There is an art and a craft to taking existing content and creating new meaning. With the availability of digitalized text, images, video clips, and audio files online, there are endless possibilities for creative expression through remixing. Remixing originated with sampling different music tracks to create new mashups, but it has evolved beyond audio. The combination of available content, simple tools, and social platforms has made remix culture an everyday norm. People craft photo collages, videos, and other web projects, making use of all kinds of existing content while adding in their own unique interpretation. This was not possible with older media institutions as much of the content was not digitalized nor readily sharable on mass.
This paradigm shift that blurs the lines between consumer and producer has given way to a dynamic ecosystem of creativity, freedom, and people power. The megaphone belongs to anyone who wins the attention of viewers with their work. Of course, this comes with complexities around authorship and intellectual property. In the Flickr set, I've highlighted a recent and relevant example - the Harlem Shake. This viral meme took the Internet by storm this year and recently hit 1 billion page views. It was a good example to draw on as the song itself is a remix (by Harry Bauer Rodrigues who used samples from Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson) and tens of thousands have upload their own version using the track. It emphasizes the active participation of consumers, something that characterizes remix culture and the digital revolution we're going through.
The topic of remixing seems to evoke interest in academics, artists, musicians, lawyers, political scientists, and digital media experts alike. It is fascinating as it brings people across the spectrum to the same table.
For more on this discussion topic, check out the accompanying Flickr images and watch or re-watch the first remix dance video that got a billion people shaking.
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