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Archive by October, 2008

DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation To Be Released on November 4

Image source: Amazon.com

More information about Rebirth of a Nation: http://www.rebirthofanation.com/

DJ Spooky has performed live Rebirth of a Nation, a remix of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in various parts of the world. The multi-faceted media performance deconstructs Griffith’s historically important film to expose the politics of racism during and after 1915, the year when the original film was produced.

DJ Spooky is releasing a DVD version of Rebirth of a Nation on November 4 of 2008. The critically minded would not hesitate to think that the release date is not a coincidence, but rather a constructive move on Spooky’s part to remind people that the upcoming presidential election is historically important. The United States has come a long way since the days when Griffith released Birth of a Nation, and on November 4, the title Rebirth of a Nation will take on a new meaning, for no matter what happens after the fourth, the United states will certainly enter a definitive new stage in its history.

Information about the Film and DJ Spooky’s Biography follow below.

http://www.rebirthofanation.com/

http://www.djspooky.com/

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First released in 1915, D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation ignited worldwide controversy with its graphic depictions of racism and white supremacy in the post-Civil War south. Nearly 100 years later, Paul D. MIller- also known as conceptual artist/musician/writer DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid- creates a daring ‘remix’ of Griffith’s epic to expose the film’s true meaning and relate it to the socio-political conflicts of America today. Originally commissioned as a live multimedia performance, Rebirth of a Nation- now featuring an original score by Miller performed by Kronos Quartet- is ‘a DJ mix applied to cinema’ that challenges our legacy of revisionist history as it deconstructs one of the most influential and inflammatory movies of all time.

DJ Spooky (Paul D Miller, born 1970, Washington DC) is a composer, multimedia artist and writer. His written work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Source, Artforum and Rapgun amongst other publications. Miller’s work as a media artist has appeared in a wide variety of contexts such as the Whitney Biennial; The Venice Biennial for Architecture (2000); the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany; Kunsthalle, Vienna; The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and many other museums and galleries. His work “New York Is Now” has been exhibited in the Africa Pavilion of the 52 Venice Biennial 2007, and the Miami/Art Basel fair of 2007. Miller’s first collection of essays, entitled “Rhythm Science” came out on MIT Press 2004, followed by “Sound Unbound,” an anthology of writings on elctronic music and digital media, published in 2008.

Miller’s deep interest in reggae and dub has resulted in a series of compilations, remixes and collections of material from the vaults of the legendary Jamaican label, Trojan Records. Other releases include Optometry (2002), a jazz project featuring some of the best players in the downtown NYC jazz scene, and Dubtometry (2003) featuring Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Mad Professor. Miller’s latest collaborative release, Drums of Death, features Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Chuck D of Public Enemy among others. He also produced material on Yoko Ono’s new album “Yes, I’m a Witch.”

Obama Rickrolling a Mashup

Video-still source: YouTube

“Obama Roll” is a video mashup that has been making the rounds these last few days before the U.S. Presidential election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65I0HNvTDH4&feature=related

The video is clever and funny, with a critical edge. It opens with Obama and Ellen Degeneres dancing to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” When Rick Astley begins to sing, clips of Obama from a number of his rallies are carefully edited to show the presidential candidate singing along with Rick Astley.

This video has developed a discourse of its own, as it was mashed up in a video response in which Senator McCain is shown during the Republican Convention presenting to the Republican audience the very same clip of Obama dancing and singing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TiQCJXpbKg

This second mashup appears quite believable and one can argue is even more successful but only because the “Obama Roll” mashup is quite effective to begin with. If not sure why the term “Roll” is included as part of the title, check out the brief definition of rickrolling on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickroll

Lessig’s Book on Remix Released

Image source: Lessig blog

Lessig’s book on Remix was just released. Like his previous books, the emphasis is on the future of intellectual property. Unlike his other books, Lessig appears to focus on the act of “rip, mix and burn” that he often used to discuss different aspects of online culture. In “Remix” this act is the critical framework to discuss the future of creativity.

People heavily invested in the fine arts might find the use of the term “art” misleading, though. Lessig appears to use the term in broad terms to refer to creative acts that are becoming more common due to the spread of Remix principles.

I’m looking forward to this book making the rounds in networked culture. I hope it proves itself to be Lessig’s most popular publication of them all. Sadly, he claims that it will be his last on the issue:

This is (I expect) the last book I’ll write in this field. Dedicated to Lyman Ray Patterson and Jack Valenti, it pushes three ideas — (1) that this war on our kids has got to stop, (2) that we need to celebrate (and support) the rebirth of a remix culture, and (3) that a new form of business (what I call the “hybrid”) will flourish as we better enable this remix creativity.

I wrote this book last year. Many of the themes were described in 18 minutes in my TED talk. I am very eager to have it out.

Text source:

http://www.lessig.org/blog/2008/08/coming_this_fall_remix.html

ReConstitution 2008: a political remix

Image and text source: ReConstitution 2008

Text taken directly from the site:

ReConstitution is a live audiovisual remix of the 2008 Presidential debates. There will be three performances in three cities, each coinciding with a live broadcast of the debates.

We’ve designed software that allows us to sample and analyze the video, audio, and closed captioned text of the television broadcast. Through a series of visual and sonic transformations we reconstitute the material, revealing linguistic patterns, exposing content and structures, and fundamentally altering the way in which you watch the debates.

The transformed broadcast is projected onto a movie screen for a seated audience.

Join us in witnessing these historical television broadcasts and in reshaping the medium that has reshaped politics for the last half century.

The legibility of the underlying debate is maintained throughout the performance—we don’t want you to miss a word of it.

Sosolimited is a Cambridge based crew of audiovisual designers and artists. For more information on their work, visit.

Thanks to Greg Smith for directing me to this work.

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