Friday, April 15, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 12) Lawrence Lessig connections to RIP! A Remix Manifesto

Both the movie and Lessig's book look into the future of music with a out dated copyright law.

Lessig's book he talks about how implementing a hybrid economy and how it would allow free content and also ease up on copyright laws. The band Lonely island began their music career by releasing tracks for free online. Saturday Night Live signed the band and also gave the members roles as actors and writers on the show. This shows a blend of commercial and sharing economy.
The movie also states the the "Past controls the future". You could argue that this basically means the Record label companies don't want to lose control of the music itself. They don't know what the future holds for a hybrid economy, record label companies would lose their tight grip on a lot of music. But, not letting a hybrid economy have a chance to flourish is a good example of the "past controlling the future".
The movie uses the example of Brazil being a remix culture, in Brazil remixing songs is very common. This culture views remixes as new original pieces of work. He uses this example because he feels it could be a possible future for the U.S.
Both the movie and the book emphasize the fact copyright laws are outdated because the no longer protects creativity but instead suppresses it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 11) Sharing vs. Commercial Economy

Lawrence Lessig breaks economics down into two different categories, a Sharing economy and a Commercial  economy.

Commercial: Lessig describes most of our day to day transactions as a Commercial economy. For example anything exchanging of objects are categorized as such. In our culture it is mostly trading money for another object, other examples could be trading a object for another object.

Sharing: This is the exchange of goods for the promise of doing something else in return. This economy is run by relationships and not monitory prices. An example of this could be wikipedia where by accessing and sharing data/content you are not expecting a price for your services, you are instead doing this because of other reasons possibly to help add to the vast collection.

Lessig brings both types of economics up because he feels that the internet is evolving into a shared economy. Sites like Amazon, Wikipedia, and Google are giving their applications with simply a shared economy or a combination of shared and commercial economy. Google is a site where it is simply a sharing economy; it asks nothing for the use of its products but in return for that usage Google keeps all the data you put into its search engines or other applications. Amazon uses a hybrid because it not only deals with a shared economy, but it uses that information to enhance the commercial economy aspect of its business. By browsing through its products, it is able to see what you like and build a pattern of items you like and uses that along with others "liked items" to build a suggested buying list for you. This creates a long tail effect and opens the market up and has been a large part of Amazons success. Lessig gives an example of why Amazon is superior to Barnes and Noble. To have a suggested selling much like Amazon, the store would have to be knowledgeable on hundreds upon hundreds of texts and also know your personality and the types of books you like. This is an example of what gives the web a upper hand on other forms of economy.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 10) Remixing in the digital age

The video I chose was a remix on the Youtube user CopperCab which has been remixed in parody and comical fashion by the makers of South Park. I like this particular remix because it is instantly recognizable. Not only did I think it was funny, it was so funny in fact that, I  showed a couple of my friends which helped make it so viral. A good remix must be note worthy and recognizable.

Three things really popped out at me when I watched this video that Lawrence Lessig had wrote about in his book Remix;

Firstly, Lessig talked about how sampling other peoples texts from essays, you don't have to ask permission. He also found it ironic that when sampling peoples music, video, or arts it is considered stealing. This is a clear example of not asking for permission to remix the video. In this case the CopperCab was not so offended by non-permission of use but instead more offended by the mockery that South Park had made of him, and wanted it removed for that reason.

Secondly, I noticed that some of the higher viewed youtube channels also contained advertisement. The use of advertisement is a good way to pay for the users to access content for free at all times. Lessig explains that the providers of content can use money from advertisement to provide free content to it's viewers at all times. Lessig also continued to explain that the future television will no longer be about waiting for your TV show to be broadcasted but instead for the viewer to be able to view the content when ever and where ever.

Finally, at the end of the video I noticed that it had suggestions for other videos that I may be interested in. Due to the content that I had previously viewed youtube had suggested of other things that I might want to view next. At the home screen of youtube it has a list of videos that you might want to see according to your view history, what's popular, and who you are subscribed to. Lessig gave a very similar example of suggested selling on

Friday, March 25, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 8) Rhythm Science

The final Segment of Paul D Miller's book Rhythm Science, is broken up into five sections

1)Rhythmic Cinema: "Whenever you look at an image or listen to a sound, there's a ruthless logic of selection that you have to go through to simply create a order" (p. 81). People perceive things differently, in the case of music when one hears all of the sounds he or she picks out certain order in which the person is absorbing the data. Any slight shift or remixing of the sound can alter the listeners order the data that they are listening to.

2)Rhythm Space: "We live in a world so utterly infused with my digitally that it makes even the slightest action ripple across the collection of data bases we call the web." (p. 89). Living in a web 2.0 culture we all live somewhat in a community where any one action can be accessed by a larger community. Take for example someone can post a video that they made on youtube. Anyone can access that video and relay that to anyone else.

3)Errata Erratum: "The Duchamp response would be 'why not?'" (p. 93). In this section Miller relates DJing to the Avant-Garde of its time. Miller discribes a project he did where he remixed Duchamp which in itself is ironic because Duchamp was in a way a remixing master himself.

4)The Future is Here: "It's truly exciting to travel around just checking out how strange it all is"(p. 103). Miller describes different cultures having different cultural norms. He DJ'd in Iceland where they were a mix of several cultures, after being in immersed in the culture Miller decided to cut of his long dread locks.

5) The Prostitute: "The music and art I create is an end result of a life lived in an environment where almost all aspects of urban life circumscribed by the coded  terrains" (p. 108). Miller speaks on the idea that all of his art is created is based off all of the experiences that he has had in his life.

