Remix and the Dialogic Engine of Culture

A Model for Generative Combinatoriality

Authored by: Martin Irvine

The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  November  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415716253
eBook ISBN: 9781315879994
Adobe ISBN: 9781134748747

10.4324/9781315879994.ch1

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Abstract

Is the cliché “everything is a Remix” more than trivially true? The terms Remix, appropriation, sampling, and mashup are used so generally, in so many contexts, and at different levels of description that they don’t provide a useful vocabulary for explanation. 1 “Remix” has become a convenient metaphor for a mode of production assumed (incorrectly) to be specific to our post-postmodern era and media technologies (though with some earlier “precursors”), and usually limited to describing features of cultural artifacts as “outputs” of software processes (especially in music, video, and photography). “Remix” and related terms are used for genres and techniques of composition (collage, assemblage, music Remix, appropriation), artistic practices (with a variety of self-reflexive, performative, and critical strategies), media and technology hybridization (new combinations of software functions, interfaces, and hardware implementations), and cultural processes (ongoing reinterpretation, repurposing, and global cross-cultural hybridization). 2 What connects all these manifestations of Remix, hybridity, and creative combinatoriality? What else is “Remix” telling us if we open up the cultural black box?

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