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Archive by January, 2007

Samples from the Heap: Notes on Recycling the Detritus of a Remixed Culture, by Bernard Schütze

King Tubby

Image source: reggae.com
Text source: Zone 0

Mix, mix again, remix: copyleft, cut ‘n’ paste, digital jumble, cross-fade, dub, tweak the knob, drop the needle, spin, merge, morph, bootleg, pirate, plagiarize, enrich, sample, break down, reassemble, multiply input source, merge output, decompose, recompose, erase borders, remix again. These are among many of the possible actions involved in what can be broadly labeled “remix culture” – an umbrella term which covers a wide array of creative stances and initiatives, such as: plunderphonics, detritus.net, recombinant culture, open source, compostmodernism, mash-ups, cut-ups, bastard pop, covers, mixology, peer to peer, creative commons, “surf, sample, manipulate”, and uploadphonix. (more…)

Loops of Perception: sampling, memory, and the semantic web, by Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky

Graph model for IPROnto ontology

Image source: rhizomik.net
Text source: Zone

April/May 2003

“free content fuels innovation”
– Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas

I get asked what I think about sampling a lot, and I’ve always wanted to have a short term to describe the process. Stuff like “collective ownership”, “systems of memory”, and “database logics” never really seem to cut it on the lecture circuit, so I guess you can think of this essay as a soundbite for the sonically-perplexed. This is an essay about memory as a vast playhouse where any sound can be you. Press “play” and this essay says
“here goes”:

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Quintessence: Art History Shake & Bake, by Sara Diamond

Sherrie Levine, After Edward Weston, 1981

Image source: studiolo.org
Text source: Horizon 8

April/May 2003

Side by side, twining, overlapping, influencing, borrowing from itself and mass culture – so runs the last one hundred years of Western art history. In turn, remix culture borrows from many movements within late and post-modernism: appropriation, collage, dada, graffiti, mail art, manipulated objects, photo montage, pop art, process art, scratch video – the beat goes on. The 20th Century avant garde understood the image as a representation, not a thing in itself. They sought to undermine its aura and authenticity, and open up its meaning, through shifting its context and interpretation.

Dada and Collage
Appropriation practices in 20th Century art start with modernism’s fascination with industrial revolution, with essence and progress. The term “collage” derives from the French coller (to glue), and first appears in the work of Picasso – specifically, Still Life with Chair Caning (1912), wherein he used actual chair cane as well as paint. Collage continued through the Dada movement, spilling into surrealism. Inspired by peeling layers of Parisian street posters, LÈo Malet invented dÈcollage: the removal of images from an existing surface. Collage appears in the work of Braque and Picasso, whose work was in turn iterative of early advertisements. Remix is a form of collage.

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The Color of Money, by Greg Tate

Image source: Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
Text source: The Nation

February 9, 2006

All of these books are as much about politics as popular culture and the art of the MC–not to mention his cousins the break dancer, the turntablist and the spray-can artist. This will surprise no one who knows that black art, black pop and black politics have long been intertwined modes of resistance in the African diaspora, from the coded liberation theology of plantation spirituals to the oppositional wit of Delta blues, New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop, Motown and Stax soul, free jazz, funk, black rock, salsa and reggae. Reading these books about hip-hop can provoke a sense of nostalgia and paradox for someone like this writer, who has watched and occasionally abetted the light-speed journey hip-hop has made in less than twenty years from folk culture to commercial subculture to global youth culture to global capitalist marketing tool. The nostalgia derives from a pronounced sense of loss, the kind former Black Panther Elaine Brown captured in the title of her memoir, A Taste of Power. (more…)

Open Source at 90 MPH, by Bruno Giussani


Image source: theoscarproject.org
Text source: Business Week
December 8, 2006

Inspired by Linux, the OScar project aims to build a car by tapping the knowledge of a volunteer team. It won’t be an easy ride, but their journey is important

The computer operating system Linux and the Web browser Firefox are generally considered the two biggest successes of the movement to develop open-source programs—software anyone can modify, transform, and redistribute back into the community. While there are thousands of other examples, Linux and Firefox have managed to mount serious competition to established commercial products, and have therefore come to represent this specific, collective mode of creation.

But Linux and Firefox are made of bits. They are immaterial. Bits can be shared and sent around easily, so that distant people can work on them concurrently; bugs can be corrected almost instantly; new versions containing updates, improvements, or fixes can be released virtually for free.

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A Critical Reflection on Four a minima:: Texts for the Exhibition NOW 2006, by Eduardo Navas

Image source: a minima PDF, feature on Marta Menezes’s DNA altered Butterflies. Available at newmediaFIX

This text was written to be part of a curatorial participation by a minima:: magazine in the exhibition NOW 2006, which took place at the CCCB.

