Monday, June 28, 2010

Mashup vs Remix - a tale of two text types

What are the similarities and differences between these two moving image commentaries? Below are some definitions and interesting examples.

A Remix - is an alternate version of an original source, a newly created version from source material. Elements are re-assembled in a new way.

A Mashup - is a version using multiple sources sometimes with little or no relation, often lampooning or referring to another text or source. It is a derivative work with properties of intertextuality where a texts' meanings are shaped and informed by other texts.

This bricolage idea of use what you have is not a new one, but with the easy availability of multiple texts and technology, the remix and mashup are moving from messages passed between peer groups into broader realms of social commentary and education. Aided by the speed of social networking, they can move from one phase to another in a matter of hours.

A Fair(y) Use Tale by Eric Faden - a remix illustrating copyright law, derivative but not lampooning. It's a great example of remix explaining Fair Use and Copyright law. Note that he cites his sources at the end.

The measurements for fair use involve elements of criticism, news reporting, teaching and parody. Keep these in mind as you review the following pieces below.

Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan - Jason Stakeman's remix incorporating mashup techniques intended to educate the viewer about the war in Afghanistan as well as comment on American foreign policy and culture. It compares the US invasion with the westerns of John Ford.

Edward vs Buffy - a remix by Rebellious Pixels/Jonathan McIntosh lampooning the romance genre in a mashup style and commenting on male/female relationships.

And another by Rebellious Pixels - a remixed commercial for a popular SUV.

Here's a mashup lampooning the Twilight series and the music video Wanted Dead or Alive that was created to market fake engagement rings by Ms. Taken.

Here's a mashup of a mashup - the Hitler video parody. Using a clip from the 2004 German film Der Untergang (Downfall), these videos number in the hundreds at least. Seeing Bruno Ganz as Hitler rant about current events and setbacks seems to have an endless appeal. The film's director Oliver Hirschbiegel seems to get the spirit in which they are presented, while Constantin Films, the production company, has requested the videos be removed.

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At the intersection of art and new media, a place where the convergence emerges.