Hi, I’m Mike RobbGrieco. I work with the Media Education Lab at Temple University in Philadelphia where I am a 3 rd year doctoral student in Mass Media & Communications. I am here to share with you my excitement about the rise of remix culture. As an educator, I get really fired up about the potential of making and sharing remixes for engaging students’ media literacy skills.
[slide 2] I mean, I get really worked up—how can express this feeling, I mean, it’s like I become a fan, I get that rocked out, It’s like I get that “We will will wil rock you �” fan feeling, but it’s more, it’s also like a hip hop flow like “Jump Around, Jump Around, Jump up Jump up and get down—It’s like to make you understand how this stuff gets me goin I gotta have that hyped rock vibe and that hot rap vibe all mashed together and �… [change slide…strip shirt off to show tshirt with “Go Obama/ Go Phillies” remix image of Fairey’s Obama icon remix], run around audience as next slides change]
[song mashup plays over next 12 slides: “We will Jump you (Queen vs. House of Pain)” by Party Ben
Of course you do. So, you are participating in our pervasive remix culture in which our students are fully immersed. Remix is how our students take the culture out there in the world as represented in various media texts and make it their own, make it themselves. Remix is also how our students add their own personal and social experience of culture in here at home, locally, to the wider culture out there, how they add value to the culture they consume and make themselves understood to others. Here’s a nice introduction to remix culture as expressed in online video to give us all a common reference point. This was put together by the Center for social media at American University � [ 3 minutes + v ideo 3:26=7 minutes to this point]
Some folks find this ubiquitous remixing inauthentic, derivative, or worse, some fear remix is a prime way that oppressive cultural norms and stereotypes get recycled. Those are important concerns that we must face, but for me, they can’t eclipse the idea of kids using all that media they see and hear as an opportunity to comment and create, I can’t get enough of the idea of kids sharing their views and tastes by reshaping, repurposing, redistributing and recontextualizing all kinds of media. And I love the idea of students learning the languages of sound, visuals, moving images, and the written word by taking apart the stuff they see, hear and read, and putting back together in new ways.
Through my intro using Party Ben’s mashup of the rock band Queen, “We will rock you”, with House of Pain’s “Jump Around”, I hoped to show how remixes can be used in celebratory ways, to combine and augment themes—I was going for that amped up feeling of fanship, but also I think this Obama shirt, made and sold by an enterprising neighbor of mine in Philly, shows how juxtaposition in remix can help us consider absurd combinations in the allegiances and tastes that we have. And maybe my choice of using jock jams to kick off an academic presentation called your attention to that ironic element that thrives in remix culture, where genuine messages are subverted and critiqued even as they communicate their direct messages—my over the top expression of fandom was silly, but not untrue. This sort of remix allows me to bring together some disparate parts of myself, parts of myself that live in different cultural settings—my sports allegiance and political allegiance, my music taste and performance background mixed with my academic identity. Our students are doing the same things with their disparate media tastes and the different roles they play between home, school, work, and friendships. Remix can be a way to make sense and a way to participate in our remix culture.
But remix is also well suited for critique and democratic exchange as fans of the various source materials link to provavcative remixes., Before heading down my current scholarly path, I was a High School and middle school English and ESL teacher at public schools in the northeast for six years, during which time I got to teach media literacy themed English classes that made me a true believer in designing learning experiences around developing habits of inquiry that help students critically and strategically engage with culture through all sorts of media; so, I tried to get media literacy elements into as many lessons as I could. And I learned, as much as it pains me to say, that Remix and other media composition may be more effective in reaching certain audiences than writing critical essays.
For example, You know that song “ Single Ladies” by Beyonce?, number one hit; critics likened it to feminist anthems like “I will survive”, and “I’m every woman”?
[clip plays] Ever wish your students were more critical about messages in songs like that; or even, better, suppose you had students who wanted to raise critical awareness among their peers of the pseudo-feminist pose in that song as an embodiment of a regressive view of women as property. “ If you want it, than you better put a ring on it �”? What would be a more effective means of reaching the folks you wish would understand: writing an enlightening essay for a critical communication journal, or just for class, even something that brilliantly drives home the thesis that Beyonce’s “ Single Ladies” is a thinly veiled return to conservative values of the 50s, or, would it be more effective to compose something like this � …
So remix can be celebratory, remix can be critical, remix can speak to your own social circles, or make broad cross-cultural claims. I think we need to engage our students in critical discussion of these texts that make our remix culture so tangible and give them the opportunity to express their own critiques and fanship, their identities inside and outside of different discourses, through making their own remixes.
