point B, where it is put back together. Each packet does not necessarily take the same route, and may even go through different cities around the world before it gets to its final destination. The technology that makes this possible was first introduced as a strategic tactic by the U.S. Government to win The Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and 60s the relation between the military and research universities was the foundation of our contemporary networked culture.[1]  Packet switching was used to send information from and to various centers across the United States. Such a decentralized system of intelligence was developed in case of a Soviet Attack. The network used for this information exchange eventually became the foundation of the Internet.[2] It is evident that delivering information from point A to point B was politically motivated, and in this sense its cultural implementation was pre-defined by the struggle for global power.


Routledge Companion to Remix Studies Now Available

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:

Routledge: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415716253/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Routledge-Companion-Remix-Studies-Companions/dp/041571625X


The Steve Reich Remixes

The Steve Reich Remixes consists of  four mashups of  selected tracks of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians.

I selected tracks from Reich’s original recordings based on their time: 6, 5, 4, or 3 minutes, and matched them to end at the same time. The tracks part of each mix last more than the number which appears in its proper title (after the @) but less than an extra full minute. These remixes are developed based on my previous experimentation with chance in mashups of John Cage’s Compositions for Piano.

Table of Contents for the Routledge Companion to Remix Studies Available

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


John Cage 2 Compositions for Piano @ 3 (Remix)

John Cage 2 Compositions for Piano @ 3 (Remix) is a mashup of two compositions that last just over three minutes. After listening to the compositions over the years, I realized that a mashup of the two recordings would follow the principles of chance as promoted by Cage.  The compositions mashed include:

1) And the Earth Shall Bear Again: 3:15
2) Spontaneous Earth: 3:05

This mashup is part of an ongoing series of remixes of John Cage piano compositions.

The recordings were performed by Steffen Schleiermacher, and released in John Cage Complete Piano Music Volume1 & 2, 1998.

John Cage 7 Compositions for Piano @ 2 (Remix)

John Cage 7 Compositions for Piano @ 2 (Remix) is a mashup of compositions that last just over two minutes  thirty seconds. After listening to the compositions over the years, I realized that a mashup of the seven recordings would follow the principles of chance as promoted by Cage.  The compositions mashed include:

Music for Piano 20: 2:33
Music for Piano 85: 2:16
Totem Ancestor: 2:20
A Room: 2:26
Tossed as it is Untroubled: 2:31
Tripple Paced: 2:25
The Unavailable Memory of: 2:22

This mashup is part of an ongoing series of remixes of John Cage piano compositions.

The recordings were performed by Steffen Schleiermacher, and released in John Cage Complete Piano Music Volume1 & 2, 1998.

John Cage Music for 14 Pianos (Remix)

John Cage Music for 14 Pianos (Remix) is a mashup of Cage’s “Music for 5 Pianos,” “Music for 4 Pianos,” “Music for 3 Pianos,” and “Music for 2 Pianos.” All four pieces are 7 minutes plus a few seconds long. After listening to the compositions over the years, I realized that a mashup of the four recordings would follow the principles of chance as promoted by Cage. As a result this piece is part of a series of Cage remixes I will be releasing in the near future.

I will be remixing “Music for 14 Pianos” live at the upcoming event on September 7, 2013 at the El Chopo Museum, UNAM in Mexico City, at which point it will become part of much longer performance.

The recordings were performed by Steffen Schleiermacher, and released in John Cage Complete Piano Music Volume1 & 2, 1998.

Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 5 of 7

Above: “portishead – documentaire – 1998 (welcome to portishead)”, included in the resource selections below.

