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courses@JLR: REMIX (Copy This Class)

REMIX (Copy This Class)

Owner: Julie Levin Russo

Group members: 24


Mashups, sampling, parodies, fan video, DIY media, memes: we are in the midst of an explosion in vernacular creativity that appropriates, celebrates, critiques, and transforms commercial entertainment. New digital technologies and Internet platforms support a developing ecology of remix forms with unprecedented reach, richness, and cultural influence. At the same time, the value and legitimacy of this popular production is hotly contested on the basis of artistic merit, traditional literacies, and intellectual property. This course analyzes and engages in contemporary remix culture via precursors like appropriation art and hip hop, exploring theoretical questions about originality, capitalism, law, and digital media.

image source | remix this

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Brief description: FILMSTUD 156/356 | MW 2:15-4:05 | SPRING 2011

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Website: http://art.stanford.edu

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Copy This Syllabus

1303 days ago


this syllabus remixes:


This course meets twice a week for about 2 hours to allow for flexible class time that may include discussion, screenings, presentation, critiques, and labs.

Monday's meetings will typically include discussion of the assigned readings and some in-class viewing (approximately 1 hour each). Wednesday's meetings will typically include presentation/discussion of student projects and technical workshops.

The syllabus includes several special events outside of class – these are required unless you have an insurmountable conflict.

To foster experiential learning about media, we will be using a dedicated website [here] for all course work. This is a social network platform that supports blogs, wiki-like pages, bookmarks, threaded discussion, file uploads, status updates ("the wire"), live chat, and streaming videos. You can also submit relevant media artifacts to http://newoldmedia.tumblr.com to help build our archive.


The course website will be your platform for archiving, sharing, and collaborating on critical work. At the beginning of the term, the class will be divided into four groups (Z-Y-X-W) for collaboration and staggered due dates.

remix (two, by group)

For two Wednesdays, you will create a remix project engaging with the week's topic, accompanied by a 500 word project statement describing your concept, process, and intensions. Post your text and your artwork (or a link to it) on the course blog before class, and be prepared to show and discuss it.

You should choose one assignment marked A and one marked B, but you can decide which to do first.

The second time, your group will also be responsible for researching and selecting readings/screenings to assign to the class, which you'll have to determine together the week before.

remix assignments

  • A. visual essay (Melanie Kohnen) EDITS: images must be appropriated, post files to Tumblr for slideshow effect
  • A. collage (Mark Tribe) EDITS: pretty open ended (click "Collage Project" for examples), can post to blog directly
  • B. audio mashup (Hearing Voices by Catherine Amelia Shuler) EDITS: only use appropriated audio, can upload to Tumblr via prof
  • B. remix video (Bill Wolff) EDITS: write only one accompanying text, upload to Vimeo or Tumblr via prof (or your own)

adapt (due May 6)

Students in Adaptation (FILMPROD103) with Adam Tobin will be writing up concepts for an adaptation of a story from myth, fairy tale, etc. After they select one winning idea in a "pitchfest" on April 27, you will be working with your group to render it as a multimedia remix.

final project (due June 10)

You will create an essay or media work to submit to one of the following venues:

  • a Ford Foundation "Wired for Change" competition for remix videos (details forthcoming)
  • the remix video issue of Transformative Works and Cultures [extended deadline]
  • Intersect (the online journal of Stanford STS)


Hierarchical assessment is often at odds with experimentation, innovation, and creativity. Therefore, every student who commits to dedicated participation in this class and to completing all assignments to the best of his/her ability can expect to receive an A in this course. You will receive regular in-class feedback on assignments from the professor and your peers, but there will be no formal grading process.

You will receive a lower grade if you:

  • do not complete all the required work
  • turn in work late
  • are frequently absent or late from class
  • do not actively engage during class
  • are often unprepared to discuss course materials in class
  • do not collaborate with and offer constructive feedback to your classmates

This overview of a course in Multimodal Composition by Cheryl Ball at Illinois State encapsulates my goals, values, and expectations for your performance. Please read it carefully.

