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Archive by June, 2007

Imagining modernity, revising tradition: Nor-tec music in Tijuana and other borders, by Alejandro L. Madrid

Image source: Youtube

Text source: Look Smart: Find Articles

December 2005

Based on extensive fieldwork in Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Mexico City, this article explores the intersections of identity, modernity, desire, and marginality in the production, distribution, and transnational consumption of Nor-tec music. Tijuana musicians developed Nor-tec by combining sounds sampled from traditional music of the north of Mexico (conjunto norteno and banda) with compositional techniques borrowed from techno music. The resulting style reflects the current re-elaboration of tradition in relation to imaginary articulations of modernity that takes place in Tijuana’s youth border culture.

Read the entire text at Look Smart: Find Articles

Announcing the Launch of Vague Terrain 07: Sample Culture

Image source: Vague Terrain

Note: The following is an announcement of Vague Terrain’s latest issue, in which I’m very happy to be a contributor. Make sure to also peruse their previous releases on Minimalism, Locative Media and Generative Art among others.


The latest edition of the Toronto based digital arts quarterly vagueterrain.net is now live. The issue, vague terrain 07: sample culture is a provocative exploration of contemporary sampling of sound, image and information. This body of work examines the remix as a critical practice while addressing broader issues of ownership and intellectual property.

Vague terrain 07: sample culture contains work from: brad collard, christian marc schmidt, defasten, des cailloux et du carbone, [dNASAb], eduardo navas, eskaei, freida abtan, jakob thiesen, jennifer a. machiorlatti, jeremy rotsztain, noah pred, ortiz, rebekah farrugia, and an interview with ezekiel honig conducted by evan saskin.

For more information please see http://www.vagueterrain.net

The Blogger as Producer, by Eduardo Navas

Image source: http://blog.monty.de/?p=256

This text was published in April 2007 in the edited book Installando/Installing, by the Chilean Colletive Troyano.

Revised in January 2007. Originally published in Netartreview in March, 2005

Read in Spanish


This text considers the position of the “collaborator” as defined by Walter Benjamin in the first half of the twentieth century in relation to the blogger at the beginning of the twenty-first. The text considers the concept of anarcho-communism and the role of the gift economy in online culture as defined by Richard Barbrook to better understand the critical position of bloggers.


El blogger cómo productor, por Eduardo Navas

Origen de Imagen: http://blog.monty.de/?p=256

Read in English

Revisado, Enero 2007. Publicado originalmente en Netartreview, Marzo 2005.
Este texto fue publicado en Abril del 2007 en la publicación Installando/Installing, editada por el Colectivo Chileno Troyano.


Este texto considera la posición crítica del “colaborador” de acuerdo a Walter Benjamin durante la primera parte del siglo veinte en relación al bloger al princípio del siglo veinte-uno. El texto considera el concepto del anarco-comunismo y el papel que juega el intercambio de regalos en comunidades virtuales de acuerdo a Richard Barbrook, para mejor entender la posición de los blogers en la cultura de la red.

Supposing a Space: The Detecting Subject in Paul Auster’s City of Glass, by Richard Swope

Text source: reconstruction.eserver.org

Focusing specifically on City of Glass, analyzing the relationship between the story’s protagonist and the city he inhabits (or the city that inhabits him), Richard Swope furthers the growing scholarship of Auster’s work and its relation to space through an examination of Auster’s detectives and Henri Lefebvre’s spatial theories. Coming to grips with a shattered reality, Swope argues, Auster’s detective makes a thoughtful excursion into the uncertainties of urban life and the unreliability of the facts that has come to be understood as postructuralist reality.

Supposing a Space: The Detecting Subject in Paul Auster’s City of Glass [printable version]

Richard Swope

1. Paul Auster’s City of Glass, the first book in The New York Trilogy, offers a prototype for metaphysical detective fiction, a genre marked by its use and abuse of the conventions of the classic detective story. While the classic detective arrives at a solution to a crime, the more recent metaphysical “sleuth finds himself confronting the insoluble mysteries of his own interpretation and his own identity” (Merivale and Sweeney 2) [1]. Auster’s work in particular has been recognized for its investigation of such mysteries. As Alison Russell notes, rather than locating a missing person or solving a murder, Auster’s detective “becomes a pilgrim searching for correspondence between signifiers and signifieds” while also undertaking “a quest for his own identity” (72-3). In City of Glass, however, the questor can never arrive at his desired destination, for in this world signifiers are not attached to signifieds, while the distinction between self and other no longer holds. Language (or its interpretation) and identity are not, however, the only “insoluble mysteries” that we confront within the pages of City of Glass; Auster’s novel also explicitly speculates on the nature, or to use Henri Lefebvre’s terms, the production of social space [2], which includes exploring the connections between the production of space and the formation of identity.