So, I’ve been experimenting in my classes, and through that experience in the past year with undergrads combined with my research of the scholarly literature on remix and learning across grade levels, I’ve outlined some potential benefits we might realize, challenges and concerns that we should face in responding to remix culture. [Discuss chart, illustrate points reflecting on student examples, or expand to discussion with educators in the room]… The key question is, how do we realize potential while facing challenges? So, one answer to that question…[next slide] [the following notes are just a brainstorm of ideas to draw from in off the cuff discussion about items on the chart… One of my greatest struggles was always to balance analysis and production activities in my media literacy lessons. Production is so time intensive—video, sound, even still pictures, podcasts, and even blogging, all take time with learning new interfaces, time that could be spent asking critical questions about content my kids see everyday without thinking twice, or time I could spend exposing them to new content they should see to get them engaged in asking those core media literacy questions—Who’s telling the story, How would different people understand the message differently, What’s omitted from the message??/ All that good stuff. But then again, when we do that analysis, I want my students to express their insights in a meaningful way and to transform that understanding into their own media—so back to media production. Remix practice offers a moment where the media producer uses their critical analysis skills to think about the original purposes of the source texts that she puts together, how the music or image or words achieve certain effects, what they might mean as reference points for different audiences. So, you engage those media analysis skills as you choose elements to manipulate. And, you think about the media languages, as you flip to thinking as a media producer, you think, how will the juxtaposition or montage of elements in those texts, this image with that sound, these words over this video clip, how might that add up to new meanings, and how will different people understand differently? As you edit, you ask what can I leave out, and then back to analysis, what did the original source authors leave out, what’s at the edges of their ideas that needs filling in and expanding. As a teacher, I feel confident in asking students to bring their own cultural knowledge and pop culture expertise to bear on less familiar media texts or less interesting media texts. In remixes, they can show me how they make sense of issues in the news, of characters in novels or figures from history; it gives students a chance to get to know the source texts through subversion or celebration, as fans or critics, or just as learners playing with representations, with words and ideas, images and sounds. There’s also the issue of students’ investment in the product—in remix they get to play with bits of media with very high production values, stuff that’s really hard for them to make from scratch. TV and Radio production teachers often talk about how important it is for kids to work on new equipment in order to create high quality media, or else they’ll think it’s crap no matter how well they executed basics of performance, framing shots, and non-linear cuts—it needs the attention to detail of editing transitions, graphics, highly produced sound and music, lighting, all these professional elements they expect in order for a media production to feel real . Ot herwise, it’s a home video for youtube that will go viral for novelty sake or sit unwatched, nothing to be proud of. Remix gives kids an opportunity to play with highly produced media and make it say something new, or use it to complement and showcase their own original thoughts or add slick context to ideas the highly produced media never had intended. Of course, there is the danger of just relying on the work of others. On adding little or no value to the source texts you use. Of taking and using texts unethically or illegally. Of developing habits of appropriation that may be fine and good in the learning process, but not so great if transferred to claims about making your own work outside of the learning experience, or for generating ideas in the work and leisure worlds beyond the classroom and educational settings. So, the key question is, how do we realize potential while facing challenges?] So, one answer to that question…
… might come from the concepts in our own copyright law. Through my involvement with Renee’s research on fair use for media literacy educators over the past two years, I have started to address questions of ethics and legality in my courses in relation to students own work. I’ve found that the questions that you have to ask about transformativeness of purpose and context, and the ethical and economic questions, all link directly to key media literacy concepts about authors and audiences, messages and meanings, representations and reality. Whether or not we ever agree or resolve issues of legality or fairness in our discussions, asking these questions build habits of inquiry around concepts that seem to help my students make sense of remix culture while also developing critical thinking to become more effective communicators. And so, I was excited at the chance to use some of my interests in making music from one of past lives to take those copyright and fair use concepts encoded in law, and try to make them accessible and relevant to kids in high school and college. So, I got to make this music video, which I hope will get its hooks in you as we discuss these fair use concepts for student learning through the rest of this workshop.
Responding to the Rise of Remix Culture: Challenges and opportunities for teaching, learning, and media literacy
Responding to the Rise of Remix Culture: Challenges and opportunities for teaching, learning and media literacy Mike RobbGrieco Media Education Lab Temple University [email_address]
Th ere is something normatively attractive, from the perspective of ‘democracy’ as a liberal value, about the fact that anyone, using widely available equipment, can take from the existing cultural universe more or less whatever they want, cut it, paste it, and make it their own—equally well expressing their adoration as their disgust, their embrace of certain things as their rejection of them � (Benkler, 2006, p. 276).
Do you quote passages? Copy & paste images or text?
Do you quote passages? Copy & paste images or text? Embed video?
Do you quote passages? Copy & paste images or text? Embed video? Soundtrack your slideshows?
Do you quote passages? Copy & paste images or text? Embed video? Soundtrack your slideshows? Or speeches?
