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 (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

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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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