RiP: A remix manifesto

Immerse your­self in the ener­getic, inno­v­a­tive and poten­tially ille­gal world of mash-up media with RiP: A remix man­i­festo.

Join film­maker Brett Gay­lor and mashup artist Girl Talk as they explore copy­right and con­tent cre­ation in the dig­i­tal age. In the process they dis­sect the media land­scape of the 21st cen­tury and shat­ter the wall between users and pro­duc­ers. Cre­ative Com­mons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil’s Min­is­ter of Cul­ture, Gilberto Gil, and pop cul­ture critic Cory Doc­torow come along for the ride, but best of it all, Neg­a­ti­valnd also shows up.

If you want to stay with us a lit­tle more time, you can watch the whole movie below. Immerse your­self in the ener­getic, inno­v­a­tive and poten­tially ille­gal world of mash-up media with RiP: A Remix Man­i­festo. Let web activist Brett Gay­lor and musi­cian Greg Gillis, bet­ter known as Girl Talk, serve as your dig­i­tal tour guides on a prob­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into how cul­ture builds upon cul­ture in the infor­ma­tion age.


R.I.P. Neil Armstrong

It has been said that ten thou­sand years from now, only one name will still be remem­bered — that of Neil Arm­strong.

A quiet, pri­vate man, at heart an engi­neer and crack test pilot, Mr. Arm­strong made his­tory on July 20, 1969, as the com­man­der of the Apollo 11 space­craft on the mis­sion that cul­mi­nated the Soviet-American space race in the 1960s.

On that day, Mr. Arm­strong and his co-pilot, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., known as Buzz, steered their lunar land­ing craft, Eagle, to a level, rock-strewn plain near the south­west­ern shore of the Sea of Tran­quil­lity. It was touch and go the last minute or two, with com­puter alarms sound­ing and fuel run­ning low. But they made it.

Watch below the video of the very first moon land­ing of the apollo 11 mis­sion in 1969! Neil Arm­strong was the first man to set foot on the moon with his now leg­en­day words “One small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.” This is a truly amaz­ing video.

In the BBC doc­u­men­tary below, Andrew Smith, author of the best-selling book Moon­dust, jour­neys across Amer­ica to try and dis­cover the real Neil Arm­strong. He tracks down the peo­ple who knew Arm­strong, from his clos­est child­hood friend to fel­low astro­nauts and Hous­ton tech­ni­cians, and even the bar­ber who sold his hair, in a wry and side­ways look at the reluc­tant hero of the great­est event of the twen­ti­eth century.

Today, the world lost a great one. Neil Arm­strong has died at 82, after under­go­ing heart-bypass surgery ear­lier this month. Neil Armstrong’s death should be a wake-up call for the world.

Nobody born after 1935 has walked on the moon. Nobody since the nine­teen thir­ties. The chil­dren of eight decades since have still not made it back there, or reached fur­ther to touch the red dust of Mars.

Neil Armstrong’s death means that the first man on the Moon will never meet the first man on Mars. It is a chill­ing reminder that we are unlikely to reach another planet in the life­times of any of the sur­viv­ing Apollo astro­nauts. It may not hap­pen in my par­ents’ life­times. I’m begin­ning to lose faith that it will even hap­pen in my life­time. How have we allowed this to happen?


Emil Alzamora

Emil Alzamora’s fig­ural sculp­tures chal­lenge our con­cep­tions of the clas­si­cal body. At once beau­ti­ful and grotesque, his fig­ures writhe sen­su­ally in space, seem­ing to defy grav­ity as limbs extend and con­tort beyond their nat­ural lim­its. Alzamora works pri­mar­ily in gyp­sum and bronze, cre­at­ing unortho­dox forms that range from brob­d­ing­na­gian and life-size to miniature.

