Everything is a Remix: An Exploration of Remixing as a Form of Creativity

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 high­light­ed the role of remix­ing in lit­er­a­ture and music. The sec­ond install­ment shift­ed the focus to film­mak­ing, while the third 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, which you can watch in full above, you can sup­port Fer­gu­son’s next project, This is Not a Con­spir­a­cy The­o­ry, on Kick­Starter.

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  • Joe says:

    The song dur­ing the cred­its of Part 4 is the excel­lent Water From the Same Source by Rachel’s. http://youtu.be/djaWMNqDiTE

  • Dagwood says:

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Fer­gu­son gets so car­ried away with his idea that he winds up ren­der­ing “remix” as so uni­ver­sal that there’s noth­ing, can BE noth­ing, that isn’t a remix. If he can find a prog­en­i­tor of an idea, or a phrase, or even a sin­gle still from a film, he calls it a remix. On the oth­er hand, if we look at this more meta­phys­i­cal­ly, we might rec­og­nize that we our­selves are remix­es, and that’s more inter­est­ing to pon­der.

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