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Archive of the category 'Film'

Timeline of Pulp Fiction: Actual Version and Chronological Edit, by Eduardo Navas

PulpThumbOf4

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.

Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 4 of 7

Above: “Pump Up the Volume – Part 1, The History of House Music”, included in the resource selections below.

List of online resources and music selection for week 4 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.

View:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Week 4
Hip-Hop/House Music/Techno
June 24 – 28, 2013

Music Selection and Relevant Links:

Modulations – History Of Electronic Dance Music Documentary
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cveYosINMQM

Pump Up The Volume – Part 1 – The History Of House Music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcpWFiriv3w
Pump Up The Volume – Part 2 – The History Of House Music
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtSmjnumwew
Pump Up The Volume – The History Of House Music Documentary PT 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxVNW5Fh0g8

Rave – BBC house music documentary from 1992 [1/3]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaLSZy8AfSw
Rave – BBC house music documentary from 1992 [2/3]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuf8dwxdhZ8
Rave – BBC house music documentary from 1992 [3/3]:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDUpxze2II4

Krautrock – The Rebirth of Germany (BBC Documentary) – Full Version
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHUwkYkn_kA

 

Hip Hop Music Selection:

LA Dreamteam – “Rockberry Jam” (1985)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDd3N_uGlKo

Rock Master Scott And The Dynamic Three – “The Roof Is On Fire” (1984)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlAUAIFo7CM

Beastie Boys - License to Ill (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYMSa5PoRK8&list=
PL25B9AE950D56705F

Erik B and Rakim - Paid in Full (Album, 1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Ot0jDQpYY
ErikB and Rakim – “Paid in Full” (Remix)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t8eoA_1jQ
Sample sources for bass-line and drums:
Dennis Edwards – “Don’t Look Any Further”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH3rx8LhrQo
Soul Searchers – “Ashley’s Roach Clip” (break happens around 3:35)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XNr06zoKYg

LL Cool J – “Going Back to Cali” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdizL4on-Rc
LL Cool J – “Illegal Search” (1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nnb-TL-5oY

EPMD – “You Gots to Chill” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUGisre9xNU
Sample taken from Zapp & Roger’s “Bounce to the Ounce”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK6wOG_aDl8

Boogie Down Productions (KRS-One) (1989)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4LAb777Dtg

Ice Cube – AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted (Album, 1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOhkBOsXoB0

Public Enemy “Night of the Living Baseheads” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyR09SP9qdA

A Tribe Called Quest - The Lowend Theory (1991)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEuZWegc34w
A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders (1993)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmaBXE17S00

Wu – Tang Clan - Enter The Wu. Tang – 36 Chambers (Full Album, 1993)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuZVbShtNeU

Dre Dre - The Chronic (Album, 1992)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhOXih3EhF4

2pac - 2Pacalypse Now (Album, 1991)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0wqYeC2J5k

2pac – “Changes” (1992, remixed and released in 1998)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nay31hvEvrY
Samples from Bruce Hornsby and the Range – “The Way It Is” (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOeKidp-iWo

Nas sampled 2Pac’s “Changes” for his song “Black President” (1998)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxdW5ImUy1s

Notorious Big - Ready To Die (Full Album, 1994)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4moqaKUwbY
Biggie Smalls – “One More Chance”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNynDNPQR0g
Biggie Smalls – “One More Chance Remix” (1995)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=132OAFRqoFI
Remix samples from Debarge’s 1993 song “Stay with Me” (sample starts around 2:36)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc4X7tLYqNs

 

House Music Selection (early house):

Anita Ward – “Ring my Bell” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URAqnM1PP5E

Skatt Brothers – “Walk the Night” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q3PkEjKMLc
Extended remix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTH1dW3_E1Y

The Salsoul Orchestra. “Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)”. 12″ Original Remix Shep Pettibone. (1982)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkDmbJegNpw
Short version (break mix):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynSP04nUThk
(Note that in the above mixes you can already hear the drum arrangement that Frankie Bones would come to perfect with drum machines.)

