an angel screaming its last song is redemptive

Are the boundaries between high culture and low culture artificial and easily disolvable?Do such boundaries simply repeat, enhance and reinforce one another in a homogenous system which underpins the essence of consumption and the market economy? In the 1920′s Walter Benjamin saw the effacement of the boundaries between criticism and the advertisement as a prelude, but a prime mover , towards a higher form of criticism which would be both vital, perhaps contagious, and revolutionary…

Tom Gunning: from James Agee "Death in the Family" set in 1915:At supper that night, as many times before, his father said, “Well ’spose we go to the pictures show.” “Oh Jay!” his mother said. “That horrid little man!” “What’s wrong with him?” his father asked, not because he didn’t know what she would say, but so she would say it. “He’s so nasty!” she said, as she always did. “So vulgar! With his nasty little cane; hooking up skirts and things, and that nasty little walk!” Read More: image:

Aura. An unsettling image of an angel screaming its last song is redemptive.What Walter Benjamin called the “beautiful halo of the storyteller”. Are political re-mix videos art? Its mix and mash “should” be classified as fair use since the copyright materials are being transformed within a creative context and often with a political or critical content component. Its a statement based on the idea that culture is a remix created through a participation and is always in flux, in movement. It disrupts the flow and creates what Walter Benjamin called a “radical immediacy”, and that criticism itself should become a genuine advertisement, since the space that the objective critic once occupied is now on the market.Re-mix videos are central to participatory culture as they embrace the modernist movement which is both destructive and creative as it simultaneously engages in a self-destructive moment and shines in the process. a

Image:Jonathan McIntosh. Feuer:How could we accede to this death if it implies that criticism will become just another agency of homogenization, which will be accomplished through its mediated immediacy? Shouldn't we preserve it against this death, as Adorno argues, so as to save thought and culture from being effaced by capital? Here, Benjamin would argue that these elements could actually encourage thought and heterogeneity. In fact, the death of criticism will enable us to get closer to the forces that shape the world and actually change their current direction, as this death puts us in "perceived contact with things." In other words, for Benjamin, a relation to heterogeneity begins with such contact; it cannot come out of the "naïve" albeit objective contemplation of heterogeneity. Read More: image:

Henry Jenkins:Increasingly we are becoming a global culture that communicates in an audio-visual language. All political remix videos are made without the permission of the copyright holder and rely on the fair use doctrine…. Today a small number of large corporations own, control and produce most of our popular culture. The remix video process provides creators a powerful way of talking back to this mass media machine. It is a way to communicate using that audio-visual language in poetic, humorous, poignant and entertaining ways.Read More:

What we are experiencing is a fragmented immediacy put forward in film and advertising in which the remix videos represent a new mutation in culture that recognizes the importance of advertising as an art and cultural novelty. These re-mixed fragments hits us and leaves us thinking about something which transcends the narrative text and identifies an identity in transcendence. It is very sublime.   This something is beyond words, yet it is through words that are fragmented and through the failure of contemplation on the “completed form” that this transcendence can be experienced. Feuer has remarked that this notion is Romantic in nature as it suggests a communion with the universe through the fragment; yet it is odd since this fragment is connected to not just words but images, advertisement, and,technology.

Elisa Kreisinger image. "In her recently published study, Civic Life Online: Youth and Digital Democracy, Kathryn Montgomery, Dean of the School of Communications at American University identifies five key policy battles that are currently “relevant to the future of youth democratic communications.” These include: network neutrality, intellectual copyright, equitable access, online safety and community broadband. Montgomery points out that the way in which these policy debates play out will determine how youth today and in generations to come will use digital communication tools for civic involvement." Read More: image:

“Benjamin tells us that criticism must change and the model for this change is the advertisement or, simply, anything that creates a “perceived contact with things.” Like advertising, criticism must touch and fascinate readers: because they are touched by it, blown away by it, or simply “warmed by the subject,” people desire it. In a more theoretical sense, Benjamin tells us that criticism, like advertising, should affect the reader with visceral projections of “fragmented” intensity which circumvent any form of contemplation. This intensity, something like a “burst of energy,” affects the very life of the subject.” Read More:

“Political Remix Videos are critical or satirical works of art focusing on political, social, cultural or economic topics and created by remixing corporate intellectual property and/or appropriated footage generally without the permission of the copyright holder. A key component of Political Remix Video work is that it’s frequently highly critical of the source content and source media itself.” a

Elisa Kreisinger:I love Jean Kilbourne’s Killing Me Softly: Advertising’s Images of Women but it would be great if we could see an example of what positive images of women can look like. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) remixes give us a chance to see what a different media might offer. We've been talking about a different, less oppressive media for like, 25 years? I think it's time to start making the media we want to watch and now it’s possible through more accessible technologies. Read More: image:

Feuer: The question we began with remains: can such a criticism, in a post 9/11 world “wage the war against totality” and homogenization? Indeed it can. But it does so by providing us with a mirror image of our own fragmentation: it goes from subject to subject and hits us, reminding us of how we flip through channels, web pages, and advertisements. Ultimately, a criticism like this can foster thought not just by fragmenting it, which is done quite well by TV and the internet, but by mimicking the process. Indeed, Benjamin believed that such mimicry, found most often in children’s play, can bring us closer to a heterogeneous and tactile understanding of the world. This, for Benjamin, brings us one step closer to changing the world. Therefore, even though such mimicry, which is ultimately destructive, may be thought of as a death drive, it is clearly a drive to take things apart and remake them in ways that are not typical. Indeed, it

dies the things it takes apart and reanimates them in an entirely different way. This is especially important in this post 9/11 world where mimicry of the homogenizing drive of the media can be a means of reclaiming the media. Read More:

In the last few years, it has become increasingly evident that we are in the midst of a new digital internet revolution that is redefining how youth learn, consume, create, and participate in society. The growth of user-driven content and digital sharing practices has actually revived a pre-mass media tradition of participatory culture – a system in which everyday citizens amateurs – can produce and disseminate news, culture and digital programming through the networked publics, effectively bypassing government filters or corporate gatekeepers. Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford Law Professor describes this new development as the “Read/Write Culture” —one where citizens participate in the creation and recreation of meaning and information through cultural production.Read More: a

McIntosh:I use the term Do It Yourself rather than User Generated Content (UGC) because the latter is an industry term. I create videos, films, art, mash-ups or remixes to give creative voice to my ideas. I don’t make “content” to fill the distribution vehicles and profit engines of massive corporations. Content seems a lifeless term, an inhuman and mechanical description of people’s digital expression. That said, I still provide my remixes over (corporate) distribution networks, like YouTube, as they provide paths for large numbers of people to see, respond to, emulate and build on my work. Read More:

Nonetheless, the architecture of copyright law and the architecture of digital technologies as they interact have produced the presumption that remix is an illegal act. This conflict has escalated into a debate between two positions that are becoming increasingly polarized. One side argues that remix is a violation of copyright law and a form of piracy. This side is attempting to use anti-piracy and filtering dragnets to automatically remove any digital content from video sharing sites that incorporate copyrighted material —whether or not there is a fair use claim to quote that material. On the other side, Lessig points to “…a generation that rejects the very notion of what copyright is.” This is a potentially corrosive culture that believes it is “okay to live outside the law’.Read More:

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