Read Spanish Version

For a minima’s participation in Now, I have chosen four texts invested in the crossover of art, science and technology. The texts are “Nature?” by Marta de Menezes, “Observation, Interference and Evolutionary Relationships. (An overview of the Phumox project) – Phumox? What’s that?” by Andy Gracie, “Convergent Realities: art, technology consciousness from the planetary perspective” by Roy Ascott, “Artport” and “Not Just Art—from Media Art to Artware” by Christiane Paul. The first two texts, written by artists/researchers, could be read as honest attempts to cross over art, science and technology; the last two texts, written by theorists, can be read as reflections on such practices. The four texts are sensitive to contextualization and critical commentary, which are expected of art practice today, as well as the urge to do research for the sake of understanding the world and develop technology to do it, which is expected of science and technology.

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Una reflexión critica sobre cuatro textos de la revista a minima:: para la exhibición NOW 2006, por Eduardo Navas

Image source: a minima PDF, feature on Marta Menezes’s DNA altered Butterflies. Available at newmediaFIX

Este texto fue escrito para la participación curatorial de la revista a minima:: en la exhibición NOW 2006, la cual se llevó a cabo en el CCCB durante Noviembre del 2006,.
Lea la versión en inglés

Para la participación de a minima en Now, he escogido cuatro textos que se enfocan en el cruce cultural entre arte, ciencia y tecnología. Los textos son “Nature?” por Marta de Menezes, “Observation, Interference and Evolutionary Relationships. (An overview of the Phumox project) – Phumox? What’s that?” por Andy Gracie, “Convergent Realities: art, technology consciousness from the planetary perspective” por Roy Ascott, “Artport” y “Not Just Art—from Media Art to Artware” por Christiane Paul. Los primeros dos textos, escritos por artistas/investigadores activos en el arte, podrian ser considerados atentos en cruzar entre el arte, ciencia y tecnología; mientras que los dos últimos, escritos por teóricos, podrian ser reflecciones sobre tales practicas. Los cuatro textos son sensitivos a la contextualización y comentario crítico, los cuales son esperados de la practica del arte hoy, junto con el impulso de desarrollar investigaciones por la necesidad de comprender el mundo y desarrollar la tecnología para hacerlo, lo cual es esperado de la ciencia y la tecnología.

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On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972

Text and image source: Ubu Web
A video documentary combining exhibition footage of the Situationist International exhibitions with film footage of the 1968 Paris student uprising, and graffiti and slogans based on the ideas of Guy Debord (one of the foremost spokesmen of the Situationist International movement). Also includes commentary by leading art critics Greil Marcus, Thomas Levine, and artists Malcolm Mac Laren and Jamie Reid. Branka Bogdanov, Director and producer. NTSC-VHS 22 min. 1989 

View video at Ubu Web

The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin by William S. Burroughs


William Burroughs by Jenny Long
Image source: theartark.com
Text Source: UbuWeb

At a surrealist rally in the 1920s Tristan Tzara the man from nowhere proposed to create a poem on the spot by pulling words out of a hat. A riot ensued wrecked the theater. Andr Breton expelled Tristan Tzara from the movement and grounded the cut-ups on the Freudian couch.

In the summer of 1959 Brion Gysin painter and writer cut newspaper articles into sections and rearranged the sections at random. Minutes to Go resulted from this initial cut-up experiment. Minutes to Go contains unedited unchanged cut ups emerging as quite coherent and meaningful prose. The cut-up method brings to writers the collage, which has been used by painters for fifty years. And used by the moving and still camera. In fact all street shots from movie or still cameras are by the unpredictable factors of passers by and juxtaposition cut-ups. And photographers will tell you that often their best shots are accidents . . . writers will tell you the same. The best writing seems to be done almost by accident but writers until the cut-up method was made explicit all writing is in fact cut ups. I will return to this pointhad no way to produce the accident of spontaneity. You can not will spontaneity. But you can introduce the unpredictable spontaneous factor with a pair of scissors.

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The Internet DJ by Chris Alden

Source: The Guardian UK
Thursday April 14, 2005

MP3 blogs are growing in popularity, attracting thousands of users daily. But while bloggers see their relationship with the industry as one of cooperation, it is a legally grey area. Chris Alden reports

The Guardian

“Find a feeling, pass it on.” So sang pop dreamers The Coral two summers ago: these days, it’s the mantra of a new breed of musical bloggers.

MP3 bloggers, as they are known, are people who hunt down and post musical gems — usually hard-to-find or niche MP3s — for others to discuss and, for a limited time, download.

Simon Pott from Bristol is one. As main contributor to Spoilt Victorian Child, a group blog named after a 1993 B-side by The Fall, he thinks of himself as a kind of DJ for the internet.

“I can’t help it,” he says. “If you pick a record up or are listening to something great, you can’t wait to play it out and share your excitement. When I’m at home listening through my records I get the same feeling.”

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