By Mark Amerika
University of Minnesota Press, Paperback, 9780816676156, 313pp.
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Digital technology has transformed contemporary culture. New social media, hyperlinks, and cut-and-paste techniques have changed the way we write. E-books, which allow us to carry entire libraries with us, are bringing new browsing and reading habits. Digital editing and other on-the-fly postproduction processes have altered how we make music, films, and visual art. A key rhetorical trope employed in all aspects of digital media is the remix, the creation of innovative new works of visual, literary, and performance art through the mashup.
In "remixthebook," Mark Amerika explores the mashup as a defining cultural activity in the digital age. A pioneering media artist and acclaimed cultural theorist, Amerika offers a series of philosophical essays that trace the art of the remix to previous forms of avant-garde and modernist art through mashups of deftly sampled phrases and ideas from a wide range of visual artists, poets, novelists, musicians, comedians, and philosophers among them Alfred North Whitehead, Guy Debord, William S. Burroughs, Kathy Acker, and Allen Ginsberg.
A provocative textual performance that is at once a dazzling model of the literary remix and a state-of-the-art reflection on remix culture, "remixthebook" captures the unique and continually shifting digital moment in which we live and situates the remix as an art form and literary intervention. To coincide with the publication of "remixthebook," Amerika will launch a companion website, remixthebook.com, to facilitate new ways of participating in remix culture by inviting other artists and writers to create "remixthebook" mashups of their own, pushing the boundaries of art and literary culture further, beyond the current publishing paradigms.
"Think of remixthebook as DJ Tool made from rhythms downloaded, ripped, mixed, spliced, diced, and burned into our collective hard drives, then re-uploaded. It's a piece of conceptual hardware that exists somewhere between how we experience information and how information aesthetics has transformed the human condition. It's that deep."Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid