A remix everything is
No, I haven’t suddenly begun talking like Yoda, although the following has a lot to do with Star Wars. I just came across this video, which is part two of a series called Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson. It’s a great piece on the derivative nature of cultural production and creativity. It is, of course, itself also a remix — a kind of meta-remix I suppose. Its main point? That remixing is a thoroughly integral part of cultural production, and always has been. I especially loved the point that Isaac Newton’s famous statement about “standing on the shoulders of giants” was itself a reworking of a previous quote.
The video is interesting on a number of levels and could be related to anything from the question of cultural boundedness to the essay writing habits of students. (Could essays be productively thought of as mashups? And does this help to explain lackadaisical attitudes towards attribution?) It also has a section devoted to movies such as Avatar which Ferguson describes as being part of a “sorry for colonialism” movie subgenre. This relates back to discussions on Savage Minds and elsewhere on that subject, and while not providing much in the way of analysis the video does help to show how pervasive the “white-man-who-goes-native-becomes-the-chief-warrior-and-defender-of-the-indigenous-tribe-against-the-colonising-power-and-in-the-process-finds-his-authentic-self” genre is in Hollywood.
Or then you might just be interested in how amazingly derivative Star Wars was. In a galaxy far, far away … not!