Saturday, December 14, 2013


thanks for the kitty cat Eric Stewart

So check it out!  
Film grad Eric Stewart wrote his final paper in the form of a Tumblr project titled

Yay!!! All the final remix video projects were amazing and have Creative Commons attributions --they are all posted below for your viewing pleasure! Good job everyone!!
Have a great holiday!


238 by Asa Lotterhos

KEEP IT REAL by Alicia Ramirez



BRAKE THE EARTH by Lex Mobley-White


I'VE GOT FIVE ON IT by Raziel Scher


WHATS FOR DINNER by Melissa Kristl


ARC by Eric Stewart

& Judd Schiffman

Look at these fun digital collages Lex made from her class notes to include in our class exquisite corpse! (The last one is our class cutup poem made from the NY Times)

Friday, December 6, 2013

WEEK FOURTEEN: Photoshop skillz

Artist Shepard Fairey did *not* make his famous Obama/HOPE poster in Photoshop, or at least not entirely---he did research for images and downloaded one of them from the internets, which led to all the trouble. When Fairey's distributed poster caught on like wildfire soon enough the AP came along and sued him for copyright infringment (even though the photo in question was taken by Mannie Garcia). He immediately counter-sued claiming that his use of the images falls squarely within the boundaries of transformation and fair use. They settled out of court and Faireys image for Obamas campaign has spawned thousands of versions and remixes, like this one or any of these. Well we watched a Photoshop tutorial on how to make a graphic design image like Fairey's,  which was inspired by artist Barbara Kruger which was inspired by the Russian Constructivists for whom art was a practice for social change. We started with our own faces and the rest is history. Thanks to Eric for the animated gif inspirations and for showing us how to make them in Photoshop!

Aleksander Rodchenko 1925

Barbara Kruger 1987


Felix and Lex

Amanda and Raziel

Raziel and Amanda




Eric and Judd



Thursday, November 21, 2013


"diverse perspectives of a movable event"
Oliver Laric, Versions, 2009, single channel video
For our final night of  screening and discussions we looked at the work of artist Oliver Laric, and his various media essays all known as Versions, where he traces multiple histories of the practice of copying in art making, challenging  the notion of *the original* and leading us particularly into the present moment with the digital production and circulation of images. 

We then checked in some *very* current events via  THIS MASHUP of  Toronto mayor Rob Ford /Chris Farley   (heh, great job, internet!) 

And on to some other early 21st century media recuperations :
Keith Sanborn's  Operation Double Trouble (2003), a detourned version of a propaganda film called Enduring Freedom, originally made by the US Marines and US Navy,

Bobby Abate's One Mile per Minute (2002), which he began working on soon after the attacks of September 11th out of disgust for the corporate branding of the disaster on various news stations .

Artist-activist Joseph deLappe's intervention into the online game America's Army, Dead-in-Iraq (2006-2011) where he individually listed each American casualty of the war by name, using the games text messaging,

Peggy Ahwesh's appropriation of the game Lara Croft's Tomb Raider, She Puppet (2001 )
the earliest of  Phil Solomon's Grand Theft Auto appropriations, Crossroads (2006)
(formerly called  Untitled for DG)

She Puppet, Peggy Ahwesh ,2001

And lastly -- a couple cherries on top:
Sweet Dreams, shot on location in Second Life by yr fearless leader
*bonus track*
an inspiring and super fun new work by video/audio artist Sara Maganheimer called  MICKRYS  with numerous appearances by those pesky anthropomorphized mice.

Next and final blog post will be the student remix projects, YAY!!!!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Group presentation week on all the above categories with amazing examples! We listened to a general explanation of REMIX culture stemming from musical forms from Beethoven to Lee Scratch Perry, though remix video is a highly popular way of taking on contemporary media these days--here's a whole site dedicated to the latest in political remix videos of all kinds.  MASHUP remixes made using two distinct sources like The Dark Side of the Rainbow (try this at home), VIDDING and the grandmother of fannish vids Both Sides Now (1975) by Kandy Fong,  SUPERCUTS, a term coined by blogger Andy Baio in 2008 to describe obsessive works as The Usual Suspects --  also check this supercut we didn't watch in class but is mentioned in Ed Halters article below : ARTIST LOOKING AT THE CAMERA (2006) by Guthrie Lonergan who raided the Getty Images Archive for his sources as we can tell by the watermarks he leaves intact. Lastly we investigated MEMES,  actually short for mimesis, and according to the dictionary literally means  "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture".   We learned about 4chan as ground zero for memes, and looked at examples that ran the gamut - lolcats to pop culture references to political current events --like "Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop”, a photoshop meme based on a photograph of the police officer who offhandedly pepper sprayed a group of Occupy protesters at the University of California Davis in November 2011. 

