Re: Mash-ups (and ready-mades)

From: Nicholas O'Brien (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Jan 05 2010 - 08:10:07 PST

There's the amateur word! I know Eli isn't using it as a negative (or
venerated) term, but it's an interesting word choice nonetheless (since if
my memory serves me correctly, there has been a good amount of conversations
on FW about that topic). I think perhaps a starting point for the "litmus
test" could be found in discerning the difference between how the amateur -
persons who participate in their creative activity for joy rather than
profit - and Hollywood (allow me to use that term loosely, thx) manipulate
found-footage. Lessig differentiates these motives as the difference between
read-only and read-write culture. The emergence of fair-use (mostly internet
based) appropriation in remix culture is different because of the amateur
element. He sez (mind the paraphrasing), that because remix/mashup culture
possesses TRANSFORMATIVE properties of the original source material, it is a
completely new work, and thus can't be stigmatized with typical/tyrannical
copyright infringement laws. This transformation (at best, critical
reflection upon image/media making), is something taught (perhpas
unknowingly) to the mash-up generation via found-footage films. I agree that
found-footage films are different from mash-ups, but not because of
technical (or time-based contextual) reasons. Instead (and I know I've
already diverged from the OP too much already), one significant difference
between the two forms is in the accessibility of one over the other (in a
non-pejorative way). Mash-ups typically use readily available resources, or
else readily recognizable popular iconography. Thinking of DJ Food's Raiding
the 20th Century, most of the audio we hear is something not found in
typical crate digging hip-hop sampling, but instead the top 10-radio hits of
the past two decades. Likewise video mash-ups typically have almost
immediate understanding of a premise based upon the common familiarity of
content and sources ( I don't
know if this really helps, but it's a convo I love having. Also to check out
is RIP! A remix Manifesto: (i
want to start incorporating this into my syllabus as well).


On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 9:31 AM, Eli Horwatt <email suppressed> wrote:

> Yes, it does depend on what you're talking about.
> The use of the term mashup in reference to all found footage work of
> any kind is simply wrong. Obviously there is no litmus test, but I
> would say this term is used to represent the work of amateur editors
> on the Internet interested in narrative assemblage from various
> mainstream sources usually for the purposes of détournement.
> Eli
> On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 8:07 AM, Stephen Morgan <email suppressed>
> wrote:
> > It all depends on exactly what you're talking about, I suppose.
> >
> > In the first half of the 1980s, a bunch of young 'anti-artists' in the
> UK,
> > some influenced by hip-hop turntablism, started appropriating 'found
> > footage' in a practice which became known as 'Scratch Video'.
> >
> > Andy Lipman wrote an interesting piece entitled 'Scratch and Run' for
> City
> > Limits in 1984, which can be found here:
> >
> >
> >
> > S.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 7:32 AM, Fred Camper <email suppressed> wrote:
> >>
> >> I'd like to question the use of the term "mash-up."
> >>
> >> I remember being startled a few years back by an article in "Wired"
> >> magazine that referred to Arthur Lipsett's films as "mash-ups."
> >>
> >> The term itself suggests its origin in pop music, and an informality, a
> >> rapidity of construction perhaps, that feels, to me, thoroughly wrong
> for
> >> Lipsett's films, or, say, Brakhage's "Murder Psalm." "Found footage
> films"
> >> or "collage films" are already-existing terms that seem better.
> >>
> >> Of course there may also be more recent videos for which the term
> >> "mash-up" is appropriate, and of course I understand that some may
> disagree
> >> with me and go on using the term for all such films.
> >>
> >> Fred Camper
> >> Chicago
> >>
> >>
> >> __________________________________________________________________
> >> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> >
> > __________________________________________________________________ For
> info
> > on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

Nicholas O'Brien
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.