Posted by: ableanna | October 28, 2008

Rah! Rah! Remix!

Everyone should see Brett Gaylor’s “RiP: A Remix Manifesto”. Yep.

Personally, I loved this movie because it redefined what is creative and what is art for me; it specifically spoke to all of my insecurities and misgivings I have with my own creative trajectory. I don’t want to blame my creative “impotence” on school, because I really could. If you’ve ever wondered what a person looks like when they’re foaming at the mouth and spewing bile, just ask me about my last year in the photography program at Concordia University. But this is my experience and I really don’t want to take away from anyone else’s experience with the program there, that it has been quite a wonderful program for many people. Seriously.

It’s just that I’m kind of a strange type of person, living with this constant duality of Living To Please/Fuck Everyone attitude. It’s a hard thing to mitigate. I was the kid that raised her hand to answer every question in class; “model student” was a common description of me written on my report cards. I absorbed rules and understood them as gospel. Stepping on a crack was HARD for me to do. But I also have a severe side that overlooks all rules in defiance of being pushed too far. Basically, I just want to kick you in the balls and take off on my motorcycle. Or maybe I’d just toilet paper the school bathroom.

So, with that explanation, I think that academia restrained my creative instinct because I was so concerned with pleasing people and not breaking any type of rule… rules which are in constant flux based on the whims of the cultural elite, rules which are supposed to be broken, but only in specific ways. My standard pattern is that I please, please, please, get straight A’s and then… when it comes down to the finale, the wire, the last big show… I basically stand there and say “Hey, you know what? FUCK YOU.” My final graduating “piece” received a “D”.

How does this relate to Remix Manifesto? I think it provides an excellent retrospective of how creativity intertwined with the business of creativity over the last century has become increasingly restrictive and ultimately counter-intuitive to the process of creating. This entire idea of *originality* has superseded the notion of sharing ideas and the benefits of building a community of like-minded creative souls. I can not even believe how stupid and close-minded that sounds even as I write it, but I have to admit that that is how I have felt. Especially within the framework of photography, you feel alone a lot. The inclusion of other ideas or suggestions in photography does not feel organic, unlike film, video, performance and music.

I also have to add that I kind of always thought that copyright law was out to protect the creative individuals, but what I didn’t realize is that it has become a double-edged sword and limits what is considered creative in this era of the internet and its technology. Just look at blogging: we share links, videos, quotes, photographs, and stories, but what we provide is our own personal spin. We are living with copyright laws that never anticipated the internet and flexibility needs to be considered, or else (as Remix illustrates) we are all liable and all criminals.

Finally, the film is as entertaining as it is interesting. Cory Doctorow (of Boing Boing fame), Lawrence Lessig and Girl Talk should be household names to anyone involved with the internet (this means you). The best part of this movie? It’s evolving and this means that you can become a part of it, too.



  1. Not quite the same thing, but I was just explaining to someone last night how my mom only ever let me have THREE cookies after dinner, and to this day, I feel REALLY guilty if I have more than that. Except occasionally when I’ll eat the whole package. Mmm… cookies.

  2. […] tweets and I encourage you to visit a few of these links. This week we have a link to watch Remix Manifesto in full, informative articles on the prostate and the chef in the family from the NYT science […]

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