Reading Reflection: New Literacies and Social Practices of Digital Remixing

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This weeks course reading was all about “remixing”. When thinking of terminology that required careful attention it would be the word “remix” itself and how it is being used in this chapter. Typically when I think of “remixing” I automatically imagine a DJ in the corner of a crowded room making some entertaining beats. I was glad to see I was not the only one that automatically made that connection because it was actually mentioned in the article itself immediately as well. In this reading however, the term takes on a more broad meaning. When looking at the term “remix” and associating it with culture, in my interpretation the word “remix” basically becomes synonymous with the word “change”. When reading the article I began to test my theory by saying “change” or “changing” every time I saw the word “remix” or “remixing” and in every scenario it worked in my opinion. So then my question becomes, isn’t saying that everything “changes” kind of obvious? Of course everything changes, that is our one constant in life, change.

“Remix as a necessary condition for culture” was an interesting section in the chapter. It discussed how “remix” can be someone interpreting something that someone else did. So for example, if I were to go see the new Finding Dori movie and then call up one of my mom friends to discuss the movie I am “remixing” the original movie because I am giving my own opinion about that original creation. One could argue it would be a “remix” of the “remix” because the Finding Dori movie is basically a “remix” of Finding Nemo.

I read an additional article to help develop more of an understanding on remixes and how it can relate to digital storytelling. The article was titled, “Remix Culture and English Language Teaching: The Expression of Learner Voice in Digital Multimodal Compositions”. If you would like to read the entire article click here. The article brought up an interesting point saying, “The issue is whether this practice of remix promotes or compromises the expression of learner voice.” It talks about living in this age of having information at our fingertips now and if it makes it too easy to copy someone else’s voice rather than our own. As much as I am for the idea of everyone collaborating and sharing, I do feel there is some truth to the concern.

Pondering about the idea brought me back to elementary school art class when the teacher would give us an assignment and then give a sample on the board. I always kind of wished she wouldn’t provide a sample because then it became hard to go away from that idea and form my own. Then it got me thinking about movies coming out the past few years and how it always seems to be remakes of previous successful movies. Are we simply running out of ideas?

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