New School News

Out with the Old and In with the Remixed

A performance during the 2011 RE/Mixed Festival. Photo by Alex Brooke-Lynn.

“Now usually I don’t do this…”

So goes R. Kelly’s introduction to his 2002 hit “Ignition (Remix).” Beloved though that single is, the idea that remixing is a rare act for Kelly—or any artist, for that matter—is simply untrue to Tom Tenney, graduate student in the Media Studies department. To Tenny, remixing is perhaps the central act of artistic production. Though advancements in digital technologies have in recent years shone a brighter spotlight on creative rebranding, Tenney contends that all art, music, and media are built off of “artifacts from our creative commons.”

Tenney and other will explore this notion on Saturday, November 10, when he hosts his third annual RE/Mixed Media Festival, an all-day event celebrating collaborative art making and
art remixing. Held at the Brooklyn Lyceum, (227 4th Ave, Brooklyn) the festival features ongoing conversations about copyright law reform, fair use, and collaboration, as well as performances and work from artists across the globe.

Tenney started thinking about a festival for remixed art back in 2009. He saw a need for a conference that not only included panels discussing copyright and uses of past images as the building blocks for new art, but a representation of material as well. “My goal was to create an event that celebrated appropriation as the de facto means of artistic creation,” said Tenney.

Over the years, RE/Mixed has grown substantially, with artists like Moby and Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) eager to participate. One of the biggest transitions for the festival is this year’s collaboration with the MAshRome Film Fest, an event in Italy dedicated to encouraging Mash Up and Remix art.

Beyond the expansion of the festival, Tenney is most proud of the diverse range of people who attend year after year. “A lot of people who come are involved in the free culture movement, and organizations like Public Knowledge and Creative Commons, as well as experimental artists, lawyers and law students, filmmakers and hackers.”

What’s the best part of this disparate group of people? While they all come with a certain interest in mind, the festival’s changeable, interactive structure inevitably exposes them to something else—in effect remixing the group itself.

For tickets, more information, and a schedule of the festival, go here.

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