Great videos on the creative culture and remixing…

I’ve finally got around to watching the first two parts of ‘Everything is a Remix‘, (h/t Rubbishcorp and Only Dead Fish), and it’s a really good series of realtively short videos looking at the pervasive remix culture which has become more explicitly acknowledged in the digital era:

Part 1:

Everything is a Remix from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

Part 2:

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

It’s very well-made and crafted, and Kirby Ferguson does a great job of pulling together a huge number of sources and insights. And oddly enough in the spirit of remixing, it reminds me a lot of another great film about remix culture, RIP! A Remix Manifesto, written and directed by Brett Gaylor.

What’s particularly interesting is that Kirby lists RIP! in his references section, alongside another film, ‘Good Copy Bad Copy‘, which begins which features DJ and remixer Girl Talk from the start – who also plays a big part in RIP.

All three are worth watching, and it’s interesting to see the similarities, differences and shared influences. And if anyone goes on about how bad remix and mash-up culture is for artistic endeavours, or consumers, it gives me a lot of hope that talented filmakers around the world are creating great documantary remixes on the topic of remixes.

If you’d prefer to examine the written word when it comes to remix culture, copyright, and the legal issues involved, then you can do no better than to start with Lawrence Lessig. Code 2.0 and Remix are highly recommended and the also excellent Free Culture is available as a free download under a Creative Commons licence, from here.

Is the new masterpiece just a moment in time?

I originally posted this thought as a comment on a post by David Cushman at /message, but wanted to repost it here. Partly it’s to remind me to examine it more in the future, and partly because I’m fortunate enough to have received some very insightful comments recently, and I’m hoping the same will help me form this idea.

In the broadcast era, a masterpiece was a finished product which received a response from either critics or the general populace.

In the new era just arriving, the influential content creators will produce masterpieces, but these will be moments frozen in time in the evolution of a piece of content as it continues to evolve.

The masterpiece may not be Back to the Future, but it may be Brokeback to the Future. Which could then lead to Microsoft Goes Back to the Future. We see it already in the constant evolution and improvement to a Wikipedia article. But with the more gradual evolution of content or an idea across websites, blogs, comments, lifestreams, emails, microblogging, video and audio sites,  there will be certain revisions and remixes which stand out as most relevant or informative for each of us. And those which are adopted by influential individuals or a critical mass of groups will be retained as a classic.
Ideas have always evolved in a similar fashion, but generally Hollywood sequels and remakes are perceived as lower quality, with notable exceptions (Aliens, Dawn of the Dead, possibly The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part 2). But rather than watching Sylvester Stallone or Jude Law fail to match Michael Caine in the originals of Get Carter and Alfie, or an Italian Job which takes place in America with modern Minis, we’ll get new versions every year, month or week, with different actors, different interpretations and different outcomes.

The original creator and creation will still have a venerable position as the archetype, but it’s relevance starts to fade as soon as it has been consumed, and only re-emerges once it has been reinterpreted time and time again.