So I spent my two weeks of remix immersing myself in the culture and Cory Doctorow’s novels in my self-allotted DS106-homework time, and not making very much work. I learned a great deal about piracy and copyright (and -left) however. So though I repremand myself for not completing assignments by the assigned date, I relish my newfound knowlege of this alien artform.
I learned in my Studio Art classes about copyright, appropriation, and the grey areas. But I hadn’t realized the implications for less-exalted art forms (the internet). People who don’t call themselves artists make things just as meaningful and culturally-driven and with varying degrees of awareness, are in the minefield of copyright.
Corporations prey on those who appreciate that which they produce for bucks they don’t have. A most fearsome example of this is The New Prohibition, which awakened my latent fear of having my home sued out from under my family for a well-intentioned or unknown artistic copyright infringement.
If you are unfamiliar with this week’s topic: Remix, check out the series Everything is a Remix. Long story short, (a reiteration of studio schooling) everything that is created is a synthesis of ideas/objects that the creator was exposed to before creating. Genius things that seem to break the mold are synthesizing the stimuli in a novel and poignant way such that the inspriations are not initially evident. Creative people absorb culture and create culture, whatever medium it may take.
Buffy vs. Edward
I first saw this video, I’d say three years ago – probably when it was first making its wave across the internet. It was one of those instances when a friend grabs you and says “You’ve got to watch this funny YouTube video” (happens biweekly, minimum, no?). At the time it was a well-made funny and poignant video. It had been at least a year since my high-school days of actually liking Twilight. Being a member of the target audience, and reading a seductively vague first-person novel whilst going through puberty, I do forgive my past self. Especially since I preferred Host anyway. But enough reminiscing and more remixing!
Long story short, Buffy vs. Edward was a new video for me today. With the context of studying remix and copyright, and some newfound knowledge of video editing, I marveled at the solid craft and the elegant storytelling. I picked up on there being slight inconsistencies between the light coloration on different characters supposedly in the same scene, and also on the differences in camera technique. Buffy seems much more sensible and grounded by having more environment in the shots whilst Edward is off in fantasy land with odd angles and a camera nearly up his nose. I recognized that these revelations were from my knowledge of editing gained from DS106. I also recognized that the immediate impulse to read through the contextual material of the video’s creation stemmed more from my Studio Art training, from which I learned that a piece does not stand alone, but supported by its context. I was intrigued by the author’s “What Would Buffy Do?” blog on the motivations and effort involved in creating the film, as well as the debut context. The most intriguing reads, however, was the narrative of the ads/copyright/fair use battle and the FAQ. I’m very glad that Jonathan McIntosh linked to all the relevant blog posts from the YouTube video. Since watching The New Prohibition my fear of having my home sued from under me due to a copyright battle involving art has rekindled. Seeing that McIntosh was successful in his battle was a ray of hope. However, I’m still worried when I consider my dream of being a professional writer/artist full-time.
Today I read Homeland by Cory Doctorow. It was incredible. One of the most amazing aspects of the story was the way it was entertainment jam-packed with information. I found that reading it as a digital format allowed me to pause when confronted by references to things with which I wasn’t familiar, and look them up. By the end of the novel I had a browser window full of intriguing tabs to read more thoroughly. I must resist the urge to read the rest of the novels I’ve downloaded. Soon working full-time will allow me the extra income to buy a huge bookshelf and expand my book collection. It’s been a personal goal for years; moving to college I left behind a respectable library. I’ve felt a little homeless without the stabilizing resonance of stories to revisit in spare moments.