Contemporary Online Remix Culture

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Contemporary online remix culture continues the political and aesthetic practices associated with hip-hop. Discuss. For centuries artists have copied the masterworks of the past, they have borrowed from their contemporaries and from popular culture. Appropriation and remix methods can be found within the entertainment, music and fashion industries, texts and ideas, and extend to virtually every part of our culture. In today’s digital world remix has become a widespread phenomenon with extensive incorporation of borrowed imagery and sound into artistic practice. This activity of taking samples from pre-existing works and combining them into new product plays a vital role in society and raises questions around copyright laws which run counter to this notion that we build on the work of others (Navas 2009). Hip-hop techniques of sampling and manipulating pre-existing works to create new material and its own message can be seen to mirror contemporary online remix practices. This essay will focus on how contemporary online remix culture continues the political and aesthetic practices associated with hip-hop. Apart from looking at the actual practice of sampling this essay will examine how hip-hop was a way for the unheard and underrepresented people to make their voices heard and express hopes and frustrations of a community. Furthermore, this essay will look at how hip-hop continues to produce political discourse and how this also has been taken up by online remix culture. Finally, it will examine issues surrounding copyright issues of music and imagery in today’s digital world.
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