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Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 12:28 pm
Delaware remix everything

The bastardisation and hybridisation central to the remixer's art has always been a pretty obvious metaphor for social mixing: under the remixer's eclectic, kleptomaniac hand all music becomes world music, anything can go with anything else, and the ghetto walls of genre get broken down. A music remix which samples and plunders far and wide is a plea for a property-less world, a world of migrant encounters in which exogamy and miscegenation must happen. A world of casual sex and beautiful coffee-coloured babies. A world in which "original character" is blurred and weird new shapes and forms emerge. A world, it's safe to say, Morrissey would hate.



Delaware are a group of Japanese information designers best-known for their collision, in the late 90s, of trad Japanese patterns with the digital jaggies of reduced computer displays, like the kind used on keitai phones. They also do music shows accompanied by these keitai-trad patterns. This info-folk hybridisation alone would have been enough to interest me considerably in Delaware, but they also recorded one of my favourite-ever songs, Graphic Designin' in the Rain. And now they've done something else brilliant. They've become YouTube remixers.



They aren't the first. This year I've been overlapping videos here on Click Opera, turning them into installations featuring Leo Ferre, or Bryan Ferry, or making a two-channel video for my cover of Sakamoto's Thatness and Thereness. And recently I told you about Anne Laplantine's new videos, which cannibalise shooter videos and turn them into a dark sort of poetry.

Delaware's take on YouTube -- YouTube Harmony, they call it -- is as light and positive as Anne's is (beautifully) negative. With the optimistic slogan "YouTube is full of fascinating sounds & visions waiting to be discovered -- let's mix YouTube!", they've come up with a very satisfying video remixing style: a simple quadrant featuring four videos, one usually showing their own jaggy patterns or ringtones, the others pulled up and picked out from the endless "homebaked digital folk" of YouTube's bubbling now-archive, its global cauldron of lo-res video soup. They've done it beautifully -- their take on "Space Oddity", for instance, gives me the tinglies.



One of the most fascinating things about this exercise is how auteurism is never cancelled out by the flavours of the source material. If you know Delaware's work, you see their guiding hand, their concerns, their style and their sensibility the whole time, even though they're using found footage. And that has interesting implications for our miscegenation metaphor -- that personality doesn't have to be lost just because new material is used.

What's more, although a lot of the source material is American, the end result is, for me, very Japanese. Delaware have reverse-engineered a final result that has a very similar information density to Japanese television. The screen crowds with details, insets, graphics, and yet somehow a spirit of bland positivity prevents all this clutter being overwhelming or oppressive. As in a Japanese city, a certain good-natured and civic-minded mood prevails, offsetting densities of information and event which could otherwise be murderously high. There's also, here, a sort of wide-eyed romanticism about world culture which is very Japanese, a transformation of everyday activities into something graceful and beautiful, and of course robot voices and an obsession with cooking.



I find that piece, in particular, very soothing. Somehow the granny-bakes-a-pie theme is very Alejandra and Aeron. And doesn't the banjo plucking make you think of those other masters of remix, The Books? At the end of the 90s the remix idea seemed to be a bit exhausted, part of a DJ culture we'd all got a bit sick of ("Too many DJs"!). But new approaches to remixing -- this Delaware project, Anne Laplantine's new work, or things like the Africa Remix show held last year at the Mori Museum in Tokyo -- suggest that an expanded idea of remixing can still be a very vital one.

Remixing has gone beyond music, and beyond even the digital soup we all cook up on our computers. Even events can be remixed. When I gave my Down With Fun lecture in Malmo last week, for instance, the two coolest kids in the audience came up to me afterwards and told me they were going to remix the lecture. Not on a record, but into a club event called Down With Fun presided over by DJ Kidult and Homo Ludens, characters taken from my talk-cum-dance. Their slogan, they told me, was "remix everything".

28CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)
Mistaken memories of medieval manc.

Interesting extrapolated analogy, perhaps this romanticisation of monoculture that Morrissey's pines for is similarly analogous to his recent rather one-dimensional artistic output.
Can you express narrow personal perceptions as a ratio of artistic creativity?
Could never imagine Mozzer doing pick 'n' mix; channel-switching, looping and shaking through an irony-tinged paean for a mythical England of yore.
Thomas S.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Mistaken memories of medieval manc.

http://www.gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com/guitarsolo.html

http://www.gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com/canter.html

http://www.gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com/fourweddings.html

http://oliverlaric.com/underthebridge.htm

http://oliverlaric.com/5050.htm

http://oliverlaric.com/ribbon.htm


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: Mistaken memories of medieval manc.

gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooogle.com is definitely what first came to my mind when I read this post, as well as all that other stuff.

To the established and bankable goes the spoils.


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(Anonymous)
Thu, Jul. 31st, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
Re: Mistaken memories of medieval manc.