We ended the session with Buffy vs. Edward by pop culture hacker Jonathan Mcintosh, a remix/mashup as a pro-feminist visual critique. He has extensive liner notes on youtube, like 

Many remix videos carry a CC license and use this warning on their material:

FAIR USE NOTICE:This critical and transformative remix video constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law.

Yes, you too can keep up with the exciting and rapidly changing world of internet phenomena at  Know Your Meme.

+++Read for next week: Ed Halter's RECYCLE IT! (2008) from The Museum of the Moving Image's website for a nice lively read of our beloved and rebellious subject +++

Friday, November 8, 2013


Aaron Swarz and Lawrence Lessig
Today we listened to lawyer and activist Lawrence Lessig explain a few things  in his 2007 TedTAlk  "Laws that Choke Creativity" .  Lessig is the author of several books, like The Future of Ideas (2001), Free Culture (2004), and Remix: Making Art and Commerce thrive in a hybrid economy (2008) . He has  transformed intellectual property law as a founding member of  Creative Commons, an organization dedicated to building better copyright and copyleft  practices through principles established first by the open-source software community
The winner of Creative Commons 2003 moving image contest  is Justin Cone's Building on the Past--licensed as (CC BY), one of the many attributions for their different types of licenses that you can tailor to your specific desires. Watch his movie and see how it works.

Please download Lessig's The Future of Ideas: the fate of the commons in a connected world and READ the preface and PART 1, this will be helpful with concepts and vocabulary for your group presentations next week!

Some other projects and works discussed this week :

Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age, a visual, audio and video show featuring works that challenged the expansion of copyright law and the policing of creative expression. They distributed CDs and DVDs freely of works that had trouble with copyright infringement--we watched quite a few of those in class, like "State of the Union" (2001) by Brian Boyce, "Gimmee the Mermaid" by Tim Maloney, made after hours at Disney for Bay Area experimental audio collage group Negativland who ran into some serious legal trouble with their record The Letter U and the numeral 2. The argument they claimed was FAIR USE.

The last and earliest piece we watched from the Illegal Art DVD was Todd Haynes' cult classic Superstar, released in 1987 but suppressed for many years. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

WEEK TEN : Music & Sampling: our musical commons


We spent this week mostly *listening*, from Count Basie to Public Enemy and many stops in between as we considered the creative cultural commons of music over the decades, and the relationship between the evolutioin of recording technology and of copyright protection. Some examples we listened to and discussed were:
-the infamous plaigarism case between George Harrison (My Sweet Lord 1971) and Bright Tunes Corporation (He's So Fine, recorded by The Chiffons 1962)
-Douglas Kahn's 1980 tape collage of Ronald Reagan and Bill Moyers, distributed via flexi-disc in Raw Magazine, Reagan Speaks for Himself
-Afrika Bambatta's breakthrough track Planet Rock (1982), and the relationship of his sampling to his collecting, see Bambatta's amazing archive of  records , just recently sent to the Cornell University Hip Hop Colleciton  for posterity.
-DAvid Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) and Bruce Conners film made for one of those tracks America is Waiting (1982)
We also talked about the 2004 project Jay-Z's Construction set which is a huge zip file full of everything you need to remix his album, in the hopes that it will inspire new artists to add their voices to the cacophony. "Make as much music as possible" he says. A DJ named Dangermouse did just that, when he released The Grey Album which combined Jay Z's vocals from The Black Album with instrumentals from The Beatles  White Album. A lawsuit ensued and music  and free culture lovers protested by picking one day to post The Grey Album for anyone to download--this day will forever be known as GREY TUESDAY .
Lastly we watched the entire film of COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS, shown on PBS Independent Lens and produced by Kembrew McLeod, who also organized a collage practice conference and edited a book of those participants called Cutting Across Media: Appropriation Art, Interventionist collage, and Copyright Law. The first chapter is by Marcus Boon and is called Digital Mana: On the Source of the Infinite Proliferation of Mutant Copies in Contemporary Culture. 
Et voila! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013


First step was found object as readymades, and now found films as objects=hello Perfect Film (1985) by filmmaker Ken Jacobs who has this to say
I wish more stuff was available in its raw state, as primary source material for anyone to consider, and to leave for others in just that way, the evidence uncontaminated by compulsive proprietary misapplied artistry, "editing", the purposeful "pointing things out" that cuts a road straight and narrow through the cine-jungle; we barrel through thinking we’re going somewhere and miss it all. Better to just be pointed to the territory, to put in time exploring, roughing it, on our own. For the straight scoop we need the whole scoop, or no less than the clues entire and without rearrangement. O, for a Museum of Found Footage, or cable channel, library, a shit-museum of telling discards accessible to all talented viewers/auditors. A wilderness haven salvaged from Entertainment."