Emil Alzamora was born in Lima, Peru (1975) and raised in Boca Grande, Florida. He later attended Florida State Uni­ver­sity where he grad­u­ated Magna cum Laude in 1998 earn­ing a B. F. A. Alzamora is inter­ested in explor­ing what it means to inhabit a body, often exag­ger­at­ing or dis­tort­ing dif­fer­ent aspects of the form to reveal emo­tional or phys­i­cal situation.

The human form is a con­stant within my work. I often exag­ger­ate or dis­tort it to reveal an emo­tional or phys­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, or to tell a story. Lim­i­ta­tion and poten­tial are as human as the flesh, yet hardly as tan­gi­ble. In my works, I strive to make vis­i­ble this interaction.”

Alzamora ini­ti­ated his for­mal sculp­tural at Florida State Uni­ver­sity and honed his tal­ents at the Polich Art Works in New­burgh, New York, a sculp­tural foundry where he worked after grad­u­at­ing. In 2001, Alzamora left the foundry to prac­tice art full-time and con­tin­ues to do so at his cur­rent home and stu­dio in Bea­con, New York.

Michelan­gelo, Rodin, and Bernini really cap­tured some­thing beyond the mate­ri­als, some­thing beyond the arti­fi­cial­ity. They cre­ated a por­trait of some­thing that had the capac­ity to move you in some ways the way another human being can move you. It was a haunt­ing illu­sion of life that drove me to no end to want to cap­ture it, to find out what can be said in that context.”

Watch Emil in action below on a time-lapse video of his work­ing process.

Watch the sec­ond part here.


The Glitch Mob

The Glitch Mob is a three-piece elec­tronic music group from Los Ange­les, Cal­i­for­nia. It con­sists of edIT (Edward Ma), Boreta (Justin Boreta) and Ooah (Josh Mayer).  Cre­at­ing their own futur­is­tic dance style with their noisy bass-driven elec­tro, their mate­r­ial recalled the more rau­cous ele­ments of works by elec­tronic pio­neers Aphex Twin and Autechre, as well as the heav­ier Euro­pean break­beat sound.

Watch below the video of their song Beyond Monday:

Their orig­i­nal musi­cal style com­bines hip-hop with aspects of glitch, drum ”n” bass, and myr­iad other elec­tronic styles. Mak­ing the tran­si­tion from DJing to live-music per­for­mance, The Glitch Mob at one point per­formed shows where each of them had a lap­top, and the three were synched together by MIDI.

Although the word “glitch is in the band’s name, the band says their name doesn”t mean that they play that styles per se. “We didn”t intend for that to mean any­thing con­crete,” Boreta says about the name. “[But] we did sort of use the glitch tech­nique of the stut­ter edit and the splat­ting, cut­ting and dic­ing of sounds.”

If you like what you’ve seen and hear so far about this band, lis­ten below to some mix-tapes from their Soun­Cloud site which you should also visit for some free down­loads and cover songs:


Love Free or Die, the story of the first gay bishop

Love free or die is a doc­u­men­tary film about a man whose two defin­ing pas­sions are in direct con­flict:  his love for God and for his part­ner Mark.  Gene Robin­son is the first openly gay per­son to become a bishop in the his­toric tra­di­tions of Chris­ten­dom. His con­se­cra­tion in 2003, to which he wore a bullet-proof vest, caused an inter­na­tional stir, and he has lived with death threats every day since.

The film fol­lows Robinson’s per­sonal story as Amer­i­can churches debate whether or not les­bian, gay, bisex­ual and trans­gen­der (LGBT) peo­ple are equal to het­ero­sex­u­als in the eyes of God while our nations debate whether LGBT peo­ple are equal to het­ero­sex­u­als in the eyes of the law.

In Love free or die, Bishop Gene steps onto the world stage as he trav­els from small-town churches to Washington’s Lin­coln Memo­r­ial to London’s Lam­beth Palace call­ing for all to stand for equal­ity – inspir­ing bish­ops, priests and ordi­nary folk to come out from the shad­ows and change history.

