Mashups=Future?

In the article “Remix video and the crisis of the humanities“, by Kim Middleton she argues Why should humanities scholars be interested in remix video? Equally importantly, why should remix video practitioners be interested in categorizing their work as humanistic endeavor? To reveal symmetries between the two that may motivate a reciprocal reevaluation of shared intellectual and cultural engagement, and to suggest that these contain the potential for coalition in the service of defending and promoting shared values. Jonathan McIntosh, a well known remix artist and producer of “Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck in Right Wing Radio Duck” raises attention to the decline of employment in the American economy.

It now seems that just about everyone was hit by the recession. As we learned from the video, even lovable Walt Disney character Donald Duck has gotten financially discouraged. Using dozens of Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s, Jonathan McIntosh made this amazing remix where a downtrodden Donald gets his house foreclosed on after losing his job. He turns to Glenn Beck’s radio show for moral support, only to be stricken with fear about the Nazis, Communists, and Islamic extremists that undoubtedly surround him. The impersonation of Beck as a paranoid, psychotic radio slowly driving Donald mad with fear is hilarious, and the splicing of Beck’s sound bites with the old Disney cartoons is seamless. Watch until the end to see how Donald ends up dealing with Beck’s fear mongering.

Through the video we learned that humanities may become almost non existent but it will never go away. As long as there are people like McIntosh that promote innovating ways to incorporate humanities. we think the narrative of crisis belongs solely to the scions of language and literature, it should be noted that the documentation of dehumanizing tendencies of digital media is an equal opportunity activity.

“The new designs on the verge of being locked in, the web 2.0 designs, actively demand that people define themselves downward. It’s one thing to launch a limited conception of music or time…It is another to do that with the very idea of what it is to be a person”  (2.2)

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In Chuck Tryon’s 2009 book Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence, he declares that we’ve entered an age of digital cinema, one marked by the complicated and intersecting actions and reactions tied to making, consuming, and critiquing film. The number of ways to come at a film are befuddling. It can lean towards the actions of one man or the entire culture’s view on filmmaking. There is an ongoing argument about remix videos. Some claim that the videos are pointless entertainment while others like Tyron, believe they are a sophisticated approach to the cultural/social/personal impacts of digital technologies.

The determining factor of a great remix is determined by how it is perceived by the public. How strong the “original”, if there is even a thing anymore (myth), purpose of the video is also crucial. In its most accomplished works, remix manages to encode both self-reflection and media critique.

Fear is the stem of technology. Everyone fears what they cannot control. Technology is advancing so quickly and has come so far from such a short time. Many people believe through technology such as mash ups and remixes that humanity as a whole will suffer and be deprived of that natural growth.

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One thought on “Mashups=Future?

  1. I was reading through this and wondering if mashups really are the future. I agree with your idea about originality. I think that the success of mashups definitely does depend on how original the video is. If it’s just a few clips moved around here and there, it won’t have much impact because there’s not a clearly defined messaged behind the work. Tryon is absolutely correct by saying that we’re in a new age of digital cinema; almost everything now is digital. But are mashups included in that category of digital media? That I’m not sure of, but I do believe that the digital world has taken over and there’s no going back.

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