Remix—is a critical expression of creative freedom that in a broad range of contexts, no free society should restrict (Lawrence Lessig, Remix, 56). “Participatory culture is a rich site of informal learning…we throw ideas out in the world and bring them back in an improved way because of our engagement with communities” (Henry Jenkins, TEDx)
Remix is a key trope of student digital publication. Traditional scholarly and artistic work such as staging a revival of a play or producing a new edition of a text is remix. Contemporary assignments such as fan fiction, memes, twists, video/audio mash-ups, versioning, sampling, and parody value practice and composer centered, multimodal production.
Fan fiction [more on fan fiction coming]
Organization for Transformative Works: OTW is a site dedicated to Transformative Fanworks. A keystone of Remix culture and projects, the organization hosts a nonprofit archive of fanfiction, a fandom wiki, and multimedia projects, as well as Transformative Works and Cultures, a peer reviewed, academic journal “that seeks to promote scholarship on fanworks and practices” (“FAQ” page). The OTW provides ideas and resources for a range of remix assignments, and also serves as a model of user generated, collaborative multimodal production.
Henry Jenkins: Professor Jenkins is Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, a joint professorship at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the USC School of Cinematic Arts (wiki “Jenkins”). A leading exponent of possibilities participatory culture generates for writers, Jenkins is the author of the following books, chapters, and articles, each of which provides insight into the theory and practice of Remix: Reading in a Participatory Culture: Remixing Moby-Dick in the English Classroom, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, and Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.
Lawrence Lessig: Professor Lessig is director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (wiki “Lessig”). His work to shape the laws and debate surrounding copyright is driven in part by question such as the following, “In a world in which technology begs all of us to create and spread creative work differently from how it was created and spread before, what kind of moral platform will sustain our kids when their ordinary behavior is deemed criminal?” (Remix xviii). Lessig takes-up this crucial topic for users of new media in the following: Remix, Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity, and The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World.
Creative Commons: Creative Commons is a web source made up of user driven content that enables individuals to borrow and share materials across a range of modes. The site creators explain, “If you want to give people the right to share, use, and even build upon a work you’ve created, you should consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license. CC gives you flexibility (for example, you can choose to allow only non-commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified” (“About” page). CC is vital to remix projects as they provide licensing tools, Public Domain tools, Open Educational Resources, User-Generated Culture, Music Communities, and much more…
Stedman, Kyle D. “Remix Literacy and Fan Compositions”
Bellee Jones assigns her students to remix their own work in a radical revision assignment.
Star Wars Uncut cuts the movie into 15-second clips, contributors claim clips and then refilms those 15 seconds however they like, and then the movie is put back together.
The Shining remixed as a comedy:
Or Mary Poppins recut as a horror film:
Or Mad Men meets Daft Punk:
Here's a fan video: Ke$ha's “Tik Tok” meets Star Trek.