Presenting and critiquing multimedia projects will be a substantial component of this class. Reading and considering this post by Shannon Christine Mattern on Evaluating Multimodal Student Work will help you to assess and comment on your classmates' (and your own) work.



INTRO (March 28/30)


Eduardo Navas, "Remix Defined": http://remixtheory.net/?page_id=3

Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction": http://marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm


visit Cantor Art Center to view Rodin collection and contemporary art

HOW: course website and tumblr


ORIGINALS (April 4/6)


Rosalind Krauss, "The Originality of the Avant Garde": PDF

Martha Buskirk, "Original Copies": PDF

Jonathan Latham, "The Ecstasy of Influence": http://harpers.org/archive/2007/02/0081387


Exit Through the Gift Shop

HOW: digital graphics


EVENT: "Re-staging the Spectacular: Digital Displays Inside and Outside the Home" (William Boddy) - April 6 at 5:30pm, ART2




Lev Manovich, "The Interface" [excerpt] from The Language of New Media: PDF

Michael Zryd, "Found Footage Film as Discursive Metahistory": PDF

Emma Cocker, "Ethical Possession: Borrowing from the Archives": http://scope.nottingham.ac.uk/cultborr/chapter.php?id=9


selection of found footage films by Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Dara Birnbaum, Peggy Ahwesh, etc.

HOW: basic video editing


EVENT: 24/7 2011: The State of the Art in DIY Video (we will go by Caltrain as a group) - Saturday April 16, 2:30-7:30 at California College of the Arts, San Francisco




Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author": http://deathoftheauthor.com

Michel Foucault, "What Is an Author?": PDF

Siva Vaidhyanathan, "Copyright and American Culture" and "The Digital Moment" from Copyrights and Copywrongs: ebook in searchworks

Edward Samuels, "Copyright Limitations, Exclusions, and Compromises" from The Illustrated Story of Copyright: http://edwardsamuels.com/illustratedstory/isc8.htm


RIP: A Remix Manifesto

HOW: basic audio editing


EVENT: Q&A with writer Doug Miro on adapting the Prince of Persia video game into a film - April 25, 11:00-12:15pm (Adaptation class)


SAMPLING (April 25/27)


Mark Katz, "Music in 0s and 1s: The Art and Politics of Digital Sampling" from Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music: ebook in searchworks

Abigail de Kosnik, "Common Sense v. Common Sound: How the Culture Wars Killed Digital Sampling" from Illegitimate Media: PDF

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, "In Through the Out Door: Sampling and the Creative Act" from Sound Unbound: PDF


Copyright Criminals


HOW: library research tutorial


EVENT: Hip Hop, Race, and Citizenship in Japan, France, and the United States - April 28 at 7pm, Cubberly Auditorium


PLAYBOR (May 2/4)


Tiziana Terranova, "Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy": PDF

student selections on video game modding, machinima videos, etc.


selections from http://youtube.com/machinima and http://archive.org/details/machinima

HOW: creating web pages


MEMES (May 9/11)


Lawrence Lessig, "RO, Extended" and "Cultures Compared" from Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy: http://archive.org/details/LawrenceLessigRemix

student selections on internet memes, viral video, etc.


Mike Wesch, "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube": http://youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU


HOW: finding and processing source material


FAN VIDEO (May 23/25)


Rebecca Tushnet, "User-Generated Discontent: Transformation in Practice": PDF

student selections on vidding, film parodies, etc.


"Remixing Popular Culture: Vidding": http://vimeo.com/13021751

selection of parody trailers

HOW: Creative Commons


POLITIX (May 16/18)


Guy Debord, Chapter 1 of Society of the Spectacle and "A User's Guide to Détournement": http://bopsecrets.org/SI/debord/1.htm + http://bopsecrets.org/SI/detourn.htm

student selections on political remix video, pop culture hacking, etc.


"Remixing Popular Culture: Political Remix Video": http://vimeo.com/13058679

further selections from http://politicalremixvideo.com

HOW: students' choice


CONCLUSION: Wednesday, June 1 (no class Monday, May 30)


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