INTRODUCTION :: The term “remix” is used mainly in a digital context, although there is nothing inherently digital about remix. For instance, fan fiction, a widely discussed form of remix, has developed into an important cultural phenomenon in the past forty years, clearly exhibiting a non-digital incubation period. Nevertheless, the digital revolution has been transformational because the dramatic decrease in cost and ease of use of digital tools combined with a massive increase in availability of digital content to use as fodder for remixing has resulted in an explosion in the production of remix works.
Remix is a development of great cultural importance. Speaking purely aesthetically, digital remix allows for easy blending of genres of content-music, video, text, photos, etc. not previously possible. Thus, not only is there the promise of more content from new sources but also wholly new forms of content. Leading media theorist Henry Jenkins aptly refers to the result as “convergence culture.” Politically speaking, remix facilitates democratic participation in the creation of culture to an extent not seen since the mega-media titans took over cultural production nearly a century ago. That this creative work is produced and shared by millions of everyday people cannot help but have desirable broad ramifications, as a variety of commentators have noted.
January 2015, Vol. 67, No. 1
Reid Kress Weisbord, Trust Term Extension