Mashup, Sampling, & Remix Culture
We knew the internet would have a huge impact on culture. One of the emerging cultural trends is the increasing production of and audience for remix–culture.
This form entered the cultural establishment in 2011 when Christian Marclay’s massive sampling project ‘The Clock’ won a Golden Lion award for best artwork in the main exhibition at the 54th Venice Biennale. The work is a 24 hour film that samples views of clocks and watches in cinema, arranged and played in real-time.
Cory Arcangel, the sublime joker of digital arts, originally trained as a classical musician. This foundation emerges in some of his recent works. My favorite is ‘Arnold Schoenberg, op. 11 – I – Cute Kittens’ (2009). Arcangel has recreated the composer’s work by splicing together samples of notes played by cats on keyboards off youtube. (Don’t get me started on my ‘cat’s on the internet lecture – maybe another post…. btw, have you seen Black Cat’s interpretation of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky? http://youtu.be/KGIbVF88PKs)
Caption: Arnold Schoenberg, op. 11 – I – Cute Kittens’ (2009) by Cory Arcangel.
Goye made a similar homage to youtube covers of ‘Somebody that I used to know’ by remixing the song from samples of other people performing the song.
Caption: Gotye – Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra 2012
Recently, youtuber Drapersayswhat released the brilliant ‘Ice Ice Baby Sung By the Movies’, recreating the lyrics of Vanilla Ice’s 1990 hit from samples of dialogue from movies. Given that the original music for ‘Ice Ice Baby’ was built on samples from ‘Under Pressure’ by Queen and David Bowie, it is an iconic target for remixing!
Caption: ‘Ice Ice Baby Sung By the Movies’, 2013 by dondrapersayswhat
Another expression of remix culture is artists who are sampling and remixing to create completely new works. A great example of this is the work of Nick Bertke, aka Pogo. In late July, he uploaded ‘What I likes’, a ‘patchwork’ compiled entirely of sounds and voices sampled from Mary Poppins.
Caption: ‘What I Likes’ 2013 by Pogo
This talented young Australian DJ based in Perth has garnered a huge international following and was included in the Guggenheim Museum Festival of Internet videos ‘Youtube Play’ in 2010.
I will leave you with one of my favourites of remix culture, DJ Morgoth’s ‘Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up’. The track was originally included in the mashup album ‘RICKRAWKED’
If this genre intrigues you, check out Henry Jenkins book ‘Convergence Culture‘ – the first chapter is on our recommended reading list. Here is Henry Jenkins doing a Ted Talk
All the above examples are internet videos. Similar forms also exist in photography and montage. See, for example, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s internet artwork http://www.111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111.com/