Archive for the ‘remix’ Category

Remix, Solitude

December 16, 2007

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There’s audience? no audience.

Voices in the head, Remix, Solitude

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(photo of a DJ by kirstiecat )

Body/Language: Barthes-Foucault vs. Gater’s Taboo

April 16, 2007

Body/Language

Remixed by Methods & Black Squares 

 

Click to play:

[Barthes]
Parler, et à plus forte raison discourir, ce n’est pas communiquer, comme on le répète trop souvent, c’est assujettir.

[Foucault]
À ce lieu là, dès que j’ai les yeux ouverts, je ne peux plus échapper.

[Barthes]
La langue, comme performance de tous langages, n’est ni réactionnaire ni progressiste, elle est tout simplement fasciste.

[Gater]
We do it every weekend,
I like to do it with my friends
Sometimes we videotape it,
Then we watch it and do it again.

[Barthes]
Fasciste

Fasciste

Les signes n’existent que pour autant qu’ils sont reconnus, c’est-à-dire pour autant qu’ils se répètent.

Qu’ils se répètent.

[Foucault]
Mon corps topie impitoyable.

[Barthes]
Malheureusement le langage humain est sans extérieur, c’est un huis clos.

Répète!

[Gater]
Some people don’t understand what we do,
They say its Saturday they go to the club,
They say it’s no fun, but we don’t care,
We sit here and we do it.

We do it every weekend,
I like to do it with my friends,
Sometimes we videotape it,
Then we watch it and do it again.

[Barthes]
Répète!

En chaque signe dort ce monstre, un stéréotype. Je ne puis jamais parler qu’en ramassant, en quelque sorte, ce qui traîne dans la langue.

En chaque signe dort ce monstre, un stéréotype.

En chaque signe dort ce monstre, un stéréotype.

[Foucault]
Tous les matins, même présence, même blessure. Sous mes yeux se dessine une inévitable image qu’impose le miroir, visage maigre, épaules voûtées, regard myope, plus de cheveux, vraiment pas beau.

[Gater]
Some people don’t understand what we do…

[Barthes]
Répète!

[Foucault]
Mon corps c’est le lieu sans recours auquel je suis condamné.

[Barthes]
C’est un huis clos.

Fasciste.

[And see The Gaze of the Sign – a follow up on Gater’s role in this remix]

To Create is to Remember

February 25, 2007

“To Create is to Remember; Memory is the Basis of Everything“, Akira Kurosawa.

I have created a short 28 seconds mashup clip: images taken from Chris Marker’s AK (Akira Kurosawa); music from Bill Laswell.

The DJ of the Self; The Genealogy of the Mashup

February 21, 2007

Michel Foucault sees all humans as a mashup of what has always existed, and the great human endeavor being the rediscovery, then the analysis of those tracks from which we have become the remix that we are. It’s only when one is in front of and confronted with those rediscovered tracks, that s/he can start being the DJ of his/her own Self. The praxis herewith described is called the Genealogy of the Mashup.

Mashed

Mashed is a mis en abîme, a recursion of mashups, an explicit work of Genealogy, presenting fourteen Vs. kind of tracks (The Doors vs. Blondie; Iggy Pop vs. Peggy Lee..).

The first layer in our genealogical process is that which we see first: “Mashed” the CD, and the assertion “This is a collection” which is an overt awareness to the impossibility of being original – content-wise; “these 14 tracks of which I am made of are not mine”, thus spoke the 1st layer.

The 2nd layer, any of the fourteen tracks, is again a special kind of a remix, i.e a remix with a sense of History, each track bearing a Vs. kind of title, explicitly stating its genealogy – “I consist of these two voices in the minute of their meeting”. And you can experience the magic of the remix, the phantasmagoric world of the unoriginal for yourself: you can hear The Doors – they are there, fully present, and you can hear Blondie, and you can hear a third voice, that omnipresent voice which reappears only in the minute of their meeting: the voice of the dead author.

Of course, nothing is sacred; from those rediscovered voices, only the poetic moments have been remixed into the 2nd layer, the meeting layer. And that’s the work each DJ should be doing on his/her self.

On the 3rd layer there’s this rediscovered, separated track, or the leftovers of what used to be a glamorous song by The Doors: Riders on the Storm. We know today that the genealogy goes further into the past, till the dawn of mankind. Riders on the Storm belongs to the history of implicit mashups. There’s a work of genealogy to do here too.

Mashups are poetics. If you need another proof, please help yourself with Cathrine Vs. ?.

