Saturday, February 9, 2008
The Future is so Meta: DJ Spooky at UNC
Friday afternoon in the Great Hall at UNC there was a lecture / performance by DJ Spooky a.k.a. Paul Miller. Paul is the master of the cultural remix and its most eloquent advocate. His talk began with the idea that modern artists, writers, composers and technical people began fragmenting and segmenting and remixing culture at the beginning of the 20th century. He cited the evolution of collage, stop motion photography and other technologies for developing what he called the "photoshop quality" of mind. That mind is a layered, changable, multi-faceted experience and the 20th century has been mostly about simultaneous fragmented experience.
He also explained that disciplines that used to be considered separate (writing, composing, art) are being increasingly blurred and unified by software. Combine this trend with the amount of data we can collect and store digitally in the 21st century and you have a deeply experiential art/remix culture blurring the lines of art and creative disciplines. Paul offered that historically art has been valued for its scarcity (it was all originals or limited copies)and that the future of art was its endless digital availability (as its all copies). He created his own remix experiment by giving everyone one of 5 remix cds he made in different genres (classic pop, jazz, reggae, etc...) He encouraged us to burn them for friends and remix them crossing up the genres.