Whether it be music, literature or art, remixing is definitely NOT new. Beethoven payed “homage” to Mozart by incorporating elements of Wolfgang’s music into his own.
Grandmaster flash did it and Vanilla Ice sure as hell did it.
What’s the difference now?
From the article 7 Essential Skills You Didn’t Learn in College, they claim “The creative act is no longer about building something out of nothing but rather building something new out of cultural products that already exist.”
With the variety of music and video editing tools available it’s hard to resist the urge to take something you see and put your own spin on it. Note the Halloween themed spoof of the classic painting by Grant Wood, American Gothic.
“Remix,” in the sense the competition intended, means a creative work that builds upon the creative work of others. That doesn’t mean simply grabbing or using the work of others. It means using the work of others in a way that is transformative, or critical. -The “Imbecile” and “Moron” Responds: On the Freedoms of Remix Creators
Take a walk with this video series by Kirby Ferguson entitled “Everything is a Remix”. He explains how people have been remixing throughout time and how it’s become an important tool for people to express themselves.
By allowing students to mix and remix media that they find, they can explore an outlet to express something they want to share. They can change something to fit their emotion/ social needs and maybe use it to touch someone else that didn’t understand the original piece of work, but can better relate to this new adaptation.
Students should be given the opportunity to share their understanding through the various medians the experience life everyday. I let my class combine technologies to make something new, rewrite the words to songs to show their understanding of a chapter, redesign a cereal box to fit our social studies unit.
These concepts aren’t new. The tools we use to do it, an the avenues we use to share it have. Dioramas are still around, but there are other creative outlets that students today would want to have as an option. Letting them have the freedom to explore and create is key.