First Choice- “Let No Man Put Asunder” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKOY6xpir90

 

House Music Selection (house proper):

Chip E. – “Time to Jack” (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cUpalmjMZ0

On The House – “Move Your Body” (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enyh56-Q_Cs
(First record to use a piano in house music. Became a house anthem because it uses the word “house” in the lyrics)

Mr. Fingers (Larry Heard) – “Can You Feel it?” (1986)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeiH9Mm0E5Y

Farley Jackmaster Funk – Jack’n The House (1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZFw2aLFX0E

Ralphi Rosario – You Used To Hold Me (1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCVP8-2-DzQ

Phuture – “Acid Trax” (1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKbLI8EufNo

Raze – “Break for Love” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axvKAXi8N8M

“Work it to the Bone” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gg-CPoLKnDo

Jungle Brothers – “I’ll House You” (1989)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFGhQSiGHWM
(The above crosses over to what came to be called “hip-house.” Some house purists did not like rap combined with house. Often times only the dub or instrumental versions of this record was remixed on the dancefloor.) One of various intrumental versions that were released:
“Richie Rich Instrumental”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0k1qLGVjsM

Ten City – That’s The Way Love Is (Underground Mix, 1989)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99jHPfkZX3Y

 

Techno Selection:

Cibotron, “Clear” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGqiBFqWCTU
“Clear” Frankie Bones (founder of House music) Remix:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkrk5Gzo_2A
Also listed under electro-Funk for Week 3
Cibotron, “Cosmic Cars” (1983)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOBUqCIXXWY

Model 500 “No UFOs” (1985)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNz01ty-kTQ

Derrick May – “Nude Photo” (1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIx32rZdENM
(2004 Remix)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7HiL2m63pQ

Derrick May – “Rhythim Is Rhythim” – Strings of Life (Original Mix, 1987)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiCEGXGm-z0

Inner City – “The Good Life” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUwfOOdg4eE
Inner City – “Big Fun” (1988)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omfiVkkJ1OU
Inner City is a crossover act, and is not necessarily considered a techno group, even though Kevin Saunderson is one of the three founders of Techno in Detroit. The songs by Inner City were also mixed with Freestyle and some Electro-Funk, depending on the club.

Joey Beltram – “Energy Flash” (1990)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALsHox5sYCk
Considered a pivotal track in defining the sound of techno particulary in Europe. It is one of the compositions that also opened the door for the aesthetics of trance. Beltram considered his composition to be part of house music, but it eventually became labeled as techno in Europe for selling purposes.

Aphex Twin – Didgeridoo (1992)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5UBYOv1G9A

Carl Cox – “The Player” (1996)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXlgIpcjfxs

Jeff Mills – Metropolis (Full Length, 2001)
Inspired by the film Metropolis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4V7lSNezJs&list=PL45E81DDD3837F6B1

Richie Hawtin – “DE9 | Closer To The Edit” (2001, full-length)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MSymIy9eCY

Juan Atkins – “Flash Flood” (2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ8fszlzX-Q

Hip-Hop to Dubstep: International Music Styles and the Remix, Part 2 of 7

Above: Skatalites Authentic, included in music selections below.

List of online resources and music selection for week 2 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.

View:  Part 1

Week 2
June 10-14, 2013
Dub Music/Hip-Hop

Music selection and relevant links:

Links used to contextualize why everything is not a remix, but why the concept of remixing has become popular to discuss recycling of material in forms beyond music:

Everything is a Remix, Part 1
http://vimeo.com/14912890
Everything is a Remix, Part 2
http://vimeo.com/19447662

 

Historical resources:

History of Jamaican Music Pt 1
(Discusses ska and rock steady)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4J4P6ozT0g
BBC Reggae The Story of Jamaican Music Programme 2 Rebel Music
(Discusses reggae and briefly dub)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvycRljrAH4
BBC Reggae The Story of Jamaican Music Programme 3 As Raw As Ever
(Internationalization of Jamaican music)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnBCnX_Hctk

Dub Stories (full documentary): View the first half. The second half of the documentary is about Dub in France :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Eet-sm8Yw

Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Motown Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkd1c4T5HiE
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Motown Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe9NGrEJQEE
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Otis Redding Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXGallmBcTA
Deep Soul The Up Rising Of Otis Redding Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jFXR6o639g

 

Music Selection from Jamaica, 1960s:

Ska:

Ernest Ranglin, “Liquidation”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ_iZ9iBYBM

Skatalites – Ska Authentic (Album, 1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4kH8PvwDyM&list=
PL0A7039D867DDDA2A

Skatalites – Simmer down (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9HyXc4e7Qc
Youtube’s Music Selection of Skatalites and Ska:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwPLeczyhKg&list=RD02O9HyXc4e7Qc

Rock Steady:

John Holt & The Paragons – “I’ve Got To Get Away” (1968)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRDILYQqUkM
YouTube’s Music Selection of The Paragons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECwMLVUt67c&list=
PL22729AAD8001A0B9

