Remixing Another Text–Little Red Riding Hood

Okay, so today marks the first official day of SPRING BREAK!!!

What did I do?

Went to a quilt shop with my mom.

No joke, driving down I {almost} had an emotional breakdown.

Then, I walked into the quilt store. Instantly, I felt soothed. And inspired. ❤ Ahhhh I love textile crafts sooo much!!!

And there were these fabrics designs by Moda (one of my new favorite companies!)

It’s called Little Red Riding Hood. And man, I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!! Just looking at it I knew that it had to be designed by a Japanese person because…I can just tell that kind of thing.

It was everywhere in the store. I could not get away from it and I hated it because I wanted it, but I kept telling myself I didn’t need it. I was going to make an apron instead.

I picked out fabric for an apron. And while I was waiting in the checkout line, there it was again. Those colorful, cute, tempting, adorable, “these-are-the-cutest-things-ever,” kawaii-kind-of-cute, fat quarters. I told my mom, who was standing right next to me,

 

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“Ah, I can’t get away from these!” What can I use it for?? A remix?? Which one? Self-Portrait? Nope. Profile of another person? No. Does this represent a group I’m either a part of or one that i’m not? Not that I could think of off the top of my head. Could I use this as my remixing another text? Automatically I said no. Then I read the title again, “Lil’ Red”….ohhhh of course!!!! Little Red Riding Hood! And Stacey Iset Hsu has already remixed that story into fabric! Now, I can remix the fabric into something else.

YAY!!!! I could buy it with a free conscious.

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So, I’m planning on making a fabric book out of it. 🙂

I’m really excited about it!!

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So, that’s the idea.

I think I’ll use the directions from this blog.

I’ll post pictures as I go forward.

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Ethical Remixing?

 

What is the purpose of remix? To completely copy a section of Lawrence Lessig’s book Remix and Identity, I’m just going to keep it simple, vague, and  broad and say that its purpose to dedicated to “enabling the future.” After all, people’s opinion about what remix actually is and the ethics surrounding remix seem to be “simple, vague, and broad” so I would suppose that the reasoning behind remix should be something similar.

But in all honesty, I do think that Lessig’s section title “Enabling the Future” is actually a good reason and purpose behind remixing. The chapters under this heading deal with the laws and ethics behind remixing, but I think that it is also just a good reason behind remixing. We live in a Read and Write (RW) culture and so we most definitely do participate in remix–even unconsciously, I might argue.

Lessig’s chapter 9 deals with copyright laws surrounding remixing. After reading this chapter, I think that for personal use, things should not even be copyrighted. I keep thinking about the example we talked about at the beginning of the semester where the mother got in trouble for posting a recording of her daughter dancing to music. She was sued. Because she did not own the copyright to the background music of the video. But, I’m sure the quality of the music was not even very good. And perhaps people might even be more interested in buying the music to which the daughter danced after they watched the video. (So, maybe she’s be helping sales–free music promotion/advertising.)

I do think that copyright laws are definitely useful to an extent. Because artists do need to make money and so it seems that there should be some protection for them. But, I would like the laws to be slightly more relaxed. And as we discussed in class–if you happen write a [dissertation] and include lengthly passages of [Steinbeck] in it, then if the publisher denies you the freedom to reproduce those passages for publication, your work is [almost] “pointless”–in the sense that you cannot publish your hard work.

What would the repercussions even be if you paid the owner a small fee? I haven’t thought over it much, so I honestly do not know; but I think that making it possible some way for people to be able to use material is good. Otherwise, we will turn into a Read Only (RO) culture.

What then? We lose our creativity and imagination. I think that remixing is a good thing. It allows artists (and by that I mean anyone participating in remix) to contemplate an “original” work and change it around–maybe to show something in culture, to express a personal belief, to advertise for something…

And here is something else to consider, maybe there could be a difference in laws between those who seek to make a profit off of their remixed material and those who are doing to without the intent of profit. I realize that you cannot judge a person’s “intent” but maybe there could be certain categories. You want to publish a dissertation or other academic work? Use Copyright laws DAW (“dissertation academic work”). If you want to remix to sell songs or other works, use other appropriate  copyright laws –the SSW law.

Just a thought.

But I will definitely have to consider this more. It’s a challenging and very multifaceted question and I am definitely not a lawyer.

