(Remix) and [Collection] and {Identity}

I chose this one because it talked about social media and the dangers contained therein. 

I think that Anzaldua’s work is not exactly a remix. I would consider her work more of a collection (or a curation) of different works, but not a remix. (This is defining remix as something more particular and specific than Lawrence Lessig who would argue that everything is a remix. While I tentatively agree with that statement, I think that for the purpose of distinction and argument, if everything is a “remix” than there is nothing inherently special about a remixed work–because everything would be, therefore none would be unique.) Anzaldua’s work takes other works–poems and such–and incorporates them into her work. However, she is not exactly changing the meaning of the poems or her work through the use of the other material. In this way, I would argue that it is not a remix. I think that a remix needs to modify or change an existing text. The works that Anzaldua chooses are complementary to her message and they aren’t changing media or meaning, so therefore I would say that it is not a remix.

Manovich, however,defines remix as, “a composition that consists of previously existing parts assembled, which is edited to create particular aesthetic, semantic, and/or bodily effects.” (142). This is a very broad definition, and one which most works can fit (Lessig would be happy!) Manovich says that the difference between a remix and a collection [collection: “reduction of a set of all possible things” (142)] is that in a remix, the order of the elements matter. In a collection, they do not. The example given is that of a song mashup. Obviously order matters or the entire song loses its meaning–or becomes a completely separate remix. Strictly speaking, I suppose one could argue that Anzaldua’s work is a remix because it is a compilation of works that already existed.

Social media representations, however, are remixes of people. The only social media that I use is Facebook, but this definitely is a remix of a person. Lately, I noticed that most of my friends seem to just share pictures and memes. Some friends post mostly political, others religious, some almost always have funny pictures, others share old pictures and photos. From these posts, I create images and ideas of my Facebook friends. They are remixing themselves. They are defining themselves through what they post.

A while ago I realized that limited means and modes of contact with people can be a very misleading thing. For example, if I am only virtual Facebook friends and Blog followers with people, I am only seeing what they want me to see about them. You control what you post. You control your blog content. This is so much different than if I knew them in real life. In the flesh and blood. They might not handle that stressful situation as gracefully as Facebook and the poetic blog post implied. It’s easy to romanticize people’s own remixes of themselves. People can completely control their presented personas. Social media definitely is a remix–it takes many different components (pictures, quotes, “likes,” shared material, posts, re-tweeted and re-blogged works…)–and presents a person who may or may not be like the one that you’d meet at the grocery store after their workout.

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