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all mixed up

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I’ve always been told that we learn from each other;  Whether it be peers, teachers, colleagues, etc.  In Melanie McBride’s article about Escaping the Edu-travelogue,  she points out that we now have modes of learning that don’t involve “qualified” teachers, institutional spaces, or curriculum picked out.  I agree, but it also depends on how you define the word “qualified.”  Does it mean having a PhD. or a lifetime of experience?  Or could it be someone who has simply narrated their process of creating something that allows others to recreate and alter the work?  As we are starting our own remixing projects soon, this statement really stuck out to me to keep in mind. “The choice and selection and use of particular content is as integral to remix as the act of editing and changing the meaning of those materials.” ds106 has been a fascinating class because it allows us to explore what is being created and put online and figure out what can be worth using or provide the stimulus for new ideas.  Part of creating our own assignments is seeing what’s out there that can be manipulated or even what hasn’t been done yet.  In the Dr. Mashup article, Brian Lamb argues why we should embrace the mash-up and I agree with a lot of what he says.  I believe a remix or mash-up is new art.  And while at times, may be a little hazy as to its full originality, if you’re the first to have created that particular song/design/etc. then yes, I think it’s original.  And I explain more below but, for example, just because the DJ didn’t write the music himself, the mash-up he has created is a new, original sound.

I am not very familiar with the remix/mashup culture.  I’ve seen a few videos here and there and heard a handful of songs that have been mixed but it is not something that I feel like I’m seeing daily.  For my groups radio project earlier in the semester, we tried to create our own mashups of songs from various decades to create unique music for our radio show.  We spent hours listening to excellent examples and then testing out various songs.  And we failed pretty miserably trying to get something to work.  But out of that experience, I gained much more respect for mash-up/remix music artists.  So what if they didn’t write/produce/perform those songs, their well done creations make the art seem effortless.

Mashed Up Abstract Art by Andy Saxton2006 on Flickr

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