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Catherine Deneuve (Photograph by Douglas Kirkland)

 

The Death of the Author; the Birth of the Voice

February 10, 2007

In my post DJ Spooky’s Remix Simulacrum I questioned the concept of an “authentic voice” in general, and the concept of a “remix” in particular:

“Given that the human history of ideas, progress, art, etc. is the history of remix, i.e. the unexpected association of different, seemingly unrelated memes, should “remix” be classified as an authentic voice or an unauthentic one?”

That post ended with only questions. I might have now a sort of an answer, which will be based on literary criticism, specifically on Roland Barthes “The Death of the Author”, as well as on our memory, or rather on our capacity to… forget.

In “The Death of the Author” (1967) Barthes states that “the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original”. Any text, therefore, be it an “original” or a “remix” is deemed to be the reincarnation of older texts. Let’s forget, than, the illusion of authenticity [, or of truth, or of reality etc.] – there’s no such thing.

Here’s an excerpt from Barthes:

“We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture. Like Bouvard and Pecuchet, those eternal copyists, both sublime and comical and whose profound absurdity precisely designates the truth of writing, the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original”.

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Yet I’d like to suggest a distinction between the authenticity of the text and the authenticity of the voice (leaving aside concepts of author, writer, speaker etc.). Indeed, the text is essentially unauthentic; the author is being dead, and the reader is, righteously, the new meaning-provider. Yet from all this destruction, I think that something new is born: the voice.

The Voice

Barthes continues the above quoted text with what can be understood as a minor observation on his part, but a one that I think is key to understanding the essence and the role of the authentic voice – that which tells an essentially unauthentic story:

“his [the writer, the dead author, the layman speaker] only power is to combine the different kinds of writing, to oppose some by others, so as never to sustain himself by just one of them”.

I’d like to interpret this last sentence as suggesting that authentic voices are those associating old texts in a certain way in a certain time for a certain society. And even if the last sentence from Barthes doesn’t say that, I’d still like to stick to this idea, and to maintain that this role of the authentic voice is of an extreme importance.

The authentic voice is that which reminds us of old, forgotten texts. What I’ll say now is not original, but it’s important: the past contains many answers for us, mostly in the form of unanswered questions (yes, I noticed the paradox). Faulkner has this saying that the past is never dead and that it is not even past. This insight, I think, is critical for our survival, for our progress. The right old question [or text in its broadest meaning] brought up in the right moment in the right context can change things. What Barthes cannot take from the dead author is his choice of the texts and of the moment and context of their reincarnation.

In other words, the role of the authentic voice is to bring up, to remind, in a certain point in time, some old texts so that the “reader” will start his/her process of creating meaning – actual, relevant meaning – around them. The authentic voice is the catalyst, the trigger of the whole process.

Remember (for future use): a society that cannot forget is a society that cannot remember.

DJ Spooky’s Remix Simulacrum

February 4, 2007

“Today, the voice you speak with may not be your own”, DJ Spooky

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I thought this sentence was clear. But then, after thinking about it for a while, I concluded that it eludes me. I have several possible meanings with much more unanswered questions about its potential semantics.

Meanings

It can refer to the pessimistic Baudrillardian Integral Reality theory, in which anything is a simulacrum, a fake, including our “self”, our voice.
[OR]
It can be understood as an optimistic, web2.0 share-all style, in which the right to remix and to appropriate others’ voices goes mainstream.

Questions

– What is “My” voice? What guarantees the authenticity of a certain “Voice”?
– Remix: Given that the human history of ideas, progress, art, etc. is the history of Remix, i.e. the unexpected association of different, seemingly unrelated memes, should “remix” be classified as an authentic voice or an unauthentic one?
– What is different “Today”? Until Today, what kind of voice have we used – our own or others’?
– What is “Today” – where does it point to?

The sequel to this post is The Death of the Author; the Birth of the Voice.

The Ontology of DJ Spooky

December 4, 2006

“Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delaney, all these science fiction writers were engaging with trying to figure out how to think outside the box. The tragedy is that there is no outside the box. You’re just in another box, in another box…”, DJ Spooky’s Remixing the Matrix

You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.
You’re just in another box, in another box.

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Click the image to get to DJ Spooky’s collected Essays

Also, I find the following DJ Spooky’s observation a sort of an answer to those worries raised in earlier posts:

“Once you get into the flow of things, you’re always haunted by the way that things could have turned out. This outcome, that conclusion. You get my drift. The uncertainty is what holds the story together”

DJ Spooky, Rhythm Science