Towards a Politics of Remix

By Vicki Callahan, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Let me first also add my thanks to Doug and all the contributors for a very stimulating week of conversation. It has been a bit overwhelming at times, but it is clear there are many people and organizations hard at work preserving and developing our cultural heritage. With respect to Doug's challenge for our final day, I think the most transformative initiatives must strive toward Lynne's "Rachel Carson effect," whereby we engage audiences but most importantly create community and civic engagement. Clay's link to research efforts, which discussed the "instrumental" and "intrinsic" impact of the arts was very interesting reading and serves as a reminder as in Alex's last posting, that we cannot separate policy -- or the political -- from the aesthetic questions. The artist and audience cannot communicate or extend a conversation if expression is restricted, censored, or sold only to highest bidder. That means no matter how "transformative" the art, if as Brian noted earlier it doesn't circulate or cannot be accessed, its power is limited. So like Brian and Bill, I would underline copyright and net neutrality questions as vital starting points to any discussion. Ultimately, I think we have to work on both sides of the equation - critical and creative - in an ongoing and relentless manner. To work across that divide is sometimes uncomfortable, but not always as difficult as entrenched forces and institutions would like us to believe. To bridge that divide across skill sets, we will have to at times collaborate, dialogue, and share - information, tools, and indeed emotion (as Alex notes so elegantly). To put this another way, the aesthetics of remix should be a model for a politics of remix.
July 23, 2010 1:37 PM | | Comments (0) |

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