The ‘habitual’ remix

 We’ve all encountered some form of remix in our lives, whether it being a mash-up of your favourite song, a movie, or a picture. Regardless, whether you know it or not, “Everything is a remix”. So it is here that my argument lies, we can all attempt to create creative original works, but as a matter of fact these new ideas merely evolve from previous ones; it’s human nature.

While I’m on the topic of human nature, I’m going to put my ‘scientific cap’ on for these next few sentences, tracing back 3.5 billion years ago to the single organism that all species were formulated from; LUCA, known as the Last Universal Common Ancestor. In the reproduction of LUCA, its genes proceeded into a cycle of copying, where Kirby Furguson’s ‘System Failure’ video, Part 4 of ‘Everything is a remix’, describes social evolution and the basic elements of creativity as

  • COPY

Now to put all that scientific jargon into five words, it’s human instinct to copy.

Participants nowadays can be referred to as produsers. And no, this is not a spelling error, produsers, as opposed to producers “come to a collaborative space first and foremost as users, but it is also easy for them to become engaged in content creation- they occupy a hybrid position as user and producer at the same time”, as argued by Axel Bruns. Again, it’s human instinct for us to become connected to content creation, wanting a part in this perpetual process.

I for one have fallen victim to this mash-up culture, on occasions remixing my favourite songs together in an act of boredom. Of course, these remixes were by no means professional such as those remixes, mash-ups and covers found on the webpage. Although, having access to the tools to create music mash-ups, just like any individual with access to a computer, I was able to participate and experiment in this remix experience.

As the mash-up artist himself, Greg Gillis (‘Girl Talk’) mentions in Lawrence Lessigs’ ‘Remix’, “we’re living in this remix culture. This appropriation time where any grade-school kid has a copy of Photoshop and can download a picture of George Bush and manipulate his face how they want”. So it only seems necessary that I leave you with just that, images of George Bush that have been remixed in a somewhat humorous, yet amateur fashion, as an example of the ability of all participants to create and build upon content in this habitual cycle which we call the remix and mash-up culture.


(Source: Makefive)

(Source: My Life Is Brilliant)

(Quick Edit: 10/5/2012)


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