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Learning By Remixing, by Mark Glaser

Image source: rconversation.blogs.com

Text source: PBS Media Shift

According to a 2005 study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 57 percent of American teens who use the internet could be considered media creators. For the purpose of the study, a media creator was defined as someone who “created a blog or webpage, posted original artwork, photography, stories or videos online or remixed online content into their own new creations.” Most American teens online have done two or more of these activities. 33 percent of teens share what they create online with others. 19 percent create new works by remixing content they appropriated from another source.

America’s children are become media-makers: they are blogging, designing their own websites, podcasting, modding games, making digital movies, creating soundfiles, constructing digital images, and writing fan fiction, to cite just a few examples. As they do so, they are discovering what previous generations of artists knew: art doesn’t emerge whole cloth from individual imaginations. Rather, art emerges through the artist’s engagement with previous cultural materials. Artists build on, take inspiration from, appropriate and transform other artist’s work: they do so by tapping into a cultural tradition or deploying the conventions of a particular genre. Beginning artists undergo an apprenticeship phase during which they try on for size the styles and techniques of other more established artists. And even well established artists work with images and themes that already have some currency within the culture. Of course, this isn’t generally the way we talk about creativity in schools, where the tendency is still to focus on individual artists who rise upon or stand outside any aesthetic tradition.

Read the entire feature at  PBS Media Shift

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