Race and Remix

The Aesthetics of Race in the Visual and Performing Arts

Authored by: Tashima Thomas

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.ch12

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Abstract

Remix is a cultural practice that includes reintroductions of preexisting sources mixed together via the practice of cut/copy and paste. This act of sampling in remix incorporates the fragmentation of various sampled beats vivifying the effect of the composition’s style or quality. The remixing and sampling of beats is a strategy popularized in music; however, when considering remix strategies within a visual context, it is possible to theorize how remix operates among visual compositions—including those that deal with race. A discussion of race and remix theory in Latin America challenges the inclination to flatten and marginalize racial and cultural aesthetics and experiences. What follows is a critical reading of the aesthetics of remix in relation to race in the visual and performing arts of Latin America and the Caribbean. This assemblage of visual remix strategies is organized according to three compositional strategies: the Casta Grandmaster Remix, the Banana Remix, and the Monster Mash Remix. Each remix strategy demonstrates a variation of the sampling and reassembling of racialized bodies. The purpose of this research is to create a visual soundtrack, per se, that will illustrate the nuances and complexities of how race, and particularly blackness, is constructed and remixed in the cultural imaginary.

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