I really enjoyed watching the Everything is a Remix video. It was informative while also being entertaining. I was really surprised to hear about the fact that Led Zeppelin had gotten most of their tunes from other artist. I mean, of course I know that in the music business, everything is just a reference of something that references something else; however, it’s just upsetting to know that certain melodies that you grew up listening to were not attributed to the right artist.
But the thing about remixes is that it allows everyone who takes part in the creative process to become an artist. I am probably not wording this correctly, but I feel as though remixing things gives tools to individuals who are inspired by a certain piece of writing, music, or artistic media the outlet to channel their inspiration. I can not even count the number of times where I have found my self intrigued by a poem or a novella and wanted to write a response or reaction to a text in the same artistic format. I think “remixing” is just another way for humans to connect on a level that isn’t super shallow. As the great Jaden Smith once said, “if human beings aren’t allowed to reference each other’s work, then why are we even all on the same planet.”
When it comes to this class, I would very much like endeavor into “remix” culture. I am a humanities major, in addition to IMA, so I have always found myself interested in how human beings connect on a technological level. Some of the psychology that may be behind Remix culture is what I am looking to find. But of course, I would like to expand my horizons when it comes to coding and processing. Yay!
My interactive song experience was a very relaxing and meditative one because I think the soundtrack was very similar to “lounge music” and just very soothing to the ears and mind. At first, I felt very engaged because I was mesmerised by the background on the screen and the changing backgrounds. The background and leafs moving were very neutral and soft on the eyes colours so it was not a pain to look at the screen. There are different buttons that one can press to play with the tempo of the music as well as add to the loudness of the underlying beat. Additionally, as you click on the screen, depending on if you’re clicking on the left of the screen to the right hand side, there is an additional melody that comes up. That melody enhances the background music and on the left of the screen it is more lower key notes while clicking on the right of the screen gives more high-pitched melodies. Also, there are two interfaces, one is a harp and another looks like a bee hive, those can be played with and they also control the additional sounds coming up.
I think it works at first to distress and calm people. It is really nice to play with all the buttons and create a layer of melody over the background music but apart from clicking, there is no way to enjoy this experience in another way or to make it better by creating one’s own music. I think after some time too, it gets repetitive and you already know everything so it’s hard to get surprised by something new.
The user controlled the speed of the music as well as the volume of the underlying beat. The user could also press on note keys to add a different pitched sound to the piece. In this experience, I think that you feel both like an audience and a composer. This is because the buttons which allow you to determine the speed and volume just adds to your experience as watching and listening to the piece. However, the buttons that enabled you to press and add notes to the music made you become a bit of a composer. But, in the end, I think that the musics and melody are already set in the website and it is hard to create something or to add notes that wouldn’t match with the music because everything is calculated to create a good experience which means they would not input notes of music or sounds that wouldn’t go along with the underlying base melody and beat.
- What did the experience feel like? Was it funny/meditative/sad/something else?
The overall experience of ñ was pretty meditative and fun at the same time. When I was listening to the first song on the app, I paid a lot of attention on understanding the lyrics while they were gently coming towards the red line. But since it was still time-sensative, I had to make sure to spin the wheel before it’s too late, which created a sense of nervousness.
- Were you engaged / bored?
I was pretty engaged and I liked the first song a lot.
- What worked / didn’t work?
The smoothness of the transactions between different lines was beyond my expectation. But for the third song, the triangles were coming at me really fast, and it was slightly hard to click on other triangles.
- What user actions controlled what aspects of the music? (in your own words)
For the first song – users rotating the wheels carrying many options of lyrics that are flying towards you. Second song – users unlocking instruments by changing GPS location to whatever is required. Third song – users clicking on one triangle from a group of triangles coming closer and closer.
- Is this an instrument or a musical composition? Did you feel like a composer or like the audience?
These three songs are more like musical compositions, but I felt that I was a composer and an audience since I was listening to the piece being altered by me in real time.
I find it amazing how a simple melody or beat can be transformed or used by different people to create totally different effects. If one does not pay close attention or does not originally know where a particular melody comes from originally, they wouldn’t at all think that a piece is a remix. To be honest, I am very impressed by how artists can use something by someone else and incorporate it in their own work by just tweeking it ever so slightly just like in the example in the video “When the Levee Breaks” beat.
I thought it interesting that covers and knock-offs were considered as legal remixing. I am wondering whether it is because the pieces do not change that much from the original and therefore, the artist that covers or makes the knock-offs cannot claim it theirs so it stays within legal rights. But at the same time, it makes me wonder where to draw the line between what is legal and illegal in remixing? Why are covers considered an acceptable remix when a lot of people sue others for the slightest copying of their work? and covers are mostly nearly copy of the original too.
I am curious to learn more about remixing and the fine line between legal and illegal remixing.
In the video by Kirby Ferguson, we learn through the example of Led Zeppelin, of how other people’s music has been used, and then altered overtime. However, it is important to note that Led Zeppelin did not alter the music enough, in order for it to qualify as ‘theirs’. This reflects back to the important principle (also stated in the syllabus of ‘This is the Remix’), that credit should be given where it is due, otherwise it qualifies as plagiarism, and would lead to penalties.
