Pasado, presente y futuro de la cultura de remezcla

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It is a truism today that we live in a “remix culture” propone Lev Manovich en What comes after
 (versión .doc):

…Today, many of cultural and lifestyle arenas – music, fashion, design,
art, web applications, user created media, food – are governed by remixes,
fusions, collages, or mash-ups. If post-modernism defined 1980s, remix
definitely dominates 2000s, and it will probably continue to rule the next
decade as well

Pero mientras la remezcla es una forma de producción aceptada en la
música, sigue suscitando reticencias en otros ámbitos creativos:

… electronic music and software serve as the two key reservoirs of new
metaphors for the rest of culture today, this expansion of the term is
inevitable; one can only wonder why it did no happen earlier. Yet we are left
with an interesting paradox: while in the realm of commercial music remixing is
officially accepted, in other cultural areas it is seen as violating the
copyright and therefore as stealing. So while filmmakers, visual artists,
photographers, architects and Web designers routinely remix already existing
works, this is not openly admitted, and no proper terms equivalent to remixing
in music exist to describe these practices.

One term that is sometimes used to talk about these practices in
non-music areas is “appropriation.” …

The other older term commonly used across media is “quoting” but I see it
as describing a very different logic than remixing. If remixing implies
systematically rearranging the whole text, quoting refers inserting some
fragments from old text(s) into the new one. Thus I think we should not see
quoting as a historical precedent for remixing…

La remezcla como práctica de producción cultural nace con la música en los
años 1960 y 70. Pero es la llegada de Internet, la digitalización de los
contenidos que se hacen granulares o modulares, el crecimiento exponencial de la
información disponible y la aparición de licencias flexibles para la gestión de
los derechos de distribución y reutilización lo que está cambiando radicalmente
la importancia cualitativa y cuantitativa de la remezcla como práctica creativa,
mientras que es mucho más lenta la aceptación social de este tipo de prácticas.
En mi
en ArtFutura 2007, planteaba que mientras la web 2.0
permite la eliminación de las barreras para la distribución de contenidos, la
web 3.0 abrirá posibilidades casi ilimitadas para la remezcla audiovisual
utilizando una enorme base de contenido granular y
etiquetable. Ante un escenario de exuberancia informativa, puede que la creación
nuevos contenidos sea casi innecesaria de modo que la la creatividad sea
consecuencia básica de la remezcla. Pero sobre el valor creativo de la remezcla
existen diferentes opiniones que oscilan entre aquellas que anuncian un nuevo
renacimiento cultural y aquellas otras que declaran la muerte de la creatividad
en un mundo digital en que ya “todo está inventado” y la larga cola de creadores
amateurs inunda de contenidos de baja calidad la red.

Para centrar el debate podemos acudir a Remix Theory, el proyecto de Eduardo Navas para crear un repositorio sobre
investigación en remezcla como producción cultural, nos proporciona una definición de remezcla:

Generally speaking, remix culture can be defined as the global activity
consisting of the creative and efficient exchange of information made possible
by digital technologies that is supported by the practice of cut/copy and paste.
The concept of Remix often referenced in popular culture derives from the model
of music remixes which were produced around the late 1960s and early 1970s in
New York City, an activity with roots in Jamaica’s music. Today, Remix (the
activity of taking samples from pre-existing materials to combine them into new
forms according to personal taste) has been extended to other areas of culture,
including the visual arts; it plays a vital role in mass communication,
especially on the Internet…
The hip-hop DJs play an important part in
the cultural shift from a passive consumer model to a consumer/producer model,
which is currently in place throughout the Internet, and is most evident in the

La remezcla puede operar bajo diferentes modelos creativos, desde la
extensión de la obra original, a la combinación y eliminación de materiales
hasta la alteración de de las obras originales:

To understand Remix as a cultural phenomenon, we must first define it in
music. A music remix, in general, is a reinterpretation of a pre-existing song,
meaning that the “aura” of the original will be dominant in the remixed version.
Of course some of the most challenging remixes can question this generalization.
But based on its history, it can be stated that there are three types of
remixes. The first remix is extended, that is a longer version of the original
song containing long instrumental sections making it more mixable for the club
DJ… The second remix is selective; it consists of adding or subtracting material
from the original song. …The third remix is reflexive; it allegorizes and
extends the aesthetic of sampling, where the remixed version challenges the aura
of the original and claims autonomy even when it carries the name of the
original; material is added or deleted, but the original tracks are largely left
intact to be recognizable.

