Rip, Mix, Burn

I’m so embarrassed. In all of my digital moving in the last year or two, I’ve lost past posts and notes on this particular phenomenon. So, if you’ve heard me talk about this in the past, any resemblance of this post to those past posts is amazing and means it’s stuck really far in my head.

Because of the popularity of anime music videos, mash-ups, and internet memes, we’ve all become pretty familiar with appropriation and the complications that come with it. For me, appropriations like this fall into one of two groups: fan reaction (with all the informal skill building that goes along with it) or commentary (no matter how uneducated it sometimes comes across as).

Appropriation is an important way to immerse yourself in learning because it forces you to take multiple looks at whatever it is you’re working with and to analyze it. What is going on? What personal reaction does this provoke? What does this remind me of, and how can I tie them together? It’s understanding, analysis, and creation, wrapped around a single project. And then others look at your creation and they think about their own understanding and reaction, and they either engage in conversation, share it with others, or create their own response.

Where appropriation gets tricky is when copyright lines are either approached or flat out crossed, and it’s a great argument for why we need to educated about copyright both as creators and consumers, about what constitutes plagiarism as opposed to commentary or satire. We can also talk about more flexible options like Creative Commons that help keep us reacting and responding without stepping on other people’s toes.

I thought I’d wrap this up by sharing a few favorite videos on remixing.

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