Alter, Re-Purpose, Repeat

The implementation of remix in today’s world is more widespread than many know, or would dare to believe. I’ve found that movies, music, television, virtually anything you can imagine could potentially fall into the category of a remix. Is anything completely original (ie: free of any outside source of inspiration)? In Rhythm Science Dj Spooky stated that “many movie soundtracks sound like heavy handed treatments of The Ring Cycle’s Overtures”. Upon further inspection, it becomes clear that he is correct in this assertion. He goes on to say that “Rhythm science uses and endless recontextualizing as a core compositional strategy, and some of the generation’s most important artists continually remind us that there are innumerable ways to arrange the mix.”

To me the changing same is his way of expressing, in short, his major ideas which I have reiterated above. It makes reference to the fact that we look to the past when creating, because of the sense of familiarity that it provides. We don’t necessarily draw our inspiration from the present moment. That’s not to say that our creation completely unoriginal, in fact it is original in the creative differences you incorporate.

I feel as though the concepts outlined in Rhythm Science can be applied to different facets of our lives as well. I was struck when Dj Spooky made reference to technologies integral role in society, and I agree wholeheartedly. The term ‘remix’ can apply to most anything. The shirt you’re wearing, initially made of ‘god knows what’, has been remixed and altered using polyester, cotton, silk, or any number of other materials to create something that still resembles the original. From a technological standpoint, products are made, altered, then re-purposed, altered again, and then re-purposed yet again. The cycle of progression never slows. It is past learning allows future advances to be made. Remix shouldn’t be seen as a cheap alteration of the original, but as a potential growth in the genre in which it resides.

For our final projects, we are asked to make remixes of our class archive. We will be creating works of art from our classmates content. How can we alter the archive to create something new; to re-purpose it to tell a unique story, and elicit emotional responses all its own. How can we make these remixes stand alone as one cohesive whole?




2 thoughts on “Alter, Re-Purpose, Repeat

  1. I think that your observation that remix can be applied to many different parts of our lives is important. I didn’t make this connection when I read Rhythm Science, but it makes perfect sense. Your T-shirt example puts this perfectly in perspective.

  2. You end with a great question and one I am currently struggling through. Making our final remix is actually much more difficult than I originally thought it would be. Its the repurposing for me that is the most challenging aspect.

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