Reflection on “Everything is a Remix”

Kirby Ferguson’s series did what I think I’ve been waiting for all of these other articles to do. His explanation of the origin of copyright laws really made me reflect on how their original intent have been skewed and warped into a way of taking money from people. Ironically, perhaps intellectual property law would only actually work in a non-capitalist system!

Ferguson’s observation of the creative method of “copy, transform, combine” got me thinking about the way architecture has reacted to this. In architectural movements throughout history, we see the exact same elements appearing on many buildings in the same timeframe and reason. Those elements, such as dentil molding in post-colonial United States, are used to identify buildings from a particular era or movement. Copying in architecture has been done without question for hundreds- even thousands- of years.

“Everything is a Remix” also made me reflect on brutalist architecture. Among other things, this movement is reliant on the idea that everything has already been done, and basically gives up trying to make anything original. Even for people who like brutalism, its products are heavy and ugly. They are characteristic of eastern Europe’s communist cities, and are rarely regarded as a positive aesthetic to live in or around. I guess this is what can happen in a creative pursuit that stops “combining” to create newness.

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