The Melodians – “You Don’t Need Me” (1968)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHe3owGT7iw

Studio 1 recordings:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fCJEmh0G1g&list=RD02uHe3owGT7iw

Reggae (See England)

Dub (mainly 1970s):

Lee Perry and King Jammy – “Rude Boy”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y87id6TGopc

King Tubby & Augustus Pablo – “Ruler Fi Dub”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIhaL04aJpI&noredirect=1
YouTube’s Music Selection of King Tubby:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvYSYOKFCbk&list=RD025iQxCG1c39I

YouTube Music Selection of Mad Professor:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU75iSYyphY&list=RD02ctnz-GciFQ0

 

Music Selection from England, 1960s/70s:

Reggae (recordings took place in England, or were made popular internationally through England, with close ties to Jamaica):

Jimmy Cliff, “The Harder They Come”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGE4dnrPPZQ
Jimmy Cliff & others, YouTube’s Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18EAqHx2lMk&list=RD02ixBo3niO_Do

Bob Marley - Catch a Fire (First Album, 1973):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDadSKdegBo&list=PL9BDE49614C503F66
YouTube Music Selection of Bob Marley:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us7hfASz0g4&list=RD026QC_ZMWTxJU

Bob & Marcia – “Young, Gifted and Black”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubDVUQon5BE
Bob & Marcia – “Really Together”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi6LDdBdvzo

 

Music Selection from the United States, 1960s-70s:

The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23UkIkwy5ZM

Marvin Gaye – “Easy Living” (1964)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzyeHRQdTHQ
YouTube Music Selection of Marvin Gaye:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARWFDoADlqk&list=RD02SzyeHRQdTHQ

James Brown – “The Payback” (1973)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IST6qRfVqwY

Motown Music Selection:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTe06PrXwo4&list=RD02–jWPzNNdN4

 

(Looking ahead to week 3)
How concepts of Dub and the selector & MC/Deejay were popularly introduced in pop music:

Chic – “Good Times” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g6bUe5MDRo

Sugarhill Gang – “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diiL9bqvalo

The Framework of Culture: Remix in Music, Art, and Literature, by Eduardo Navas

Image: The four diagrams of The Framework of Culture. Each is discussed below.

Note: This text was commissioned for the exhibition Reuse Aloud, taking place at the NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle, England; and broadcasting 24 hours a day on basic.fm throughout March, 2013. Many thanks to the curators Will Strong and Rosanna Skett for commissioning the text.  A recorded version is also part of the exhibition.

An earlier version of this text was presented as my keynote speech for Remixed Media Festival in NYC.  In that occassion I only focused on literature. The version for Reuse Aloud was revised to include art and music as well. My thanks to Tom Tenney, director of the NYC festival for giving me the opportunity to test my ideas in front of a very receptive audience.

This text can also be downloaded as a PDF, which is friendlier for print, or for reading on tablets: NavasFrameNC_Web

Introduction

We live in a time when the self-awareness of recycling of material and immaterial things is almost taken for granted. I state almost because, as the following analysis demonstrates, the potential of recycling as a creative act in what we refer to as remix is in constant friction with cultural production. Consequently, the purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the importance of remix as a practice worthy of proper recognition exactly because of its ability to challenge the mainstream’s ambivalent acceptance of aesthetic and critical production that relies on strategies of appropriation, recycling, and recontextualization of material.

Proper recognition is only worthy when it is an attestation of a particular achievement, which can only come about through struggle. Arguably a type of struggle that is certainly recognized and even celebrated quite often, (which admittedly makes for romantic narratives) is the basic human struggle: the will to live. We can think of struggle here as a term spanning across all types of activities, from war to natural disasters—many which are now commonly shared all over the world.

But to begin with a more basic premise, struggle in its most abstract form can simply consist of reflecting on the pain of self-awareness; of having the burden of knowing that we just exist and, for the most part, will do anything to make sure that we will exist for as long as possible. Many of us are willing to find ways to extend our lives before we take our last breath. Others, admittedly, will struggle to leave this world as soon as possible; thus, it may be suicide the subject of struggle in such cases. But this brief reflection on struggle as a humanistic preoccupation is mentioned because we diligently have extended it to everything we produce. It is an important ingredient in what we may call progress.  As romantic as it may sound, human beings have the tendency to struggle in order to be better; whatever that means. And as we have grown as a complex global society, we have been able to extend our struggle on to and through media.