Mientras estas formas de remezcla se han desarrollado en la creación musical
en las últimas décadas, el audiovisual está siendo ahora uno de los ámbitos
preferidos de experimentación que abarca los tres modelos anteriores (y que
podríamos simplificar en la recombinación de secuencias originales o la creación
de nuevas secuencias mediante la fusión de diferentes imágenes).

Pero mientras que Eduardo Navas propone a El blogger cómo
, y por tanto como un nuevo paradigma del creador como
comisario que utiliza la remezcla como forma de producción, otros declaran que
la “cultura alternativa”, aquella que podrían representar los blgos en los
inicios del siglo XXI, ha muerto. Warren
(en Suicide
, y tal como explica Kazys Varnelis) concluye
que “our curatorial culture is just plain exhausted”:

Every corner of the web is blitzed with the light shone by thousands of
curational blogs whose job is to parse the internet for their readers. I mean, I
hunt for research material all the time and store it on my website, I’m as
guilty as anyone. But at some point producing actual content on the web went out
of fashion — almost all of the top one thousand blogs are reportage and
linkblogging sites. At some point people have to stop checking to see what
happened yesterday and start thinking about tomorrow. And it’s that that
"alternative culture" comes from — the drive to do what’s next and the impulse
to make the sound no-one’s heard yet. That’s just not where we are right now.
We’re still suffering exhaustion from the most utterly mad and brain-burning
experience in human history — the Twentieth Century.

La cuestión no parece estar resuelta y ni el propio Lev Manovich, de nuevo en
What comes after
, se siente capaz de predecir lo que nos deparará el

The question that at this point is really hard to answer is what comes
after remix? Will we get eventually tired of cultural objects – be they dresses
by Alexander McQueen, motion graphics by MK12 or songs by Aphex Twin – made from
samples which come from already existing database of culture? And if we do, will
it be still psychologically possible to create a new aesthetics that does not
rely on excessive sampling? When I was emigrating from Russia to U.S. in 1981,
moving from grey and red communist Moscow to a vibrant and post-modern New York,
me and others living in Russia felt that Communist regime would last for at
least another 300 years. But already ten years later, Soviet Union ceased to
exist. Similarly, in the middle of the 1990s the euphoria unleashed by the Web,
collapse of Communist governments in Eastern Europe and early effects of
globalization created an impression that we have finally Cold War culture behind
– its heavily armed borders, massive spying, and the military-industrial
complex. And once again, only ten years later we seem to be back in the darkest
years of Cold War, except that now we are being tracked with RFID chips,
computer vision surveillance systems, data mining and other new technologies of
the twenty first century. So it is very possible that the remix culture, which
right now appears to be so firmly in place that it can’t be challenged by any
other cultural logic, will morph into something else sooner than we

I don’t know what comes after remix. But if we now try now to develop a
better historical and theoretical understanding of remix era, we will be in a
better position to recognize and understand whatever new era which will replace


2 comentarios en “Pasado, presente y futuro de la cultura de remezcla

  1. Yo tampoco puedo saber qué vendrá luego de esta remezcla cultural que estamos viviendo en todos los sentidos. Pero la creatividad no se ha perdido, lo que estamos presenciando una nueva cultura, con toda esta remezcla. En cualquier momento esto va a parar y la tendencia la hace la gente, al requerir nuevas modas, nuevos gustos, fuera de todo lo que mencionamos, sentimos o argumentemos como mezclado.

  2. bueno en si la remescla cultural sera una moda mas en este periodo ciclico del sistema osea “modas” una mas una menos…. la cuestion es que la creatividad siempre estara adelante y sera la que dictamine la nuevas tendencias o la ” remescla cultural” por asi llamarlo…gracias gustavo reyes barquisimeto-venezuela

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