In a series of short films, director Kirby Ferguson has been gradually making the case that “Everything is a Remix” — that great art doesn’t come out of nowhere. Artists inevitably borrow from one another, drawing on past ideas and conventions, then turning these materials into something beautiful and new. The first film (see very bottom of this post) highlighted the role of remixing in literature in music. The second installment (second to bottom) shifted the focus to filmmaking, while the third (immediately below) turned to technology, computers and user interfaces. Today, Ferguson released the fourth and final installment — “System Failure” — which makes the argument that ever-expanding copyright laws, despite what our Founding Fathers intended, now tilt in favor of corporate interests rather than the social good. And, more ominously, they threaten to put the brakes on an essential part of the creative process. If you’ve enjoyed this series, you can support Ferguson’s next project, This is Not a Conspiracy Theory, on KickStarter.
Music & Literature
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!