Love free or die reunites the film­mak­ing team of Macky Alston and San­dra Itkoff who col­lab­o­rated on The Killer Within. Alston also directed Fam­ily Name which pre­miered at Sun­dance and prior pro­duc­tion cred­its for Itkoff include Defama­tion, Cadil­lac Desert.


Vogue “Death Drop”

I love shock­ing dance styles. We have touch on the sub­ject on pre­vi­ous posts like Danc­ing Plague and Ian Cur­tis’ Epilepsy Dance. If you saw the Paris is Burn­ing doc­u­men­tary you know how the Vogue dance style orig­i­nated. But for the sake of enter­tain­ment I wanted to cre­ate this lit­tle mash-up post about one of the sin­gle most dra­matic dance steps I’ve ever seen and of course it’s an essen­tial part of any Vogue routine.

The dip is the fall, drop, or descent back­ward onto one’s back with one’s leg folded under­neath. Main­stream dance forms pop­u­lar­ized the dip, which is occa­sion­ally called the “death drop” when done in dra­matic style. Watch below a short video that per­fectly syn­chro­nizes music with the “Death Drop”.


Gays Are Biggest Threat After Euro Crisis’ says Angela Merkel’s Birdbrained State Secretary

An Ger­man bird­brained politi­cian is fac­ing a bar­rage of crit­i­cism after denounc­ing gay cou­ples as the biggest threat to the country’s pros­per­ity after the euro crisis.

Kathe­rina Reiche, a state sec­re­tary for Angela Merkel’s “Chris­t­ian Democ­rats” (CDU), laid her cards on the table on Tues­day, telling Bild news­pa­per that Germany’s future “lies in the hands of fam­i­lies, not in same-sex part­ner­ships.” What she called, “this demo­graphic devel­op­ment”, was “next to the euro cri­sis, the biggest threat to Ger­man prosperity.”

Merkel’s Union must, Reiche added, “clearly state that it backs the idea of fam­ily, chil­dren and mar­riage, and that soci­ety is not held together by small groups but from a sta­ble centre.”

Her com­ments come as the gov­ern­ment is caught up in a debate about whether to give gay part­ner­ships the same legal sta­tus as tra­di­tional marriages.

Cer­tain crit­ics, local paper the Berliner Zeitung said, have rev­elled in point­ing out the hypocrisy in the fact that Reiche her­self had two of her three chil­dren out of wed­lock, while oth­ers have taken to Face­book to air their disappointment.

And despite Reiche tak­ing her own Face­book page down after it was flooded with angry com­ments, some 6,000 gay mar­riage sup­port­ers have moved to a group made specif­i­cally for the Berlin-based politi­cian, called No Future with Kathe­rina Reiche.

The web­page is full of mem­bers call­ing Reiche a homo­phobe and links to an open let­ter addressed to the 39-year-old, which expresses the dis­ap­point­ment of many in Germany’s gay community.

We expected more from you, because thanks to your ille­git­i­mate chil­dren you know that 21st cen­tury fam­ily does not auto­mat­i­cally mean “hus­band + wife + chil­dren,” the let­ter says. “Your state­ments are a slap in the face for all fam­i­lies that do not con­form to your idea of normal.”

It ends, “Ms Reiche, you do not see a future for a Ger­many in which homo­sex­u­als have the same rights as het­ero­sex­u­als and we do not see a future for you in 21st cen­tury Ger­man politics.”


Doris Wishman, Mother of Sexploitation

The career of Doris Wish­man defies belief. She was one of the most pro­lific woman film­mak­ers of all time, mak­ing 30 fea­tures over four decades in a genre dom­i­nated by men, the sex­ploita­tion flick.

She only got into film­mak­ing in her 40s, after the untimely death of her hus­band left her look­ing for a way to keep her­self occu­pied. The emerg­ing sub­genre of nud­ist films of the early ’60s were a cheap and easy way to start.

As cen­sor­ship eased up and audi­ences demanded more extreme con­tent, Wish­man moved into darker sto­ries of sex mixed with vio­lence. It’s in these films that her sen­si­bil­ity starts to emerge, with an almost sub­ver­sive approach to her sub­ject mat­ter. Her shoot­ing and edit­ing style keeps things off bal­ance, carv­ing out an unnerv­ing sense of dis­place­ment amidst the eroticism.

