The Remix as Schizophrenic

DJ Spooky claims that his remixes are collages of sound, “with myself as the only common denominator, the sounds come to represent me.” He is referencing Jean Baudrillard’s description of schizophrenia, which states that an individual with schizophrenia isn’t out of touch with reality but rather too closely in touch with every part of his/her reality that he/she cannot even attempt to process it all. From my very basic knowledge I’ve picked up in psychology class, I thought that this definition was a very interesting way of looking at remix and helped me understand it a bit better. DJ Spooky is saying that a remix essentially contains some of every piece of our reality (our archive, if you will), even if we can’t really process all of it or know what it all means.

In almost all cases, remixes, songs, writings, or works of art contain components that are heavily influenced by other works. Sometimes this is intentional, meant to evoke a similar feeling or idea as the original work. Other times it is accidental. As Adam said in his blog post earlier, many times we create works that are unconsciously influenced by things from the past. I think this is what DJ Spooky means by the concept of “the changing same.” Everything we create contains a little bit of everyone else’s reality or archive, whether we want it to or not. It’s the way we analyze and interpret these things that make it individual to us, the same way a schizophrenic’s inability to process extraneous stimuli make his or her experience much different from our own.

In moving forward in this class and creating our own remixes, I think that execution will be even more important now than with past projects. We will all be drawing from the same materials and using the same archive. The way in which we craft our remixes is essential to getting our point across, since we will all be using the same pictures and words to tell a different story. According to DJ Spooky, the order of our collages is what makes them unique. My question deals more with mechanics than theory: Will our stories be able to come across as unique and compelling?

J.E.B.

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One thought on “The Remix as Schizophrenic

  1. I just love this! How interesting! “An individual with schizophrenia isn’t out of touch with reality but rather too closely in touch with every part of his/her reality that he/she cannot even attempt to process it all” This is such a beautiful way to explain schizophrenia.And it connects so well to the idea of creating an archive.It’s the way that we interpret the realities, not the realities themselves that build our creations. And in that way, uniqueness becomes a lot more common!

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