(more…)

Images from the Exhibition Three Junctures of Remix

Image from Cali2′s Flickr stream. From left to right: Mark Amerika, Giselle Beiguelman, Elisa Kreisinger, Arcangel Constantini, Trish Stone, and Eduardo Navas

The opening at Calit2 on January 17 was a complete success.  Many thanks to Jordan Crandall and the gallery committee for their support in the realization of the exhibition. A special thanks to Trish Stone and Hector Bracho and the entire Calit2 team for all their help.  It was truly a great experience.  The discussion panel, which took place just an hour before the official opening will be online very soon, in the meantime I want to point out that there are lots of great pictures on Flickr for anyone interested to view.

More Soon,

Eduardo

Not a Remix–Nor a Sampling: Why Fareed Zakaria’s Plagiarism is Unacceptable

Image: Huffpost

By Eduardo Navas

Note: This entry was updated on August 19, 2012 with an extra commentary at the end of the main text.

As an educator in higher education and researcher specializing in remix culture and authorship, when I first learned about Zakaria’s admission to plagiarism, I was very disappointed in him, and thought that there was no way around it, that his admission of plagiarizing parts of Jill Lepore‘s work on gun control written for the New Yorker puts into question his intellectual integrity.

I thought that his apology was quick and to the point, but that somehow it was not enough. I thought that it was necessary for Zakaria to come forward and explain in as much detail as possible the reasoning for his behavior. And I thought that I wasn’t alone in hoping for this to happen–that if an actual explanation was delivered, it would all serve the constructive purpose of discussing the seriousness of plagiarism with students while providing a concrete example of a public intellectual who committed such an unacceptable act.

I thought that Zakaria should give an extensive explanation, first, simply because he owed it to his audience and readers, who have come to respect his work at CNN, Time and The Washington Post; and second because it would inform, and therefore become, admittedly, an unusual contribution to the debates on intellectual property during a period when younger generations are prone to plagiarize due to the easiness of copying and pasting.

(more…)

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

Research on Remix and Cultural Analytics, Part 5

Image: evaluating sliced visualizations of The Charleston Style remixes at the Vroom at Calit2. View larger image. View other Vroom images by cultvis on Flickr.

In previous posts I discussed how I used cultural analytics to examine video mashups. (See part 1 on the Charleston Mix, part 2 on Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, and part 3 on the Downfall parodies, and part 4, on sliced visualizations of all three case studies.) One thing that is difficult in this process is to view all images at once in order to make the observations that I have discussed so far.  This is when a large tiled screen is useful, such as the one available at the Vroom at Calit2, where the Software Studies Lab in San Diego is  based. Below are images that give an idea of how the large screen is useful to evaluate various images at once.

Image: wide view, 32 tiled-screen at the Vroom, Calit2. See larger image.

This image shows the thirty montage grid visualizations of my second case study, The Lotus Flower Parodies. The advantage in this case is that all thirty videos can be examined at once.  This is something that is impossible on a regular laptop or a large computer screen. Being able to compare images in large scale is not only useful to come up with detailed analysis, but also provides the ability to discuss one’s research with other colleagues.

Image: Tracy Cornish, a researcher at CRCA, points out a detail to a colleague of my Lotus Flower remixes grid visualization. See larger image.

Image: Detailed visualization of Thom Yorke Does the Macarena! See larger image.

Image: Sliced images of Lotus Flower remixes on top of montage grid visualizations. (See part 3 and part 4 my analysis for more on sliced images.)

One of the advantages of the tiled screen, in addition to viewing many images at once and in great detail, is the fact that the files don’t appear inside windows as they would on an average computer.  As the image above makes obvious, you can lay images next to each other, and on top of others, with no frame around them.  While this feature might appear not so important when first considered, I found that it provided me with a sense of immediacy.

Image: Todd Margolis, Technical Director at CRCA, examines grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: alternate view of grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: Todd Margolis, Technical Director at CRCA, examines grid-montage and sliced image visualizations of Lotus Flower Parodies. See larger image.

Image: detail of grid-montage visualization of Charleston Style remixes. See larger image.

Detail of sliced visualization of Downfall parodies. See larger image.

Image: sliced visuazlizations of the three case studies on top of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

Image: detail of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

Going back to my initial point, when considering a large amount of images, such as all Time Magazine covers,  it becomes evident how being able to view several images at once becomes an important part of visualization.

Image: alternate view of Lev Manovich’s and Jeremy Douglass’s Time Magazine covers. See larger image.

Research on Remix and Cultural Analtytics, Part 4

Image: Detail of sliced visualization of thirty video samples of Downfall remixes. See actual visualization below.