This volume is the result of discussions held by an international group studying the medieval state, discussions that aimed at moving beyond the limitations of research traditions at the national level. Rather than dealing with the terminological question whether the term “state” should be used for early medieval kingdoms at all, the question was raised how political integration was reached and how supra-regional communities were shaped by the interaction of monarchs and aristocracy, Christian and lay institutions, as well as kingdoms and their people.

-----------------
oliviaharis
Delaware Treatment Centers (http://www.treatmentcenters.org/delaware)


ReplyThread Parent
cheapsurrealist
cheapsurrealist
Dave Nold
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)

Remixing has gone beyond music

FINALLY!

Music gets to have all the fun.


ReplyThread
crowjake
crowjake
crowjake
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 04:49 pm (UTC)

I only just got the books' lemon of pink recently. I love how it is so ... spiritual, it just shows much beauty and richness in the world through the complexity and simplicity of it all.

I like not to forget how much I still love that mono-culture music that someone mentioned or the mono-cultures themselves; the intense singularity of them is the opposite to these these video cultural patchworks, and the remixer (with whom I must be relating) appreciates variation and contrast, so I love the difference between them inherently, and therefore the Morisseyan singular separatenesses too.

So really remixing everything isn't what i'd like to do, "people must only mate with members of another nationality", but I like that there's people who want remix everything.

I love how people are seeing electronic music, or digitally altered music as emotionally capable and not "artificial". I remember Patrick wolf saying in his pitchfork interview about "organic electricity" and how he saw electricity as a force of nature and harbouring it was the same as making acoustic sound and how they are one in the same.


Yummy,

JACOB x


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
imomus
imomus
imomus
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)

But Delaware more or less invented that lo-res jaggy-as-virtue look. What you're calling "currently trendy" they were doing back in the mid-90s. Anyone who knows their old work reads that as "auteurism" rather than bandwagon-jumping. They made the bandwagon! (That's why even the video showing the Microsoft start-up screens/sounds is a wink from them to us; the old Microsoft logo looks like one of their patterns, a crap design turned into a cute one.)


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 08:22 pm (UTC)

It's one of those games of the genre "Gems you never played, you idiot!". :)


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)

Well, to add least add a bit to today's pixel post than "oh yeah, great game!" - I'm pretty happy pixels are hip now, as Kumakouji puts it. I've only encountered pixels as hip in the indie game scene, where they're these days become an aesthetic manifestation.

Take, for example, last week's Kokoromi Gamma256 (http://www.kokoromi.org/projects/gamma256), a small indie games festival based in Montreal that focused on pixel game art. The name itself gives away the idea a little (the resolution of the games shouldn't be more than 256 pixels (which, on the technical, linear timescale, was bad even in the early nineties)).
There's been eight mentionable entries (www.kokoromi.org/games/the-games / www.tigsource.com/articles/2007/11/28/gamma-games-announced) to this festival, which then have been presented on big projector screens, accompanied by famous chiptunes artist such as anamaguchi and bubblyfish.

My favourite game of those is Dive (www.namakoteam.com/games/dive).

-r


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)

Games are certainly heavily underrated by most media/people. That's partly the fault of the games industry itself, though, who only recently seem to have started to take this new mediums offerings and possibilites seriously. Way ahead in this is, of course, the japanese industry. That's why most of the really cool and exciting games are from Japan. The indie scene is currently developing in a really great way, they're taking it as premise that games are art (or rather, can be art, as a medium itself doesn't make its content artsy, does it?) while others still debate if that's even possible (Pulitzer film critic Roger Ebert (http://clicknothing.typepad.com/click_nothing/2007/08/on-authorship-i.html) isn't exactly helping :)). I'm really curious how this will all develop. Got any other gems to share, kumakouji? My japanese skills are practically nonexistant so I'm usually having a hard time finding games from Japan. What's the game in the first of these two videos?

Also, have you heard of the japan-based video game show Points (www.points-tv.com)? Kokoromi introduced it like this: "Its about game culture, the kind of stuff you never hear enough about. Rather than go on about previews and reviews and products, Points is about the culture that was spawned and revolves around videogame". Also, it uses bolded Helvetica as font and there's music by 6955 (6599 is the 8bit alter ego of I Am Robot And Proud).

-r


ReplyThread Parent
microworlds
microworlds
Sparkachu Maelworth
Sun, Dec. 2nd, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)

OH MY GOD WARIOWARE

I could play that game for hours on end. I was extremely disappointed in myself when I sold my copy of WarioWare Twisted. (Although I got a lot of weird looks when I played it in public.)


ReplyThread Parent

(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand

akabe
akabe
alin huma
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)

i don't think they 'invented' it any more than shibuya-key invented bossanova but this just leads to pointless rethoric.


ReplyThread Parent
akabe
akabe
alin huma
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:26 am (UTC)
It rubbles on..