Do you quote passages? Copy & paste images or text? Embed video? Soundtrack your slideshows? Or speeches? Then get those hands up!
Do you have a website, or facebook page or myspace featuring media texts made by others?
Do you have a website, or facebook page or myspace featuring media texts made by others? Do you represent yourself by the media you like and the messages that interest you?
Do you have a website, or facebook page or myspace page featuring media texts made by others? Do you represent yourself by the media you like and the messages that interest you? Come on, hands up!
Broadly defined, media remix is “ to use or quote a wide range of te xts � to produce something new… Remixed media may quote sound over images, or video over text, or text over sounds. The mix creates the new creative work—the remix. � ” (Lessig, 2008, p.61).
As Henry Jenkins puts it, media artists and students “l e arn how culture works by breaking it down into its basic building blocks and remixing it �” (Jenkins, et al, 2006, p. 32).
Celebratory Remix: fanship and participatory culture right: Robbgrieco as a Simpson character, simpsonizeme.com Left: Hobbs as Fairey’s Obama icon, obamiconme.pastemagazine.com
Critical Remix: Commentary, Critique, and Democratic Exchange
Critical Remix: Commentary, Critique, and Democratic Exchange
Critical Remix: Commentary, Critique, and Democratic Exchange
Remix in Education <ul><li>Potential Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Skill practice: juxtaposition, sequencing, multimodal expression </li></ul><ul><li>Media literacy skill development: access, analyze/evaluate, create </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in a variety of forms, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for diverse purposes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Media consumer/producer balance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic use of time/resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Immersion in participatory cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation of cultural identities </li></ul><ul><li>Work w/ personally meaningful texts </li></ul><ul><li>Raises ethical issues for debate: copyright, fair use, plagiarism/citation </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges/Concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Practice focuses on technical minutiae of editing, copy/paste </li></ul><ul><li>synching texts and juxtaposition may not involve critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrates conspicuous consumption & derivative production </li></ul><ul><li>Shallow engagement with content; mere spectacle </li></ul><ul><li>Remixes are of narrow cultural interest and scope; </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrates pop culture trash </li></ul><ul><li>Remix confuses or ignores ethical issues </li></ul>How do we realize potential while facing challenges? Michael RobbGrieco Temple University [email_address]
Use Fair Use Concepts to Spark Inquiry <ul><li>Benefit to society vs. cost to copyright holder </li></ul><ul><li>Transformativeness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is purpose transformed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is context transformed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the effect on potential markets? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the amount of source text used appropriate for the remix context? </li></ul>
References: Scholarship <ul><ul><ul><li>Benkler, Y. (2006). The wealth of networks : How social production transforms markets and freedom . New Haven Conn.: Yale University Press. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st century. Retrieved October 29, 2006, from http://www. digitallearning . macfound . org/site/c . enJLKQNlFiG/b .2108773/apps/nl/content2.asp? content_id= %7BCD911571-0240-4714-A93B-1D0C07C7B6C1%7D& notoc=1 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture : Where old and new media collide . New York: New York University Press. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lenhart, A., & Madden, M. (2005). Teen content creators and consumers Washington DC: PEW Internet & American Life Project. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lessig, L. (2008). Remix : Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy . New York: Penguin Press. </li></ul></ul></ul>
References: Images & Music <ul><ul><ul><li>(2002) Gulf wars episode II: Clone of the attack. Mad magazine (424) . Retrieved 10/08: http://www2.warnerbros.com/madmagazine/files/onthestands/ots_424/gulfwars.html </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hobbs, R. (2009). Hobbs as Obama icon. Created 3/09 at http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/ . Obtained in personal correspondance. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jones, D. (Director & producer). (2007). Remix culture. Washington, D.C.: Center for Social Media. (Excerpt edited for presentation by RobbGrieco, 2008). Retrieved 5/07 from: http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/videos/remix_culture/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nava, J. (director) (2008). Single Ladies (Put a ring on it). Performed by Beyonce Knowles . Music video retrieved 6/09 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1nixzYHDus Excerpt edited 6/09 by RobbGrieco for presentation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Party Ben (2009). We will jump you (Queen vs. House of Pain) . (Mashup). Song mp3 retrieved 6/09 from: http://partyben.com/downloads/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Party Ben (2008). Single Ladies in Mayberry. (Mashup). Video retrieved 2/09 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE-l4gfiCM8 Image retrieved 6/09 from: http://partyben.com/downloads/ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RobbGrieco, M. (2009). RobbGrieco as Simpsons character. Created 2/09 at http://simsonizeme.com . Personal collection. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>RobbGrieco, M. (Songwriter, producer), Beatty, G. (Animator). (2008). Users Rights, Section 107 . (Music video). Philadelphia: Media Education Lab at Temple University. </li></ul></ul></ul>