“Everything’s a copy of a copy of a copy” ask recited by Edward Norton in Fight Club is the theme of Chapter 4.
This line above popped into my head several times as I was reading this chapter. Although he was referring to insomnia, I believe this directly relates to the idea of remixing. Chapter four of New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel closely examined the idea of remixing various forms of social media. One phrase that was used by L&K was that “culture is remix” (2011 p. 97). This all-encompassing statement resonated with me as I reflected on living in Germany a few years ago.
I was living in Germany for approximately two years (as I was working on a military base). I spend the first year living in a very small town at the top of a hill. I literally had a castle at the end of my street. The town I lived in was mostly older individuals who were pretty set in their ways. Little old ladies would come out and sweep their sidewalks every morning (as this was required by law I came to find out). They were very curious individuals who you could tell were into routines. There was a larger chain store that opened up in the town that caused a general up roar amongst the residents who had lived in the town their entire lives. I did not understand why people would be so resistant to the change. It turns out from talking to my neighbor, they were afraid the mom and pop bakery and convenience stores in the town would be shut down. There was a large group of people who refused to shop at the store based on stubbornness and an inability to adapt to change. I understand taking a stance on what you believe but in a town that obviously needed the growth to draw new residents in, they should have at least tried warming up to the idea.
L&K spoke about a democratic culture in reference to why remixing was necessary. I think democratic was an interesting word to use because to me it almost sounds like it is our freedom to participate. Remixing to me is taking our own Discourse and mixing it with others D/discourses to make something new. Although the Germany reference above had more to do with culture than social media I would think that remixing their ideas could have worked to solve their problem. For example, if people who worked at the bakery were able to sell their goods to the store, they could all profit. The bakery could even reach a larger market and have the opportunity to make more money than before. By taking their own cultural “style” of baking they could provide a product that the new super market had never had before. Sometimes not taking sides and looking at a situation such as this from a nonbiased position provides some clarity.
Previous to reading this chapter I had not thought much about remixing anything other than music. As I was reading about the various ways in which remixing could be achieved with music I began to think back to chapter two. When listening to a remixed song, certain feelings immediately come to mind and connect you with that song. In chapter two they spoke about the feeling of connecting with a group or in this instance a song. By mixing different songs together it can connect a larger variety of fans because of the number of songs intertwined. This leads me to believe if an artist was successful at remixing songs they could potentially have a large very diverse fan base if they are successful.
Another thing that stood out to me was the development of feelings of normalcy or belonging to a group (such as fanfiction.net). If a person has a specific interest in some form of media that might not be very popular, he or she can openly talk about it online with others. Those who share the same interest can mutually feel like someone understands them. Do these feelings translate to any other areas in their life? To seek out acceptance online is not nearly the same as finding it at work, or through every day in person interactions. I would be interested to read more about the development of their social interactions and how it translates into their personal relationships that are not based online.
In my opinion reading this chapter would have been more beneficial BEFORE doing the audio assignment. There was a lot of valuable information such as websites to use to remix songs. I think I understand the process better and now grasp what I was actually doing instead of fumbling around on Audacity. I look forward to focusing on my critique this week as I have never taken a look at the websites that were mentioned in this chapter.
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Nobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2008.