Американский художник, писатель и преподаватель Курт Виберс организовал незаурядный проект – диджейский и виджейский ремикс книги Маршалла Маклюэна THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE. Получилось очень любопытно.
The Medium is the Mix
Remixing is the most important aesthetic and epistemological outcome of the technologies of digital media and the Internet. This video-essay is intended for today’s students (digital natives) who are studying McLuhan’s words on paper. McLuhan knew how to mix concepts to create a powerful reaction. He utilized electronic communication channels (audio and video) in his time, and he spoke through them with incredible fluency. Today, YouTube mash-ups are an emerging form of literacy, rarely used for scholarly purposes. This is because the digital era of «cut&paste» has mostly been problematical for traditional academics (it is unacceptable to remix a term paper). But networked, digital authoring also greatly expands the range of expressivity… How then would McLuhan expect an essay to be composed today, nearly a half-century after his time?
The term «remix» is special (when compared to other methods of digital appropriation) because only a remix is transparent (either overtly or not) to it’s source code. This is preferable to productions that claim to be «original» by virtue of obfuscating their sources. Remix, used in scholarly pursuits, thus epitomizes the ideal of critical discourse and the Fair Use of copyrighted media materials for the purpose of discussion, dissent or education. This video essay is intended to be a prototype, of what someday, may become the norm for «writing» in a post-literate society.
McLuhan and Source Tracks
McLuhan described THE MEDIUM IS THE MASSAGE as a “collide-oscope of interfaced situations” i.e. a series of preexisting concepts were juxtaposed and combined in interesting ways. The book, released in 1967, is essentially a pictorial remix of his ideas from earlier writings. Intended for a wider audience, the graphic design of co-author (and conceiver of the book) Quentin Fiore juxtaposes text with visual metaphors. The video material of McLuhan is remixed from a debate he conducted with Norman Mailer in the late 60’s. The soundtrack consists of looped grooves from the album STOP MAKING SENSE by Talking Heads, the voiceover is synched with the music in the same way that a-cappella lyrics are remixed with new beats. Professor Derrick de Kerckhove appears lecturing on the topic of digital identity (his words inspired the ending, which cites Cindy Sherman as the ideal remixer of identity). The notion of Remix Identity is further developed in a paper by Jamie O’Neil.
About the «author» Jamie O’Neil / Kurt Weibers
Jamie O’Neil is a video/performance artist, writer and teacher. In 2002, he created the virtual identity of Kurt Weibers for usage online, in videos and live performance seminars. Kurt Weibers is the spokesman for Global Point Strategies, which developed Navel Software for organizational change, as well as numerous motivational presentations on topics ranging from creativity, listening, time management and synchronicity, to quantitative research methods for understanding culture. Kurt Weibers works as a reporter, business consultant in Norway and a DJ / VJ (on the side) the latter role being the reason for his involvement in the McLuhan Remix project.