List of online resources and music selection for week 5 of Hip-Hop to Dubstep, taught during the summer of 2013 at The New School’s  Media Studies, Department of Communication. I will be releasing brief notes based on my class lectures in the near future. If interested in looking at the actual class webpage with all the weekly selections at once, feel free to peruse this link: http://navasse.net/NS/NCOM3039A/. My notes will not be available on the class webpage, only on each corresponding entry here on Remix Theory. Please note that links may become broken. If and when this happens, the best thing to do is to search for the source by name. And do let me know if anything is broken and I will look into it.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Week 5
Trip-Hop/Downtempo/Drum ‘n’ Bass
July 1 – July 5, 2013

Music Selection and Relevant Links:

The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode I – What is Drum and Bass?
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode II – What is a Rave?
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode III – The Master of Ceremony
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode IV – The Life of a DJ
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode V – Making Music
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode VI – The Next Generation
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode VII – The Future
The Drum and Bass Diaries: Episode VIII – The Love

The Bristol Sound
MASSIVE ATTACK PORTISHEAD Bristol Academy, 19th February 2005
portishead – documentaire – 1998 (welcome to portishead)

Roni Size – BBC 2 – The Works Documentary Part 1
Roni Size – BBC 2 – The Works Documentary Part 2

To undestand the process and history of sampling, view Nate Harrison’s
“Amen Break”
The Winstons – “Amen Brother”

The concept album (to be considered in relation to noise and the studio as a music instrument):
The Pet Sounds/Sgt. Pepper Connection-Part 1
The Pet Sounds/Sgt. Pepper Connection-Part 2

Trip-Hop/Downtempo Selection:

Double Dee and Steinski Lesson 1:
Double Dee and Steinski Lesson 2 (1984):
Double Dee and Steinki Lesson 3 (1985):

Coldcut – “Say Kids What time is it?” (1987)
Coldcut – “Beats and Pieces” (1987)
(Coldcut remixed Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid in Full” thanks to the recognition of the two tracks above. See week 4 for links that explain more about “Paid in full.”)
Coldcut was heavily influenced by the aesthetics of cut & paste as performed on the turntables by Grandmaster Flash on his well-known “Grandmaster
Flash’s Adventures on the Wheels of Steel” (1981)

DJ Shadow – “Midnight in a Perfect World”
JFB Midnight (Dj Shadow) Routine
Midnight In A Perfect World (Extended Version) – DJ Shadow
DJ Shadow – Midnight In A Perfect World [Gab Remix]

Massive Attack – Protection (1994)
Mad Professor vs. Massive Attack – No Protection (1994)

Massive Attack – “Thankful for what you’ve got” (1991)
The above is a cover of Vaughn’s original recording:
William De Vaughn – “Thankful for What You’ve Got”
William De Vaughn’s composition was recorded in various dance versions (currently not sure of proper authors of these remixes):
Remixed by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne

Worth considering how Massive Attack’s cover gets remixed to fit the dialogue of a film (pay attention to how the verses get rearranged to complement the film):

Portishead – Dummy (1994)
Portishead – Roseland New York City (Live)

Portishead – Numb
Portishead – Numb (remix)

Portishead – “Sour Times”
Blondie – “Heart of Glass”
Mashup – “Sour Glass” a mashup of Portishead “Sour Times” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”:

Massive Attack and Portishead – Glorybox

Nightmares on Wax YouTube Music Selection from the Album Carboot Soul (1999):

DJ Kicks’ Thievery Corporation (1999)
Thievery Corporation Live at KCRW (2011)

Kruder and Dorfmeister (KD Sessions)
First song in the KD session above is a remix of Roni Size’s “Heroes”(1997) :
Roni Size “Heroes”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xb7fQhz21OU

DJ Crush’s Strictly Turntablized (1995)

Tricky – “Aftermath” (1995)
Tricky – Maxinquaye (Album, 1995)


Early Drum ‘n’ Bass (Jungle) Selection (note selection starts in the mid-nineties, just as Jungle is coming out of hardcore):

Shy FX & UK Apachi – Original nuttah (1994)

Marvelous Cain – Hitman (1994)
Arguably a popular intro to cut into a set. Note the influence of dancehall in this version. Also note the Amen Break: Marvelous Cain – “Hitman (Dream Team Mix)”
Marvelous Cain – “Jump Up” (1994)

