Context & Culture Homepage

Subject: CCE - Context & Culture - 2013

College of Arts, Victoria University

Teacher Name: Lisa Cianci - email:
Course Coordinator & Education Manager: Alan Morgans - email:
College of Arts Office: City Flinders - Tel: 9919 1517

Class Website -

Class 05 - Contemporary Art Practices & Creativity - Remix

Class Activities

1. On Remix Art

Remix as a form of creative practice is a process or method of creating artworks that use pre-existing content to produce new work. There are many forms and types of remix addressing many issues as the references listed further on will show, but what is interesting to consider is that as a concept, remix isn't really new. Some would claim (as you will see in the video series we will watch) that the history of remix goes back as far as our creative history - that all aspects of human creative endeavour is infact based upon remix or a synthesis of past material.

Today, remix is a valid form of creation - especially in the current digital / information age where so many of us have access to digital media tools to cut, copy, paste & manipulate content in so many ways to form new content.

Today we will watch Everything is a Remix, by Kirby Ferguson: 

This series of short documentary films may seem to be quite general and full of "pop culture" references, but underlying the content is an idea that many artists and academics are currently discussing in relation to creative research, and what we do as artists:

  • Where do our ideas come from?
  • How much does past work inform future work?
  • How much credit should we give those past works that have been used as the basis for the creation of new works?

Briefly discuss issues relating to reflective practice and artistic research & how you fit in to a continuum of creative practice - what artists that have come before you have influenced your practice? How do you feel about remix, appropriation, "quotation" (that post-modern favourite), and what do you think about the current litigious climate involving many creative works?

Some topics to consider and perhaps research in more depth:

Intellectual property rights when reusing/appropriating/quoting/stealing/remixing other's work

Commercialism in art and its impact on property rights and the power of large corporations to stifle creativity

The use of ubiquitous technology in facilitating remix and recombinant artworks using different types of media such as image, video, music, text - everyone can be a remix artist

Globalisation and its impact on culture - is there more or less diversity when we have access to everything?

Is everything (including our DNA) a remix? Or is this an over simplification of a complex concept, and what defines the "remix"?

What are Memes and how does this relate to Remix?



Some links and references to follow up on:

Creative Commons and Copyright/Copyleft...

Creative Commons:

The Illustrated Story of Copyright, Edward Samuels -

Jim Jarmusch - Steal from Everywhere:

Lessig & Fairey - On Art, Commerce and Corruption:

Creative Rights and Artists:


Some Remix related links and references:

Eduardo Navas - Remix Theory:

Mark Amerika - Remix the Book:

Remix Culture in Australia by Ross Harley:

Cory Arcangel - Arnold Schoenberg, op. 11 - I - Cute Kittens -

The Case for Contamination by Kwame Anthony Appiah:

The Ecstasy of Influence: A plagiarism - by Jonathan Lethem:

Reaping the Rewards of Risk-Taking by Steve Lohr:

ARS Electronica - Hybrid:

Shredder 1.0 - Mark Napier:

TATE Britain - Altermodern:

Texts by Cory Doctorow:

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin:


2. Research & Writing

Belinda Bold will be coming to class today at 10am to show you a presentation on research & writing which is a great resource to have when you're writing essays.


3. Activity

Work on your assessment task (Indigenous Art essay) and take some time to populate your blog with engaging content. Please ask me for help if you're not sure what to write about or how to make a start.

The next writing task won't start for a couple of weeks, but Remix is one option to consider (amongst others) so you might find something in the resources provided today to start your next research endeavour.


Homework / Readings

Work on your Assessment Task 1 writing piece. you may still be researching and selecting the work/artists/type of art you want to discuss.

Follow up on some of the Remix references provided - if you find something that interests you, you might want to make a blog post about it.