This raw, surprising document has a long arm of influence, seen in works by contemporary artists Walid Raad and the Atlas Group, Matthew Buckingham, and Kevin Jerome Everson whose works  are all in relationship to  media, evidence and documents . Here is a work by Everson that we didn't watch called Ten Things about Vegas.

Then we were visited by Tim Roberts of Counterpath Press, who spoke to us about several of his literary projects around authorship and appropriation, such as LET HER SPEAK, the transcript of Wendy Davis' 11 hour filibuster in Texas this summer, which will also re recreated as a reading event at Counterpath , "to celebrate and extend her act of protest". Thanks Tim!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

WEEK EIGHT: The Archive: Home Movies &16mm 3 image edits!

Truthfully we hardly had a chance to watch many home movies since we were so busy going over our midterm tests on William Wees' Recycled Images: The Art &Politics of Found Footage Films (1993),
and watching the second projects making analogue 16mm 3-image edits from found footage.

Everyone was busy busy busy at the Steenbecks for the last couple of weeks choosing shots and making precision cuts in bursts of three, in homage to 

Sadly I didn't capture all of them, because they were all pretty amazing! For example I missed Zac's hilarious gas- station- drug- deal -movie that winds up in a handpainted frenzy, I must've been too astonished to remember to push the button on my camera, sorry ...

--Here we have Asa's concise curt commentary on the creative process:

--Here is Eric's enigmatic edit. without sound: 

--and then with sound: THE MEATCUTTERS CAME!

We didn't quite get to the Abigail Child films either, but we will start with her 2004 film The Future is Behind You next week, as a particularly interesting companion to the amateur 1940's (?) hunter home movie we watched this week. Don't forget to read your Patricia Zimmerman Reel Families chapter to prepare. 

OK so the reading for next week is Stephanie Barber's conceptual book Night Moves (Publishing Genius, 2012) which includes this book club study guide to assist you. 

Lastly, don't forget  Saturday is HOME MOVIE DAY and we will be celebrating at The Boulder Public Library from 1-4 pm. Bring your home movies to screen (8mm, S-8 and 16mm only), play Home Movie Day Bingo, meet your neighbors and see what kind of movies they've unearthed!

Friday, October 11, 2013

WEEK SEVEN: The Archive: H'wood/TV

The artist Joseph Cornell  (1903-1972) started us out  with his unique and unimaginably influential collage portrait film from 1936 Rose Hobart, made from the 1931 jungle drama East of Borneo. Further information on Cornell's cinema and boxes can be found here in Catherine Cormans essay on Surrealist Astronomy
and let us not forget your *required reading *

Other works made by raiding the collective celluloid (and electron) memory banks screened
Michael Robinson's  Light is Waiting 2007

We probably should have watched Dara Birnbaum's Technology Transfomation/Wonder Woman (1978) 
for a second time too!

WEEK SIX: The Archive: Politics: DETOURNED!!

“The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.” 
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle (English transl. 1967)

The strategy of detournment was initially practiced by The Situationist International , a group of writers and avant-gardists who cohered in the late 50's and developed various tactics for the reclamation of the creative potential of everyday life --these tactics formed their a critique of capitalist society where value is based on commodification and consumption.

Detournement, according to our friend Wikpedia, "can be defined as a variation on a previous media work, in which the newly created one has a meaning that is antagonistic or antithetical to the original. The original media work that is détourned must be somewhat familiar to the target audience, so that it can appreciate the opposition of the new message. The term "détournement" is borrowed from the French, in English "turnabout" or "derailment". Turn the tables!

For a funny and unsparing introduction to their ideas remember the comics we read in class, this one and this one too.

We watched a few clips to warm us up for a longer consideration of collage-essay film master Craig Baldwin--(Rocket Kit Kongo Kit (1988) and Tribulations 99:Alien Anomalies under America (1992)

Whats up Tiger Lily, (1966) by Woody Allen
Coleman Millers hilarious existential intelligent and stupid Uso Justo (2004)
Can Dialectics Break Bricks (1973), by situationist Rene Vienet
which directly influenced so many culture-jammers, like the work of the Bay area st01en collective's
Lord of the Rings of Free Trade (2001)
and their sequel The Twin Towers

"Plaigarism is necessary--Progress implies it!!– Comte de Lautréamont (Isidore Ducasse), Poésies II (1870)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013