I’m posting these two videos, Everything is a Remix, part 1 & 2, by Kirby Ferguson, because they nicely demonstrate the connections between art and music that I intend to write about here.
Ferguson’s videos show that creativity is actually a process that is socially and culturally embedded. This counters the widespread belief that creativity is a special ability possessed by a few, having nothing to do with daily life.
Music and music recording is the best way to see this creative process in action in the forms of sampling and remixing. In the second video, Ferguson shows the same remix and sampling at play in popular films.
In Noise: The Political Economy of Music, Jacques Attali writes: “Our musical process of structuring noise is also our political process for structuring community;” and “Music runs parallel to human society, is structured like it and changes when it does.” Attali pushes this point further by positing that music is simultaneously a mirror and a prophecy: “its styles and economic organization are ahead of the rest of society because it explores, much faster than material reality can, the entire range of possibilities in a given code.”
Ferguson’s videos show how the remix started and is the foundation for much of what we watch, listen, and even do ourselves. The remix has also brought into question what is meant by original and copy, and at what point, if any, does it become stealing. The remix as a creative process changes the way we think about creativity, and where we locate originality.
Part 1: The Song Remains the Same
Part 2: Remix, Inc.
Here is an extended video on all the references contained in Tarantino’s Kill Bill; why? because it’s fun to watch.
Everything is a Remix: Kill Bill