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Inspiration for…Self-Portrait. I AM

I am thinking about doing something like this for my remix. However, I wouldn’t put the words “I AM” in the front because that sounds like God and the rest of the words are describing me…and I definitely don’t want to do that.

 

However, I really like the color scheme and the way that the two colors are blended. Also, the way the text is organized and stuff is similar to what I’m thinking about doing for my own.

 

I am. Self portrait inspiration

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But let you adorning….

For my self-portrait remix, I am planning on a painting a sign that has special/influential Bible verses, songs, and quotes on it.

 

Here is one of them. 🙂

“Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear–but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (I Peter 3:3-4)

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To Remix or Not to Remix

Long story short? For this class, I have no problem remixing. For personal use, it’s also find. For the public, I’m not sure. (For more information or to find out why Isabelle holds these views, please scroll down. If you do not care, then don’t scroll.)

To be completely honest, I am not exactly sure what and how I feel about remixing. I think that there is a line between acceptable and then just plain old copying. We were made in the image of God and obviously that means that we are works of God–and made after Him. So surely to a certain extent of “remixing” isn’t wrong at all.

He created us with creativity, and He also put us in communion with each other. He said it was “not good for man to live alone” and so he created woman. But I think that this can also apply to how we are communal beings and we are not designed to live on desert islands by ourselves. We interact with each other. We brainstorm together. We build off of each other. In unofficial ways this seems acceptable. By unofficial I mean planning projects in office settings…one person starts something, another adds, someone subtracts, the next turns it down a different road, and then somehow the end project is achieved. It probably looks a lot different than when it started, but that’s alright.

In a way, remix can be like this. If Pollack really is inspired by Van Gogh, then let him be Van Gogh’s remixer. Pollack’s work is more abstract than Van Gogh’s work is. It’s the “post-modern” recreation of Van Gogh. It’s different and it appeals to a different audience (potentially) and it also reflects the different cultural meaning and definition of art. In the screen studies class I’m taking this semester, we’ve been talking recently about how film theorists felt they needed to re-define what art was with the introduction of film. They wanted to bend the definition to account for cinema. In like manner, Pollack’s art is a bending and a new take on Van Gogh’s work. It’s a re-mix, but it’s different enough to be…umm…different.

Some remixes, though, aren’t like that. They’re not different enough. A lot of cover songs are like this, I’ve noticed. And while this doesn’t infuriate me, it does disappoint me. I would like to see songwriters writing music that was more “original.” And let’s be honest. Everyone says that Shakespeare was a great and famous author/playwright. Right? But if you really study his plays, they are so full of allusions to Greco-Roman myths that it’s ridiculous. It’s actually quite mind-blowing. That man was kind of brilliant in his ability to combine so many different things together like that. Personal opinion aside, Shakespeare was a remixer and he’s considered great. Be like Shakespeare. Remix. And be great. Just please, don’t make something that’s worthy of the “#twinning”caption. That’s cute for clothes and everything, but songs need something different.

For my own personal use of the ethics of remixing? I’m not entirely sure. Based off of what I’ve said above, it seems like I would be fine with remixing things. For this particular class, I have no issue remixing materials. It’s for educational purposes and I’m not doing anything for profit.

Profit. There’s an interesting twist to the story. I think that if I were choosing to make a profit off of other people’s work, I would really stop and think about what I was doing. I might feel guilty using their work. That’d almost feel like plagiarizing. Even in a group project or discussion, if I use material that we’ve worked on as a group, I feel like I need to give the whole group credit. I feel bad just saying, “Oh, and I thought of this brilliant idea all by myself.” So if I was going to cover a song, or remix it, I am not sure if I would. Obviously I would be affected by the song, but I would try to be original. And I’ve noticed while making the remixes for this class that I’m struggling to use other people’s work. I just want to make it all myself.

But back to my ethics for personally making remixes. I have done some “copying” of “artwork.” I really enjoy calligraphy (until this semester when I got too busy) and one of the things that I enjoy is copying down quotes I really liked. I love the look and feel of colored pencils, so I primarily used them, though recently it’s been acrylic paint..or a chalkboard. Anyways, sometimes I would not look up any pictures of the fonts I wanted to use, or the colors, or the formatting. I’d just design it from my mind. But other times I would hop on my trusty friend, Pinterest, and see what I could find. I never copied it down perfectly, though, because I really did want it to be my own. (This same rule applies to cooking/baking. I find a recipe and then I modify it.)