Reat the entire text at  reconstruction.eserver.org

Hip Hop Book Recommendations from WFY (Reblog)

Image and text source: Wired for Youth

Note: I recently found the following list of books about hip hop culture (some already well-known and respected must reads). Many of them are directly related to the roots of remix culture, others are great sources for understanding the politics of culture in the United States.

Recommendations follow:

Non-fiction: Hip Hop

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop : A History of the Hip Hop Generation
Jeff Chang
306.484249 CH

Considered one of the best books on hip-hop, “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” traces the evolution of hip-hop from its roots in the music of 1960s Jamaica throught its development in New York and its eventual spread throughout the mainstream world. Jeff Chang collected hundreds of interviews with important hip-hop pioneers to create this classic book. “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” is a must read for anyone interested in hip-hop, graffiti, and breakdancing history.

subjects: Rap (Music)—History and criticism, Hip-hop, Music—Social aspects.

Breakdancing, Beatbox, deejayin to Cannon D on Youtube (Blogged at KnowProSE as Cultural Remix: Korea meets Breakdancing meets…)

Image  & video source: Youtube

Note: This particular video is contextualized as a “Remix.”  I’m not sure I would agree completely, because it is more of a performative hybrid of different styles–rather than a sampling of material.  Regardless I do find the comments by

Text source: KnowProSE.com

Tue, 05/09/2006 – 02:01 — KnowProSE

I like a good remix. As I was surfing around tonight, I found this one.

Korea & Breakdancing. Korea & Beatboxing. Gayageum & Pachabel in D Major (I think…). Classical and Scratching with a backbeat. The list goes on.

All made visible through a video on the internet. Go figure.

You’ll need decent bandwidth to get this thing to run smoothly. With a 256K ADSL connection, it was hard to get past the ‘buffering’ aspect. I wouldn’t suggest it on a dial-up connection.

But it is very, very, very cool. Wish I could save it somewhere and watch it without the interruptions…

I also wish I could pretend that I could do anything but appreciate the video. Cool.

‘Copyright criminals’ look to remix the noise–legally, by Daniel Terdiman

Image source: Copyright Criminals

Text source: Cnet

When Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky, says he thinks musicians should be able to remix samples of others’ clips into new works, he puts his money where his mouth is.

Miller is part of a group of musicians including Public Enemy’s Chuck D; Parliament Funkadelic’s George Clinton; and the band De La Soul who are allowing the public to mash up audio snippets from interviews they’ve given into submissions for a new remixing competition.

The Copyright Criminals Remix Contest, which is sponsored by the nonprofit copyright licensing organization Creative Commons, is all about promoting remixing culture and encouraging artists like Miller to make their work legally and affordably available for other musicians to manipulate.

Creative Commons has built a licensing system that allows content creators to decide which usage rights to their work to grant others. In every case, the licenses require attribution to the creator. Some allow users to manipulate licensed work for any non-commercial purpose, while others don’t. The ultimate point is to faciliate copyrights that are flexible on which rights users get.

Read the entire article at Cnet

Behind the Glass Wall, by Christopher Mason

Photo credit: David McCabe

Image and text source: NY Times

June 7, 2007

WHEN Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., officially opens to the public on June 21, paying visitors will have a chance to explore one of the world’s most celebrated works of Modernism for the first time since its completion in 1949. The diminutive glass-and-steel building and its uncluttered interior, which have barely changed in 58 years, are so spare that it is hard to imagine that anyone ever lived there. But for nearly all that time, it was the constantly used country retreat of its round-spectacled creator, who shared it after 1960 with David Whitney.

For Mr. Johnson, pictured in 1964, and his companion, David Whitney, the Glass House was a comfortable retreat from the world.

Read the entire article at NY Times

Step Away From the Sampler, by Peter Kirn

Image and text source: Key Board Mag

January 2005

Court rules all digital sampling illegal and the record industry objects — but you still have options

Get this: According to a fall 2004 ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, any use of a digital sample of a recording without a license is a violation of copyright, regardless of size or significance. In its decision in Bridgeport Music et al. vs. Dimension Films, the court said simply, “Get a license or do not sample. We do not see this as stifling creativity in any way.”

“As far as sampling of recordings, they didn’t make it gray; they made it a line in the sand,” says Jay Cooper, a leading entertainment arts lawyer and a former president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). Previously, courts had applied the question of size and significance to copyright infringement claims, but the new ruling changes that for sampling. Cooper says, “I think they went a little far afield from what the law has been in the past. Basically, the law has generally been there has to be more than a minimal use . . . this case basically said that you could take one note and that could be copyright infringement. They really did say that.”


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