DJ Hype & Ganja Max (Feat MC Fats & DJ Daddy) – “Rinse Out” (1995)

TDK – “Friday” (Circa mid-90s)

Splash – “Babylon” (1995)

Rude Bwoy Monty – “Summer Sumting” (1995)

Krome & Time – “Licence” (1995)
(Note that it uses the splced amen break)
Krome & Time – “Ganja Man” (1995)

Droppin’ Science – “Easy” (1995)


Drum ‘n’ Bass Selection:

Goldie – Timeless (1995)

Goldie – “What You Won’t Do for Love (Radio Edit)” (1998)
Compare Goldie’s version with 2pac’s “Do For Love” (1997)
Original by Bobby Caldwell – “What You Won’t Do for Love”(1978)

Photek – Selections from Modus Operandi (1997)
Photek – various selections
Photek – “Knitevision” (1998)

Roni Size & Reprazent – Selections from New Forms (1997)
Roni Size – “Watching Windows” (1997)
Nuyorican Soul Remix of Roni Size’s “Watching Windows”

DJ Die – “Slide Away” (1998)

Adam F – “Brand New Funk” (1998)

Ray Keith – “Do it” (1998)

Todd Terry – “Blackout” (1999)
Todd Terry – Resolutions (1999)

Digital – “Far Out” (Remix) (1997)

Ed Rush – Sabotage (1997)

Aphrodite Music Selection

Kemistry & Storm, radio session (1997)


Jazz/Ambient Drum ‘n’ Bass Selection:

T. Power vs. MK Ultra – “Mutant Jazz” (1995)

LTJ Bukem – Logical Progressions (1996-2000)

Cujo – “Traffic” (1997)

Kosma – “Aeroboot” (2002)

Red Snapper – “Crusoe Takes a Trip” (1996)


Drum ‘n’ Bass covers/versions worth of note:

Sade – “Sweetest Taboo”
Sweet Corner – “Sweetest Taboo”

Beatles, “Come Together”
MC Olive, “Come Together” (1995)

Inia Kamose – “Here Comes the Hotstepper”
Ini Kamose – “Here Comes the Hotstepper” (Booyaka Remix) (1995)
The hip hop version takes the chorus from “Land of a Thousand Dances” by The Head Hunters (1965)
R & B version by Wilson Pickett was more popular (1966):


Image source: Basic.fm

Note: Very happy to be participating in the upcoming exhibition, ” Reuse Aloud.”  Information below.

Directly from the basic.fm blog:

Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema and The NewBridge Project present Reuse Aloud, a month-long exhibition and radio broadcast throughout March 2013 featuring work from national and international artists, musicians and writers.

The project will be hosted in The NewBridge Project Space on New Bridge Street West and broadcast on Tyneside Cinema’s online radio station basic.fm as part of its digital arts programme, Pixel Palace.

Reuse Aloud is curated by Will Strong and Rosanna Skett and will examine the art of using old and existing compositions to make something new, and ask questions about originality in the digital age.

It will do this through an ambitious schedule of live and pre-recorded work with contributions from artists and musicians from across the globe, including critically acclaimed artists Frank Nora, Eduardo Navas and Natalia Skobeeva, DJs and mashup pioneers Z-trip and Girl Talk, and award-winning Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman.

Throughout March a radio booth will be installed in the NewBridge Project Space and it will broadcast 24 hours a day on basic.fm.

Reuse Aloud will open to the public at 5pm on Friday 1 March with a preview event featuring new work from artists Andy Ingamells, Sam Christie, Jess Rose, Rachel Magdeburg and Joe Pochciol.

The project space will be open to the public Monday-Friday, 12noon–6pm throughout March and will culminate in a live 24-hour broadcast marathon starting at 6pm, Friday 29 March and running until 6pm, Saturday 30 March.


Regular updates about Reuse Aloud can be found at:
www.thenewbridgeproject.com <http://www.thenewbridgeproject.com/>

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.


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