REMIXING CULTURE was the first short length documentary I produced as part of my Masters dissertation at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism.
The project was featured in Volume 2 of the University of Copenhagen’s digital academic journal, Audiovisual Thinking.
If you’re fancy, you can read the abstract above the video links, but if not, I completely understand.
Today’s digital world has presented itself with problems of ownership in relation to music production and distribution on the Internet. Focusing on electronic dance music, this project examines the close relationship between music and technology, and the influence that each exerts on the other.
The accessibility of music and video files on the Internet has transformed the music business from a primarily physical industry (distribution via compact discs, vinyl and cassette tapes) to a digital soundscape, a democratized space where amateur musicians can be music creators. These online spaces, with the help of open source music software, have bridged the gap between the media producer and the media consumer. As this project explores, cultural implications are vast, leaving ordinary people with the responsibility to take control of their cultural landscapes.
The project takes the form of an essay-styled documentary highlighting interviews with notable DJ’s, music software programmers, technology experts and copyright scholars. Inspired by a documentary entitled RiP! A Remix Manifesto (2009), a film that encouraged active remixing, this project’s purpose is to emphasize the importance of reinterpretation and rediscovery in our cultural soundscape. This project is licensed under Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that supports non-commercial use of digital intellectual property, and its secondary purpose is to encourage the public to incorporate the film into other projects, furthering the conversation about the importance of remix.
This research project determined that with the growth of open source, social-powered music software, remix music and associated musicians will continue to create their art using source material by other artists. Despite the efforts of copyright authorities and stakeholders in the professional music recording industry, remix culture is pervasive in every other aspect of society and thus will continue to shape the landscape of our future cultures.