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Weeks 13 & 14: ximeR and M@$#up

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For the next two weeks you’ll be exploring the culminating ideas of ds106–remixes and mashups– the artistic recasting of existing media into new forms by creative combination and editing. This will build off of your previous work in all media forms. And we will even remix our own assignments.

cc licensed ( BY NC SmayA ) flickr photo shared by Viktor Hertz

What is Remix?

Before you get started making your own remixes, explore the concepts of remix and mashup, and see if you can try and sort out the differences. As part of your understanding, you are tasked with reviewing at least two of the references on the concepts listed below and at least three of the examples.

Instead of writing up an explanation of what you learned, instead formulate your own understanding about remix and mashup, and record a video or audio of you explaining it to someone who is not familiar; this could ba a family member, friend, neighbor, random stranger. The point is to capture a recording of your explanation and make sure we hear the other person, perhaps asking a question. If you show them any examples, do it before you record (we do not need to hear them again).

Write up a blog post that includes this recording and anything else you want to share to show your understanding of remix, and explaining how the examples you watched demonstrated the form. Put some thought on whether this is a creative act and as well explore what it means for the entities that retain copyright over the media forms that are remixed. Include links and/or embeds of all media you reference.

References on Remix

RiP: A Remix Manifesto a documentary by Brett Gaylor on remix culture featuring the work of Girl Talk. The video is 90 minutes long, watch at least half of it! Important notice- Brett is going to join us for the #ds106 show on Tuesday, April 23. Note, you can watch the video directly on vimeo

Everything is a Remix is a four part series by Kirby Ferguson; most important are Part 1 and Part 3.

The New Prohibition by Andy Baio is a must view insight into copyright, fair use (“fair use is not a law”), and remix culture.

For some interesting perspective on art and remix, see Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist a book based on a compelling blog post– review the Steal Like An Artist Book Trailer.

Let Us Never Speak Of This Thing Again resources and audio from a ds106 session in 2011 from Brian Lamb

A Fair(y) Use Tale itself a remix that uses Disney clips to explain copyright

Remix Examples

Below is an assortment of remix examples, review at least 3 of them for your assignment or feel free to locate your own examples, just be sure to justify how they are remixes.

Running into Copyright

If it has not happened to you while working on video projects, it will likely in this section- a notice from YouTube about copyright violation. They use a technology called ContentID that is automatically able to determine if a users upload includes video or audio that matches copyrighted content. Sometimes you just get a warning, sometimes it prevents you from embedding media, and in some cases your video night be removed outright.

You have a few options if this happen; see the ds106 handbook.

Yes, this first interferes with your work on assignments. But give it more thought in your weekly reflection, and try to weigh the balances of being able to “take” video clips and make them into something new (including looking at your own creations and asking how it might change if it is your creativity being used by others).

For The Remix! Remixing a “Post-Photographic Portrait”

Photographer Jonathan Worth is bringing ds106 in on a what will be a huge project that tries to look at the evolving difference between analog and digital media. Jonathan is sharing a collection of portrait photos he did of author Cory Doctorow have been made available for you to remix, regenerate, and to make new art, especially in light of the themes and topics of Doctorow’s books. Your assignment will to make something new of one of these photos, or better yet, remix of someone else’s remix.

Learn more from Jonathan about the idea behind this project:

This is a new experiment in public art, and a new way of thinking about digital media. Who could be a better figure than an author who releases all of his published works under creative commons license with an open invitation to remix? We want you to really think wildly in what way you might re-interpret the author’s image in a way that lends itself to being a real artifact, more than an image.

Out of the remix images created, Cory and Jonathan will select their favorites, which will then be realised as real art objects – depending on how your remix works that might mean printing/sculpting/recording – who knows? – but Cory and Jonathan will need to choose from a digital rendition (an image on a screen) initially. Each participant in the remix strand then will receive an even split of the proceeds.

More details on how to submit your work will be shared here by Thursday April 18; Jonathan was a guest on the the April 16 ds106 show and shared more about this project.

So here are the assignment details, we’ve established a small site to host the information. Your ds106 assignment is to use one or more of the original photos and remix it in a novel, interesting way and perhaps reflecting the themes of Doctorow’s books.

The way you remix is up to you. It could be an alternate form of the image, using the images in an animation, poster, video, a drawing/painting based on it, something 3d made… Note that the original photos are at medium to high resolution (nig file size). If you create a digital image, you ought to work at high resolution, but when you save a copy for your web page, you will want to use a tool like GIMP or Photoshop that allows you to change the resolution settings to be 72 dpi and maybe a pixel dimension of 1000px. Do not upload a multi MB image to flickr or your web site!

What you should do then is write this up as a blog post using the tags for the ds106 assignment For The Remix (MashupAssignments, MashupAssignments1020). In addition, leave your link and any other info about your remix as a comment at

Remixing with Popcorn

Mozilla Popcorn Maker is a web-based video editor designed specifically to enable people to remix video, audio, and other web content. This week you will have one assignments to do using Popcorn, but you are encouraged to try it out with any other remix/mashup assignment for this section of ds106. Your final remixes can be embedded into your blog like your other media (you will have to flip WordPress to the text mode in your editor for it to understand the embed code).

One of the features of Popcorn is that things produced with it can be open remixed by other people to make something new. Your instructor has created a base project built around going on a vacation. You will remix the original to add images, video, maps, twitter info, text, URLs, and pop up text to create a new story.