As part of my post doctoral research for The Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway, I am using cultural analytics techniques to analyze YouTube video remixes.  My research is done in collaboration with the Software Studies Lab at the University of California, San Diego. A big thank you to CRCA at Calit2 for providing a space for daily work during my stays in San Diego.

The following is an excerpt from an upcoming paper titled, “Modular Complexity and Remix: The Collapse of Time and Space into Search,” to be published in the peer review journal AnthroVision, Vol 1.1. A note will posted here, on Remix Theory, announcing when the complete paper is officially published.

The excerpt below is rather extensive for a blog post, but I find it necessary to share it in order to bring together elements discussed in previous posts on Remix and Cultural Analytics (see part 1 on the Charleston Mix, part 2 on Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, and part 3 on the Downfall parodies). The excerpt has been slightly edited to make direct reference to the previous postings, and therefore reads different from the version in the actual text, which makes reference to sections of the research paper where more extensive analysis is introduced. Consequently, in order for this post to make more sense, the previous three entries mentioned above should also be read.

The following excerpt references sliced visualizations of the three cases studies in order to analyze the patterns of remixing videos on YouTube. The reason for sharing part of my publication now is to bring together the observations made in previous postings, and to make evident how cultural analytics enables researchers invested in the digital humanities to examine cultural objects in new ways that were not possible prior to the digitalization process we have been experiencing for the last decades.

———–

To understand how a meme evolves based on the first remixes that a user may find can be evaluated by developing visualizations of the three cases studies that show the editing of the video footage over time.  To accomplish this, I took the frames of thirty videos of each meme and sliced them in order to examine the types of pattern the editing actually takes.  What we find is that with the Charleston Remixes the video footage stays practically the same except for a few remixes in which the footage of Leon and James dancing was used selectively as part of bigger projects.  “Mr. Scruff – Get a Move on | Charleston videoclip” is one of these exceptions, in which the video is re-edited to match the sound (see slice detail below).  Another is “Charleston & Lindy Hop Dance ReMix – iLLiFieD video.mix (Version),” (also see below).

Image: A two column slice visualization of the 29 of 30 remixes (one remix was omitted because the footage is not the same performance.  That video is not relevant to evaluate how the video footage of this meme is left intact).  For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Charleston Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

Image: this is a slice visualization of “The Charleston and Lindy Hop Dance Remix.”  When comparing this sliced image to other slices in the two-column visualization above, one can notice the selective process with which footage from the Charleston Style was used.   This video is much longer than the original footage, and has been compacted in order to show how the video was selectively edited.  To view this remix, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POupa2sW1UI&feature=player_embedded. This video was uploaded to YouTube on May2, 2009. View large version of this image.

Image: this is a slice visualization of “Mr. Scruff remix.”  When comparing the sliced image to the other slices in the two columns visualization above, one can notice how the same footage was edited repeatedly to match the beat and sections of the song. This video is much longer than the original footage, and has been compacted in order to show how the video was selectively edited.   Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bx5-itIA0pQ.   This video was uploaded to YouTube on January 10, 2008. View large version of this image.

Image: A two-column visualization of Lotus Flower Remixes.  The original video by Radiohead is on the top-left.  Most of the videos sliced in this sample were uploaded within the first two weeks after the original video was uploaded by Radiohead on February 16, 2011. For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Lotus Flower Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

In the Lotus Flower Remixes (See image above) we can note that the editing of the videos is quite diverse; the footage is remixed (heavily edited) to match the beat and the overall feel of the selected songs, with the very first videos.

The Downfall remixes (see figure below) consists of video footage that for the most part has been left intact. What is remixed is the fake translation of Hitler’s rant.  The subtitles for Hitler are sometimes in the middle of the screen, in others at the bottom; sometimes the typeface is small, and at times large.  But in the end the video footage is left intact and the translations very much obey the rhythm of the original editing.

Image: A two-column visualization of The Downfall Parody remixes.  The original video with no subtitles is on the top-left.  Videos sliced in this sample were uploaded between 2007 and 2011.  At the moment it is not certain whether the 2007 upload was the first because many remixes have been taken down by YouTube.  For a full list of this visualization visit: http://remixtheory.net/remixAnalytics/ and select “Downfall Video Slices.” View large version of this image.

Image: Visualization of Downfall video, with proper English subtitles.  The thin horizontal white bars near the bottom of the frame are the subtitles.  To view this video visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bmkUlXp5sk&feature=related.   Some of the remixes present the subtitles in yellow. View large version of this image.

