Remix vs. Plagarism

The documentary RiP: A Remix Manifesto asserts the idea that the past has and will always affect the future. It’s brought up in the first point of the Remixer’s Manifesto: “Culture always builds on the past.” And I think this is definitely true. I am who I am because of my past experiences; my personal history and my culture and its history constantly influence me, my opinions, and my decisions every day. Everyone person’s culture and environment dictate (or at least heavily influence) their future.  I don’t see how culture (and therefore art, because culture influences art) would be any different.

I have some trouble understanding the relationship between new and remix. It seems like everyone bitches nowadays that creativity is dead and there is no original thought and my generation is just a bunch of robots blah blah blah. This may or may not be the case, I don’t know.  It’s a cliché and I hate clichés, so I hope not. I don’t think it’s entirely correct, but I suppose there could be a tiny bit of truth (from someone’s perspective). Are ideas finite? Has everything been used up already, to an extent? I think that this generation’s creativity relies upon our unique perspective on the past, and our ability to use parts of our existing culture to comment on it (e.g. memes).

As an artist/student/human being, I would be seriously offended if someone used my ideas/work and claimed it as his/her own without crediting me. I did the work, I should get the credit. However, I wouldn’t mind having my ideas be used in a larger work, as long as I was cited and my original idea was still somewhat intact. The way we’re bombarded with media by our own culture, I don’t really see how to not use the past when expressing oneself (in many, but not all, situations) because the past has (non-linearly) caused the future:

“The corporations are completely taking over our culture and telling us that we can only consume it. And we’re saying ‘no.’ We’re saying ‘we want to actually create with it, respond to it, take it, mutilate it, cut it up.’ We’re saying ‘you don’t ask us whether I want to have a billboard everywhere I go in my town; you don’t ask me if I want to see your Nike logo everywhere I go. You don’t ask me if I want to hear U2’s music everywhere I go shopping or when I eat in a restaurant. So, why do I need to ask you to take a little bit of it, and make something out of it, make fun of you, critique you. Why do I need to ask?”

For the sake of our own creativity, mental health, and independence, I think it’s great “to use the modern media against itself to critique the power it has over our lives.” I’m not sure where the line is between remixed and plagiarized. I think it may be a grey area that really depends on the situation.

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About thehudsonbay

I'm Mallory. I made this blog for one of my classes, but have yet to blog on it. I like art and running and music.
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