Her most suc­cess­ful films starred the appro­pri­ately named Chesty Mor­gan and her ful­some bosom. But instead of being sen­sual erotic organs, her breasts are used as weapons. In Wishman’s movies, sex isn’t depicted as some­thing that is ful­fill­ing, but a cold, even cruel act that’s often used like a trans­ac­tion, a means to an end. It’s as if Wish­man were com­ment­ing on her own career, her sex­ploita­tion films are just a way to get by.Her ambiva­lence towards sex and sex­ploita­tion reaches a bizarre apogee with Let Me Die A Woman, a pseudo-documentary about the lives of trans­sex­u­als. Mix­ing real life tes­ti­mo­ni­als, soft­core reen­act­ments, and explicit clin­i­cal footage, the film is a jar­ring embod­i­ment of the dif­fer­ent, at times con­flict­ing ways we relate to sex: as a bio­log­i­cal fact, as a per­verse sen­sa­tion, as pro­found self-discovery.

After her first and only attempt at a hor­ror movie flopped, Wish­man went inac­tive for a decade, but renewed inter­est in her work led to her come­back fea­ture, Satan Was A Lady, made when she was in her 80s. The film fol­lows Wishman’s clas­sic setup of a woman using sex as a vehi­cle to find her own way through life, even as it lacks ful­fill­ment in itself. It’s that ten­sion over what sex means to us that stirs our inter­est in Doris Wish­man, the unlike­li­est of sex­ploita­tion directors.


Derek Jarman’s The Queen is Dead

One usu­ally doesn’t think of a stri­dently avant-garde film­maker like Derek Jar­man mak­ing rock music videos, but dur­ing the late 70s and 80s the British direc­tor fre­quently con­tributed to the music video form, craft­ing videos for the Sex Pis­tols and Mar­i­anne Faith­full.

Jar­man had a par­tic­u­larly fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Smiths, for whom he made the charm­ing, funny video for their sin­gle “Ask” and the multi-song minia­ture mas­ter­piece The Queen Is Dead. This gor­geous 13-minute film was accom­pa­nied by three of the Smiths’ songs: “The Queen Is Dead,” “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” and “Panic.”

The film is of a piece with the evoca­tive col­lage fea­tures Jar­man made dur­ing the same period, prov­ing that this so-called “music video” is as much a part of his oeu­vre as The Angelic Con­ver­sa­tion or The Last of Eng­land.


Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me: Robert Crumb Letters 1958–1977

Span­ning the most for­ma­tive era of his life, from the painful years of ado­les­cence to the fame and for­tune of early adult­hood, ‘Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me: Robert Crumb Let­ters 1958–1977′ col­lects per­sonal cor­re­spon­dences with two near-lifelong friends sheds light on the artis­tic devel­op­ment, bit­ter strug­gle, and ulti­mate tri­umph of one of the world’s great­est liv­ing cartoonist.

Robert Crumb writes about many key events in his life: the dis­so­lu­tion of his first mar­riage, the pain of being sep­a­rated from his first child, his trou­bles with the IRS, and his obses­sions with comics, music and women (includ­ing his ear­li­est expe­ri­ences with Aline Kominsky-Crumb, now his wife of over 30 years). An enter­tain­ing and reveal­ing look into the mind of a great artist and thinker; this is Crumb’s sketch­book of words, fea­tur­ing scores of rare art, includ­ing entire let­ters drawn in car­toon form.

I feel that my work is but a fee­ble expres­sion of some­thing that in itself is vague and doubt­ful… Some­times when I probe myself I find that my inten­tions in art aren’t as sin­cere as they should be… Sub­con­sciously I want to make myself immor­tal among men, leave my mark on the earth to com­pen­sate for social inad­e­quacy… So I draw.” — R. Crumb, 1961