Image: visualization of “Hitler’s Reaction to the new Kiss album,” a video remix in which Hitler rants about the album’s title “Sonic Boom.”  The subtitles (the thin horizontal white bars) in this case move all over the frame.  To view this video visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwOLfppXhsk&feature=youtu.be. View large version of this image.

We can note in the three case studies that the approach of remixing is in part defined by the way the original remix or footage was produced.  With the Charleston Remixes, most contributions leave the video footage intact.  No major editing took place until September 2007, that is a year and four months after the first upload.  With the Lotus Flower Remixes, editing of the footage is done from the very beginning, while with the Downfall parodies, it does not place at all.  Why would this be?

Based on the diagrams (see the link “visualization of links” for each case study on the page remixAnalytics) and patterns of editing that I present, we can note that the later videos are in fact responses to previous productions.  In the Charleston Remixes, the video footage is left intact because it is intact in the first remix.  With Lotus Flower, the original footage by Radiohead is heavily edited, which gives remixers the license to immediately manipulate the footage in selective fashion—by omitting some parts of the footage while repeating others to match the selected songs.  With the Downfall remixes, the result is similar to the Charleston Remix: the footage is practically left alone because the meme demands that the basis of the meme be that only the text be remixed; therefore, the only major shift takes place with the placement of translations on the screen: sometimes on the middle, but for the most part at the bottom.  The only other shift we can notice with the subtitles is that they may crossover from one shot to the next based on the emphasis of the content that the remixer wants to make.  But none of the Charleston and Downfall videos are as heavily edited as the Lotus Flower remixes.  It is also worth noting that these are all selective remixes, which means that they all are dependent on a clear reference to the original source.[1]   If such reference is lost, then, the remix withers, and would become either a badly concocted reference, or simply a product on the verge of plagiarism.

One last element that needs to be considered, which apparently affects the production of the memes, as is also argued by a study on YouTube funded by Telefonica [2], and also supported by the research of Jean Burgess and Joshua Green [3] is that due to the viral emphasis on YouTube, online users are most likely to find an already remixed version of a video, and not the original if the remix has enjoyed more views.  The exception to this is Lotus Flower, for which YouTube apparently always offers the original video as part of possible selections, on the first page of all results.  This is likely because given Radiohead’s popularity, their YouTube channel has a large number of views.  For the Charleston, this is not always the case, as the original footage sometimes will not come up with certain video remixes.  For the Downfall meme, it is even more difficult to speculate how videos produced before 2007 affect users who currently search for the meme, because they are likely to find videos that are popular, but not necessarily the newest nor the oldest—but rather the most relevant based on the terms used for the search in relation to the number of views.

[1] For the full definition of the selective remix see “Selective and Reflexive Mashups.”

[2] Meeyoung Cha, Haewoon Kwak, Pablo Rodriguez, Yong-Yeol Ahn, and Sue Moon, “I Tube, You Tube, Everybody Tubes: Analyzing the World’s Largest User Generated Content Video System,” http://an.kaist.ac.kr/traces/papers/imc131-cha.pdf

[3] For Burgess and Green this is evident based on their assessment of the emphasis of presenting popular videos first, and the fact that YouTube members deliberately find ways to promote their videos to become as popular as possible. See Jean Burgess & Joshua Green, YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture (Cambridge: Polity, 2010), 74.

More Notes on Everything is a Remix and Ferguson’s Lecture at Creative Mornings

Everything is a Remix Part 4 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Part 4 of the Series “Everything is a Remix” (above) has been released on line by Kirby Ferguson. In this last segment, Ferguson retells in large part Lessig’s argument on copyright and free culture (later renamed read/write culture). Kirby points to a “System Failure” in the near future. I don’t have much to add in terms of criticism about the series, given that Ferguson very much hops back and forth between cultural citations and material samplings, not acknowledging the complexity of intertextuality as I already discussed in a previous criticism I wrote about his series.

Another video was recently released by Creative Mornings, in which Ferguson goes over his views on remix as a “metaphor” (below). I wonder why he does not make metaphor a key issue in his videos. One would not have to worry about the watering down of “remix” as a term with a specific meaning in networked culture. But perhaps in the end Ferguson may sense that everything is not a remix. As I previously explained, in the end he is discussing intertextuality.

Well produced videos, worth watching. I think people will change their minds about creativity when viewing them, and this is a real contribution by Ferguson.

2011/08 Kirby Ferguson from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

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