All in all, I was very surprised to know that a band, as famous as Led Zeppelin (which is also one of my favorites) had made use of ‘remixing’. Just makes me wonder how many more super famous artists, authors, bands, etc have also done so. Lastly, I feel it is also important to analyse whether ‘remixing’ itself is good or bad. There may be no solid answer for that, but if one were to ask me, I feel that remixing gives birth to new ideas and forms of art.
The short novel told a story about how human become deeply depend on machine, which causes the collapse of the human civilization. After reading this novel, I am shocked by the hopeless imagination of the future it describes.
One of the interesting things I notice in this novel is about people’s faith. Though in this world people don’t believe in God anymore, the machine takes his place. The great power of the machine have intervened in every aspects of people’s lives. People even can’t live without the support of the machine, and the machine can provide everything one need in his or her life. What’s interesting in this story is that though people treat faith as a kind of superstition, they highly appreciate what the machine have done for them. They try to think in a mechanic way and don’t dare to against the machine’s will. And in the second half of the story, machine really replaces God’s role, and people even treat the instruction of the machine as the Bible. Things become a little bit similar nowadays, people would rather believe in what people told them on their phone than real expert, especially old people. What’s more, people can’t even leave their phone for a single second, and treat their phone as a nice tool to know about the world.
And what can be find in this novel was more than that. From the story we can tell that the human civilization step into such a machine-dominate society unconsciously, and the same for its collapse. When things become a little bit worse, people just get used to it quickly. For us reader we can simply tell that the people in the story are living in a rather strange world, but for people who really live in it, those strangeness have already become their reality for they were all born in such a mechanic world, they just take those unreasonable details for granted. So they won’t think about what if one today the machine might stop since they took the existence of the machine as part of the nature and civilization. This unconscious makes me wonder that if there is also something which are so important to us but only when we lose it can we realize its importance in reality. For example, the water supply system, we take it for granted that when we open the tap there will be water running out, but what if the system stop one day just like the machine in the story, I believe it must cause a chaos for the society. And it’s the same for our electric and energy supply system, so you can realize how weak the basement that our society build on.
Just think carefully into the situation which people face in the novel. One of the terrible things is that it seems nothing wrong with this machine system, at least it can provide everything people need in the life, so dose there have any necessity to explore the outside world, after all, a room with wifi and AC can prevent so many people from going outside. Does the word “humanity” exist only in our desire? If facing the reality can bring us nothing but just the pain and the recognition of how miserable the live we are living, do we need to face it or stay in the comfort zone? I believe if the machine didn’t collapse in the end, nothing will change in the society, people who are living in it will just become lazier and lazier. But you still can’t tell what’s wrong in the system because it just improve every aspect of our live. We become the slave of the machine, but it’s the result that carried out by every person. Perhaps the biggest mistake of this society is its highly dependence of the machine and the uncertainty of the working of the machine. And so is our world, we are living in a much more complex machine which might break down at any time and we just keep waiting for that moment silently.
When watching, “Everything is a Remix” there is a variety of things that cross my mind. For starters, it makes me rethink anything and everything that I have ever done. Has it all been done before? Am I not capable of creating something that has been created before? Has someone taken something that is mine? It wasn’t until I started thinking about how remix impacts me personally that I began to have mixed feeling of it. However, when watching Part 1 I was mesmerized. I grew up having such an appreciation for music that when I heard Spirit’s song Taurus and really getting into more of the Led Zeppelin case that I never thought of them as “rip-offs” but as a group who was adding something different. It created a different story, a different message in which would transcend. The idea that everything is a remix is one that I definitely stand by. We live in a world that is constantly moving and ideas are always being shared. There will always be something that is, “Copied, Transformed, Paste”.
It is really hard or maybe impossible to have an original idea. Ideas are all inspired by something that’s already created. So that music, movies, technology or even living organism are copies of something successful. “Copy, transform, combine.” By copying the best parts of something transforming it to even better and combining it with the best part of something else we can get something new and incredible. This is how nature or us are able to improve, create improvement. This all sounds alright, however the problem of copyright has recently emerged. No one wants their ideas to be copied and no one wants their profits to be “stolen”. It seems like we stopped inventing new since we do not have the materials any more. It sounds like copyright is not just protection of our own but barrier of progress. I believe, the overall message of “Everything is a Remix” is that we need to think of copyright again at the time when humanity faces so many crucial problems.
I think he had quite a few very thought-provoking ideas such as the one the “creation requires influence” in part 2. The movie examples he brought up were well-known and I really liked the comparison, he showed the images of the movies at the same time so we can see the similarity more easily. In part 3, he said “we can’t introduce anything new until we are fluent in the language of our domain”. I can’t agree more, I believe this was they key point of the video. It is really hard to remain original once you are familiar with your domain; you learnt about so many things, it is inevitable to seemingly forget much of what you’ve learnt but unconsciously you remember and you can’t control it. It also raised a question in me: does originality still exist today? Can we create something that hadn’t been existed before in a similar form?
The Machine Stops was an incredible read. The writing was really great, both in its imagery and in the subtle way it conveyed its main idea: to avoid having man-made technology erode what truly makes man. Written in the early 1900’s, Forster wouldn’t have had the faintest inkling of the Internet, but the way his characters live their lives by proxy of The Machine (and their eventual, mutual, downfall) really reflects the continuing trend of humans relying on the Internet.
However, while Forster’s Machine became an oppressive technology that restricted “ideas” and, as Kuno had to relearn, “Man” as a measurement, the Internet can provide ways for us to share ideas and explore each other’s human experiences.