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the age of the mix


William Gibson, writing for Wired: God's Little Toys:

[...] I already knew that word processing was another of God's little toys, and that the scissors and paste pot were always there for me, on the desktop of my Apple IIc. Burroughs' methods, which had also worked for Picasso, Duchamp, and Godard, were built into the technology through which I now composed my own narratives. Everything I wrote, I believed instinctively, was to some extent collage. Meaning, ultimately, seemed a matter of adjacent data.
Yep. Technology is freeing creativity in part because it makes the collage technique much easier. What we create (write, compose, paint, even code) obviously has some precedent in our lives--one way or another. Woody Allen does collage with his own life, and what we usually call a reference in literature walks a thin multidimensional line between collage, homage and inspiration.

My favorite paragraph from the article, however, is this one:

Today, an endless, recombinant, and fundamentally social process generates countless hours of creative product (another antique term?). To say that this poses a threat to the record industry is simply comic. The record industry, though it may not know it yet, has gone the way of the record. Instead, the recombinant (the bootleg, the remix, the mash-up) has become the characteristic pivot at the turn of our two centuries.
Concise, yet encompassing. Pure Gibson.

The age of the mix is here.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on July 7 2005 at 10:38 AM

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