REMiX of a REMiX

An extract from my masters dissertation…

REMiXiNG CULTURE: Creativity and The Internet
D. Nelligan (2014)

// Broader Definitions of ‘Remix’
(p. 17,18)

The term ‘remix’ originated in music recording terminology. But as it is used today, ‘remix’ could easily apply to the writing of a thesis. It is sensibly acknowledged that building on the work of others is as crucial in academia as it is in literature and journalism and all textual forms. We are undeniably influenced by the work of others. But consciously remixing that work does not necessarily mean cannibalising it. The well-written dissertation brings together the findings and thoughts of the author with supporting evidence from a variety of sources which illustrate the established thinking and newer trends in the relevant field(s) of study. Without quotation marks or citations of any kind, the dissertation would be rife with plagiarism. But with the proper referencing and annotation, the same dissertation is appreciated for the curation and editing of the “remixed” texts to support larger arguments. A successful remix has merit in its own right. It draws disparate elements together from various sources to create a coherent whole. The creative decisions involved in the editing and blending of these disparate elements with new original material constitute an assertion of authorship on the part of the remixer.

My REMiX of a REMiX video was an exercise in this kind of curative authorship. I took an 80 minute film and savagely edited it down to 20 minutes. Editing takes a lot of thoughtfulness, consideration and technical skill. My editorial objective was to encapsulate all the points from the movie that I would be discussing in this thesis, especially the points that were illustrated more concisely and demonstrated more fully than a textual form would allow. As Lawrence Lessig explained to Brett Gaylor in a scene from the video, you should be able to use multimedia content in journalism and documentary film-making as freely as any author can directly quote other authors in a text. If you attribute the quotation and cite the source, there should not be a problem.