Why “Remix Culture” is better than “Original” culture
40 years ago today, DJ Kool Herc had an idea. To stretch out a brief passage of a disco song, he would take a short portion of it and “loop” it, over and over, making a “new” song that would keep the party dancing all night long. Not only did he invent hip hop, he invented a new form of culture: Remix Culture.
Today, while a few people waste their time laboring away at “creative projects” that attempt to create culture from scratch (like we really need another symphony or novel!), the true heroes of culture are the remixers — the people with the ingenuity to take something like Star Wars and re-edit it — perhaps in such a way that it makes a music video for the latest Bruno Mars track! Fan-fiction, mash-ups, even the courageous act of reblogging a gif from “Parks and Rec” but with a different caption — this is where the culture is heading, and if you don’t like it, be careful — you just might find yourself cut out of a “fan edit” of your own life!
Hopefully we someday live in a world where “original” creators are shunned for attempting to clutter the blogosphere with more content when there are still thousands of frames from “Game of Thrones” that haven’t been screen-grabbed, imported, and had their actors’ faces replaced with those of Nicholas Cage or Beyonce!