So that, my friend, is some of the thinking behind my first statement.

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Resisting Culture?

You know the proverb about grasping oil in your hand? And the impossibility of that? Well, that is almost how I feel about defining culture. Culture changes constantly to reflect the {changing} people that make up the culture. Each of the authors that we have read have had their own interpretation on culture. Bell hooks talks about culture in both a negative and positive way. She seems to be implying that the white culture was remixing the black culture. Hooks notes that many black women felt pressure to straighten their hair so that they might have a better opportunity to get a job in the working world. Hooks talks about how doing their hair was an intimate ritual, but now because of the pressure that they feel from the white women, straightening hair becomes “stripped of the positive binding…and more to be exclusively a signifier of white suprematists oppression and exploration.” Hooks illustrates an example of how culture changes.

Culture is like language, creating new words and putting aside others. Shakespeare did not need to use the word “selfie” in his plays any more than we feel the need to use the word “sallet.”

In the beginning of Navas’ essay, he presents different definitions that have arisen for culture. It “originates in nature and is defined by labor”; it is “modified according to the interests of individuals who perform a specific form of manual work” (116-7) Another defines culture as a “type of resistance in search of meaning against the rise of capitalism” (117). In all three of these descriptions of culture, there is at least one uniting feature–culture is defined by people who live and work in any given society. While the means to the end might be different (resisting capitalism, originating in nature, manual labor) the end result is the same: culture is defined through capitalism, whether or not that cause is intentional or not.

I find modern and postmodern culture fascinating and saddening. It is painful for me to read literature that seems to be so very dark and despondent. Many works offer little hope. They seem to give little insight into their purpose. In much modern/postmodern work, people appear more apathetic and not actively resisting. If culture is defined by some sort of resistance, then how are the characters in Waiting for Godet resistant? I have heard many people say that our generation is without a cause and that we aren’t actively fighting for something. Is this true? If it is, then what is culture for our generation? Navas’ definition seems to fall short of this observation.

The amount of remixes, mash-ups, and cover songs suggest a return to what is older. Less creating new works and more revision of the past. Even popular fashion takes a spin at the Indie/Bohemian styles trendy in the 60s and 70s.

The Four Remixes

  1. Extended remixes
    1. (The most common) standard.
    2. Common for dance remixing
    3. longer and heavier beats
  2. Selective Remix
    1. add or subtract to te original
    2. usually to make it longer
    3. Original is still very noticable
  3. Reflexive Remix
    1. challenges culture
    2. (“Nicholas Was” story)
    3. But, it’s brand new
  4. Regenerative Remix
    1. non-linear and ahistorical
    2. Navas says it “appropriates in the name of efficiency”
    3. Example is how Google collects news stories and puts them together in Google News

Remix and Identity Week 2

While reading chapters 1-5 in Lawrence Lessing’s Remix, I noticed that the author emphasized the importance of RO/RW [Read/only and Read/write] cultures. I had never thought about the need we have for both kinds of people in our culture. Normally, I think that it is important to have the later, and the former are the people who, sorry for saying and thinking this, but who really don’t care about the work as much as those in the RW category would. However, as I was reading this, I realized that I am very wrong in this thinking. Lessig makes the important point that the Read/Write culture is not necessarily more important than the Read/Only culture.

Remix is more than just re-writing a text. It is, “great writing without text. It is creativity supported by a new technology.” (Lessig 82). This definition surprised me. I had thought about remixes as a cover of a song, or as switching the genre in a movie trailer. What I had not considered about remix was its ability to take something from one medium (painting) and remixing it to be a song. Or, for an example from class, the remix done in honor of David Bowe. The artist took the lifetime of a person and remixed him into a montage of paintings.

When Lessig says that “no artist works in a vacuum” and that is it very hard, if not impossible, for art to be original, he also says “it doesn’t mean you can’t make original content” (15). I think that Lessing believes originality to be harder, but there is a possibility for some originality. For example, I read some Charles Baudelaire poetry last semester and one of the things that he strove to do was be original.  The genre he worked with–seduction and lovers poetry–was not an original genre, however. So in order to make his work “original” and stand out, he said he wanted to make his work more erotic than previous works. This meant that his work was new. While the ideas he presented may not have been “original,” some of his content is arguably original. He had to make his work more graphic and descriptive than those poets before him. Even when artists attempt to be original, their works still copy and imitate previous works. In this way, every art is a remix of something.

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