The Evolution of Remix Culture?

I just watched an intriguing YouTube video by normative called “The Evolution of Remix Culture” (below). (I couldn’t find any bio info on this normative dude; I find myself both loving his vest-and-tie style and thinking it’s kind of silly. But whatever; I like his ideas.) (Found it via Jason Mittell’s Twitter feed.) (And while we’re being parenthetical, Mittell’s piece of Lostpedia is highly worth reading.)

normative suggests that we’re moving from Stage 1 of Remix Culture into Stage 2. Stage 1 is represented by people in their rooms, making new things out of the media culture we’re surrounded by, while in Stage 2 we see people stepping out into physical community, filming mash-ups on rooftops together in parties.

It’s an interesting framework that I’d like to see fleshed out some more. (And admittedly, I only watched the full video once, and I don’t have a transcript, so he may have fleshed some of this out in ways I didn’t quite catch.) It seems to me like there are some remixes that would probably count as Stage 1, but which are intensely collaborative in face-to-face ways from the beginning. (I’m thinking especially of some of Pomplamoose’s videos–which many would simply call “covers,” I know–and the many collaborative tracks on OverClocked ReMix.)

And wouldn’t a lot of people who collaborate in rich ways online (say, at ccMixter) see their experience as being just as rich as the f2f stuff going on in these Stage 2 “Lisztomania” dance party mash-ups? Not sure.

In any case, I’m quibbling; the video is strong and well worth pondering. If you watch the video, be sure to stick around to the end, where normative moves into the intellectual property and copyright issues that are brought up by this kind of cultural expression. He’s right to be afraid of increasingly restrictive rule-enforcing in this arena, and I’m both encouraged by his (simplistic?) description of this control as something we can “permit others to hold over our social realities,” and challenged to think deeper about what this kind of resistance actually can look like.


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  1. Pingback: Two Quick News Thoughts « Transmedia Me

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