Project 2

Due: Friday, February 19
Objectives: Learn Copyright & Remix
Grade: 10% of final

This assignment requires you to use public domain materials to make a remix. Public domain materials are those cultural products not protected by copyright, either because of their age or because creators waived all interest in them. A remix will take an existing cultural product and change it significantly to create a substantially new work. For this assignment, you will change multiple cultural products by mixing them together somehow. How and what will be up to you. The only restrictions are that you avoid copyright infringement and the final work must be multimodal.

Start by searching out source materials of interest. You can use music, still or moving images, audio-visual materials or print materials. Your focus can be on sound, image, or text. However, you must use at least two of those three general media types. What kind of materials you select will determine which tools you use for remixing them. I encourage you to use any tools at your disposal, including ones you do not have experience with yet.

However, keep in mind that over the course of the next couple weeks you will need to demonstrate competence. This may not be the time to learn GIMP, Audacity, or After Effects if Pixlr, Garageband, or WeVideo will work instead. And there’s no shame in creating a collage, even if you want to scan it for digital editing and submission.

While the tools and media are yours to choose, this project requires creativity and experimentation. Not all experiments go as planned. Some even fail. That’s okay, so long as you make thoughtful choices along the way. To convey your thoughtfulness, you will write a one-page (250-word) artist statement to be posted on your blog along with the remix. The artist statement should explain your process from brainstorming and material selection to conceptualization, implementation and revision. The artist statement must also quote Lawrence Lessig to frame your project in terms of what he calls “free culture.”

I encourage you to explore Archive.org, Pond5, Free Music Archive, Critical Commons, and Creative Commons (see “projects”) to find remix materials. Also, check out NYPL’s “Remix Residency.” According to Utah librarian Rick Andersen, NYPL demonstrates the power of open access.

Update:
Patents protect intellectual property by securing their holders an exclusive right to manufacture an invention. Patents themselves, however, automatically go into the public domain and make interesting documents for re-appropriation. Here’s a coloring book made from creative patents filed with the U.S. National Archives.