Remix Theory pp 63-127 | Cite as

Remix[ing] Theory

  • Eduardo Navas


This chapter defines three basic forms of Remix in music and evaluates how they extend as a fourth form in art and media. I evaluate the principles of Remix against a set of new media art projects. I point out as necessary when a project is informed by remix, as well as when it is a remix in its own right, even when the author does not call it a remix. The chapter also examines the role of Remix in media. My particular examples are software mashups, defined as a combination of two pre-exisiting software applications; I then link mashups to the activity of blogging, commonly known as a form of online journal writing. To show how Remix principles take effect as conceptual strategies, as defined in the introduction, blogging is also linked to literature and appropriation art. Let us now define Remix to understand its complex role in art, media and culture.


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  1. 1.
    This is my own definition extending Lawrence Lessig’s definition of remix culture based on the activity of “Rip, Mix and Burn.” Lessig is concerned with copyright issues; my definition of Remix is concerned with aesthetics and its role in political economy. See Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas (New York: Vintage, 2001), 12–15.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    I use the term “spectacular” after Guy Debord’s theory of the Spectacle, and Walter Benjamin’s theory of aura. We can note that the object develops its cultural recognition, not on cult value, but exhibit value (following Benjamin), because it depends on the spectacle (following Debord) for its mass cultural contribution. See, Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Illuminations (New York, Schocken, 1968), 217–251; Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (New York: Zone Books, 1995), 110–117.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Navas
    • 1
  1. 1.Information Science and Media StudiesUniversity of BergenNorway

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