The some I chose was Iyaz "solo" with Janet Jackson's "again". This relates to what Miller has been talking about in the last section of his book because Iyaz has grown up in remix culture through web 2.0. All of his experiences in Iyaz's life has altered the music that he creates.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The intro to Lawrence Lessig's book Remix, talks about the culture of "kids" today. It says that in todays digital age remixing happens everyday. He uses an example of a person who video taped her baby dancing to Prince song and posted it on, the owners of the song requested that the video be taken down and complied. Lessig wonders why they even put so much effort into stopping something that happens on a regular bases in the digital age.

Lessig describes two different cultures, Read only (RO) and Read/Write (RW) culture:
1) RO culture is a top down culture where the consumer only consumes. The people distributing decides to the consumers get.

2) In a RW culture the consumers consume and produce. People consuming the product will create new material. I feel like in a Web 2.0 culture, we live in a very RW society.

Lessig also uses Sousa's quote about radio/stereo type machine. Sousa basically says that he feels that the invention of that product is going to destroy creativity because no one will want to make anything original. Lessig uses this to prove his point that remixing will not destroy but instead promote creativity!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 7) Rhythm Science

I couldn't tell if Paul D. Miller, the author of Rhythm Science is a really educated and talented writer. Or, a average joe who is using large words in order to sounds smarter. Either way the text made little sense to me and there fore went over my head. So, here is my attempt at making some sense of the reading:

1)Rhythm Cinema- "Sometimes the best way to get a story across is to simply tell a story" (p.80). In this section Miller discusses how conveying meaning can be better by telling a story. He does this by giving examples of films.

2)Rhythm Space- "We live in a world so utterly infused with digitality that it makes even the slightest action ripple across the collection of data bases we call the web" (p.89). "It all depends on your perspective" (p.92). All people look at situations differently and the world wide and the innovations of the web and other technologies are bringing us all closer together. 

3)Errata Erratum- "During the time that I spent researching for Errata Erratum, I found so many examples of how Dj culture Intersected with some of the core tenets of the twentieth-century avante-garde that it seems to have unconsciously absorbed them all" (p.93). Avante-garde is a french term used to categorize cutting edge artists. Miller speaks about how Dj's are the new cutting edge artists of the generation.

4)The Future is Here- "When I got back from that party I cut all my hair off, leaving green, foot long dreads on the floor" (p.101). Miller was influenced by the culture of each place he visited and that affected his music.

5) The Prostitute- "My challenge to myself is to always try to create new worlds, new scenarios at almost every moment of thought" (p.108). Miller uses the moments and experiences in his life to stay original and new.

While exploring the website I found a lot of todays songs sample the music of the past. This really reminded me of what Miller was talking about how the experiences in his life influence his music now. If the artists that sample the beats off of another song from the past there is a good chance that the song was either a song they really liked in the past of a song that has the same message being conveyed. Take for example "The show goes on" by Lupe Fiasco, which samples Modest Mouse's "Float on". Both songs talk about struggling through adversity so maybe Lupe sampled the beat because he was listening to their music recently and was inspired. Or, maybe he liked the over all message of it and wanted to recreate it in his own vision.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

(DTC356 Blog 7) DeeJay

In Marguerite de Bourgoing's article Hip Hop Goes Transmedia Seven Laws, she talks about 7 keys to success while creating music by sampling. The bulk of the article speaks about the 7 laws:

1)Spread your brand: open mic- This explains how reaching a mass audience using tools such as the web can be effective to get your music out their and heard. Existing in a community of people looking for your music and others like it is important.
2)Keep it real: be authentic and marketable- Be unique with your sound and look. Dress edgy as well as sound edgy and people will flock to you, but don't be edgy to the point where no one likes you.
3)Be the change you want to be- Don't conform to the social or media norms, instead be the sound that you want.
4)Collaborate- Mixing sounds with different artists gives a dynamic edge that listeners generally respond positively to. She also states that having "beef" with other artists can create interesting music as well.
5)It ain't hard to tell- Rappers are great story tellers. Creating a transmedia story can be difficult because your sampling music. Create a show for your audience that is engaging and entertaining.
6)It's a mans world but would be nothing without a women- Women are completely out numbered in the hip hop industry as well as DJing. Having a women could appeal to a large missing desire that the mass audience desires.
7)We are scholars before colleges- Hip Hop has a deep and long history, be sure to embrace that and understand its roots.

Some of these points really hit on topics we discussed at the beginning of the semester. Staying within a web community to reach a  larger audience is something that many DJ's utilize.  It really goes back to the "long tail effect" where now underground music such as transmedia sampling, can be reached by everyone and isn't crowded out by the mainstream music.

Now, touching on the Rhythm Science book by Paul D. Miller. This book seemed really hard to read, it really reminded me of watching the Charlie Sheen 20/20 interview. By the end of the reading I was thinking to myself, "What the hell did I just read". None the less I do feel like I got the jist of what he was saying. In Miller's first section he speaks about how writing keeps himself sane, that it takes him to a higher place, "his own temple". This in essence allows him to create creative and unique forms of music. In his next section Miller speaks on Multiplex Consciousness which is basically looking at ones self from outside perspectives. He transition this concept into the sampling of music by stepping outside of ones self and examining the music from a outside perspective. His final section is about phonography, which is the use of sample sounds to create music. He speaks about rapping is easy to tell a story but using others samples to create a message to your listener.

Making connections  between the two articles, both writers really make emphasis about connecting to the  audience through the use of story telling. Both mention that it is hard to create a story while sampling music.