Let’s talk about a fancy old French word that previously meant nothing to me. Ahhh academia.
Or in human words; transforming and developing images, sounds and ideas observed in popular culture or public life. It’s the broadest sense of remixing – not just mash-ups in music, but of fictional characters, worlds and sounds evoked by certain sub-cultures or creations.
I just couldn’t help choosing this intergalactic wonderland as an example. It’s well recognised that Star Wars, in its original form, was a mash-up of tropes and themes from a variety of other film genres – sci-fi, westerns, war films and samurai films.
Sneaky Firefly reference anyone?
But outside the films themselves, the cultural journey of Star Wars has a range of hilarious and beautiful detours. The franchise creators have been criticised for stale reinventions, that do more copying than transforming of familiar material, but it seems the alternative avenues of remix have enlivened and redirected the galaxy far far away.
These creations show new ideas – musical satire mash-ups and the phenomenon of BLR – being made more accessible through the use of familiar elements, and the existing idea of Star Wars being refreshed.
As Kirby Ferguson suggests, finding this balance between the novel and familiar is something that can and should be the goal for anyone manning the remix turntables.