The original project has 8 different points where you should add new media. Make sure the things you are adding build towards the final ending of the story. IN this case, you get to plan a post ds106 vacation for your instructor; there are 8 marked places where you are able to remix in photos, videos, text, and other web features. Each of these is marked with a popcorn “pop up message”

Look for the remix icon in the bottom right; this will launch the Popcorn Maker editing interface. The eight places to add content have an image placeholder; you can insert other media on a track above it (and you may should extend the duration of the still image clip, it will men moving things around on the timeline):

  • An unusual image or video on the laptop screen.
  • A SoundCLoud music track to start playing when the turntable appears.
  • A Google map and wikipedia article when the map is opened.
  • A twitter search over the twitter screenshot.
  • A photo or video of a valuable object insider the drawer.
  • Text to fill in your information on the screen of the ds106 grade assignment.
  • An image or video of something unexpected inside the suitcase.
  • A video to show at the end of the video that shows the destination.

Remove the original pop up messages and add your own. Be sure to use the tags for this ds106 mashup assignment (MashupAssignments, MashupAssignments1014) so your post can get connected to it as an example.

Popcorn is a new and interesting tool that lends itself for doing remixes. Give it a try! If you really struggle with it, you can use your familiar video editor and the original clip as done on YouTube, but you have to explore Popcorn. You may find you want to do other remix projects with it.

Storytelling with Recycled Media

Do you remember back in week 9 where you were asked to contribute 5 pieces of media left over from your projects to the recycle bin? Well, this week you will be doing the recycling by completing the Recycle the Media assignment.

We have loaded all of the files from this class as well as ones contributed by the Fall 2012 ds106 class) into a site at — over 170 pieces of junked media. Your task is to use at least 5 different pieces of media (and at least two different kinds from image, audio, or video) to create a coherent story and build it in a movie editor or Mozilla Popcorn.

In Popcorn all video os referenced from YouTube or vimeo, and audio from SoundCloud. So when you use these kinds of media, you will have to upload them to these services. Be sure that your blog post for writing up this assignment includes the tags for the assignment.

Remixing A ds106 Assignment

For this week, we are going to remix an existing ds106 assignment.  Here is how it works… go to the ds106 remixer site at and follow the link for the Remix Generator. When it loads, it will randomly choose one of the hundreds of ds106 assignments; as well it will serve up one of what we call “Remix Cards” which is a certain twist or variation to apply to the assignment.

Your task is to then interpret this as a new assignment — and complete it. Not only that, we want you to look at the examples that were done for the original assignment, and use media from one of these as your starting point.

For example, one combination is combining the Wiggle Spectroscopy (visual assignment) with the Go Emo remix card – so the challenge there would be to create a wiggle visual that features an emo type character. To do this I might download the GIF created at and try to edit it to change one of the soccer players into say a more emo type player.

It’s tricky! (And some combinations may not even be possible!) We are not as interested in what fabulous creations you can make, but how you can write up your and justify your interpretation of the remix assignment. If the remix generator gives you something that does not make sense, just reload it and try another combination. Note that the remixed assignment is not created until you click the big Remix It button. Be sure to save the URL for your remixed assignment.

For this week, you must complete and write up one Remix Assignment using the Remixer. If there are examples for the original assignment, then you should aim to use media created for one of those examples (do not forget to link to it in your writeup). Be sure to include all of the tags provided by the Remix generator.

Other Mashup Assignments

Complete at least 6 stars of assignments from the Mashup Category of the assignment repository. Most of these require video editing and are are not trivial to complete. Start early!

If you don’t see an assignment you like, and you have an idea for one, submit it (Remember: Submitting and completing 2 new assignment ideas is a class REQUIREMENT for UMW ds106 students!).

Tutorials & Assignment Ideas

This is a reminder! 5%of your grade in ds106 is comprised of your completing two detailed tutorials for assignments in the assignment repository AND creating and completing two NEW assignment ideas. These must be written up by Sunday, April 28th at midnight! You will need to write up two blog posts (one for tutorials and one for assignment ideas) in which you link to your work. You must submit links to these posts in Canvas (there is an assignment already in the course for this).

Please review the syllabus for details about what’s required for both your tutorials and assignment ideas!

Final Story Project

After the remix/mashup unit, we are in the home stretch of ds106. In the last two weeks, you will be wrapping up the course and completing a final story project (worth 10% of your grade). We are introducing the final project this week because there is some preparatory work we want you to complete.

Please review the final project assignment NOW. The actual final product is not due until May 3, but there is a planning blog post that is due by Friday, April 19th at midnight. We want to see this so we can provide feedback early on your idea.

Weekly Summary & Recap

Your weekly summary for weeks 13 & 14 is due by midnight on Sunday, April 28th. It should include the following:

  • Link to your what is remix blog post, in which you investigate the remix resources and examples provided above, and embed a video or audio recording of you explaining remix to someone else.
  • Link to and discussion of your Remix the Vacation with Popcorn assignment.
  • Link to and description of how you used the recycled media to tell a story.
  • Link to and reflection on the Remixing a “Post-Photographic Portrait” challenge. We will have a site ready later this week where you can submit your work to be considered to be part of the final art project.
  • Link to your blog post for the assignment you did with the ds106 Remix Generator
  • Link to and discussion of your 6 stars worth of remix assignments.
  • Submit the URL for your final project idea to Canvas by Friday, April 19.
  • Summary of your work and final reflections on remix/mashup. Note that in your reflection we are looking to see some thought given to what you have learned about Remix/Mashup and where it may apply to other work or acts of creativity you may do or see. Or write about where they place is in realm fo culture and media. Or speculate on the implication for copyright.

Extra reminder– at midnight April 19, you must have a final project planning post published, and submit the link to this post in Canvas.

Finally, if you haven’t completed your new assignment ideas and tutorials, you should be working on them. They are due by Sunday, April 28 at midnight in Canvas.


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