We are, it seems, in the midst of a revolution of culture that paints us all as independent artists. We collect our artefacts from wherever we want to and make with them. Culture beneath that of the corporate megaliths has never seemed so loud and energetic. Feedback loops posit our work in the vast silent spaghetti junctions and it starts to fly, right there in front of our analytical eyes. We link into the world instantly, the lyric scribbled on the bus can be put down and released by the same afternoon, and it is joyfully easy to collaborate with other people. By morning, a new clubland version of the track may exist and by that night can be booming the walls of a bar in Salvador.
Are we at a PR precipice in the saturation age? Is there any hype left to eke? Hype gives way to a new mania, whispering to us all to become involved and it is a mania that is leading us down new and world changing paths. We don't know where they are leading and it intoxicates us. We used to display our record collections, visit people just to look at theirs, covet the object so much that we might own copies of our favourite albums in every format. The height of consumerism. Now the song flies, invites re-interpretation straight away, gets better and the old models can only try and pin the original mix by the tail to the streams of pennies that used to be floods of pounds in the ker-ching era. People still like to own an object, but they also like to remix their own experience, interpret and comment in real time on what they are listening to, and even change the things they may not like.
It is in the interpretations and remixes of tracks and writings alike that the real ongoing joy of collaborative projects has emerged. In good collaborative work, the writing process is open with access for all voices, and that goes beyond the making of each track, to video and remix interpretations that are stunning new art works in their own right. A new remix of a remix emerged yesterday from one project I have been working on lately, freely released and distributed, from the remarkable Wayne Eagle. It is emblematic of the instant remixing culture that is beginning to dominate and undermine past hierarchies of culture.
The toolkit is there for any of us to become directly involved. This way it just needs people to be excited enough to jump in and swim, we'll cast into the night and take the sky ourselves. This is the instant era, the remix and the feedback loop and more and more contributors are joining the swirl.
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