Thanks Nick for your sanity blog....I usually eat it before my Weetabix and Marmite on toast nowadays.... such is life...

England is swine it owes me a living?

maf

ps..lets go to Selby


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: It rubbles on..

Oh I clumsily forgot my hyperlink..forgive me

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=fxkWKp0-hgI&feature=related

always at the back of the class

maf


ReplyThread Parent
akabe
akabe
alin huma
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)

i personally see 'remixing' these days, far from a source of artistic innovation or esthetic pleasure, as some sort of force of nature one needs to build oneself a good shelter against.

one of the problems with the concept , speaking as someone who's enjoyed say listening to two different musics or watching several tv screens simultaneously long before it was popular, is that it's seriously interfering with my ability to do exactly that. Furthermore, nowadays far from having the liberating molecular-izing effect someone like nam jun paik of gilles deleuze dreamed about it has become a form of fascism itself. (damn it, global capital runs on it)

so without asking for pure expressions and stuff i'll say i had a wonderful time last night watching a faithful movie remake of naoki yamamoto's manga 'watching fuckin' tv all time makes a fool' while snacking on various non-remixed french cheeses and wines.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 06:54 am (UTC)

Ha, other people mixing stops me mixing! Nice one!


ReplyThread Parent
akabe
akabe
alin huma
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)

yep, there's an obvious contradiction here and i think my standpoint is prioritizing my user/consumer rather than creative self.

user strategies hijacked by the 'creatives' etc ,, there is probably a user there who gets further alienated .. one could go on saying there's no difference between the user and creator blah blah but that's simply not true.

fact is i've grown to see the 'creative class' as some sort of class enemy.


ReplyThread Parent
imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)

You wouldn't be the first -- I think my poor brother was forced to take that stance very early in life, just to preserve his sanity. But obviously I resist it. I like creative people. In fact, I venerate them to some extent.

But I have noticed the split you mention between producer and consumer requirements of art. As a producer, I want "creative" art with lots of hands-on clever input from the auteur. I mean, that's what I want people to want from me. As a consumer, though, I tend to favour very hands-off minimalism -- the new Sawako album, for instance. I wouldn't dare make anything as hands-off as that myself, but it's lovely to (not) listen to!


ReplyThread Parent
akabe
akabe
alin huma
Tue, Dec. 4th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)

>creative people

it's not the people it the (unprecedented in modern history) establishment of the class that i have a problem with and i find quite detrimental to creativity itself. (what i'm trying to say here is very much in line to what you think about music or the lack of critique in design etc)

there's plenty of stuff i find extremely creative and inspiring these days but most of it tends to be happening outside the creative business.


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
Must try harder

How very cable Tv. Yes its all really new. Not


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fishwithissues
fishwithissues
jordan fish
Mon, Dec. 3rd, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
not to tube my own horn

or vlog a dead horse, but


these were great, especially, yes, that last one. It's fairly easy to throw a whole bunch of shit you like into a video--to do that and make it also soothing is much more of a triumph.

these (and other things) are making me want to start making more vlogs (videos of habit).


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Dec. 25th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
Re: not to tube my own horn

Thanks for the input.

wireless surround sound speakers (http://www.wireless-surround-sound-speakers.net)


ReplyThread Parent
stretchling
stretchling
Stretchling
Tue, Dec. 4th, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)

Is Anne's really negative? Is it really?
I wholeheartedly disagree. I see her videos not as negative, or as dark poetry, but as brokenhearted expressions of love, reaching out, --through the shooters-- to alienated, lonely, and sad people, and reaching out to the shooters themselves. They are, it seems, "an expression of care, every day."
I doubt that I am falling into the "intentional fallacy" here by saying so. It really seems that her works are more than just expressions of art or interesting juxtapositions of images and words, but are almost a kind of ministry, made with intent, made as... hm. something like messages in bottles made to be found.

Ok, so I've waxed rhapsodic enough here. It is obvious I am moved rather deeeply by Anne Laplantine's works. The point of this rant is that (while there's not necessesarily something wrong with being negative or dark) I see absolutely nothing dark nor negative in her work.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Dec. 4th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)

Not even her choice of subject matter?


ReplyThread Parent

(Anonymous)
Sun, Mar. 30th, 2008 05:28 am (UTC)

why you so boring old guy neverending vomit of other peoples dull narcissistim creations youre broken face is dropping from your skull like dali cheese cake your brain suffering the same dying paranoid anxiety of a cruel gravitaty you need remix your own alpha wave patterns try to breathe you dead wood ass.


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(Anonymous)
Sun, Mar. 30th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)

Basrardisatin what a dumb word and by the way why you so boring old guy neverending vomit of other peoples dull narcissistim creations youre broken face is dropping from your skull like dali cheese cake your brain suffering the same dying paranoid anxiety of a cruel gravitaty you need remix your own alpha wave patterns try to breathe you dead wood ass.


ReplyThread