A brief note on the “Do We Need Remix?” workshop
Do We Need Remix? – A Tactical Exploration Through Play With Media Materials
26th, 27th January 2007
Creative Commons (India Chapter) launch at IIT – Bombay.
Workshop facilitated by a team from Sarai CSDS (Mrityunjay Chatterjee, Priya Sen, Amitabh Kumar, Aarti Sethi, Bhagwati Prasad and Iram Ghufran)
For concept note, see
The main aim of the workshop was to arouse a certain curiosity about cultural materials and possibilities for their creative re- use. At the end of two days, it was hoped, that the participants would have produced something – text, audio, image work, which would then be released under a CC license.
The workshop was held in the Industrial Design Lab with support from Prof Shishir Jha and student volunteers from SOM – Sridhar Narsimhan, Vikas Iyer.
We had access to computers, software, still cameras and MP3 recorders. There were about 31 students primarily from engineering colleges in Raipur, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Bikaner, Lucknow and Kathmandu.
Chirayu Shah, Patel Sagar, Kumar Paudel, Bikash Agrawal, Bikram Acharya, Prabhash Jha, Shashikanth Sharma, Hrishikesh Chelmella, Aniruddha Sharma, Mohd Mohsin Khan, Subin Shreshta, Praveen Sridhar, S Prasantha, Ritika Gupta, Rudra Iyer, Bishal Kumar Singh, Devedra Kumar Tiwari, Nitin Dewmgam, Pritha Singh Thakur, Laxmi Sharma, Antas Misra, Dinesh Kumar, Devendra Chtale, rohit Maddineni, Siddesh Kumbhar, Priyanka P, A Saujanya, M Anand, S Ashutosh, Anil Gupta, Abhinav Kumar
The workshop began with a brief welcome note and an introduction to Sarai and Sarai’s interest and work in the area of cultural/ knowledge commons. Bhagwati Prasad gave a brief historical background of remix music in India. We showed some examples of remix – being used creatively in the Sarai Media Lab and elsewhere. This was a fairly good session as the comfort factor rose dramatically, we had a pretty lively discussion on ‘the’ Creative Commons, public domain, and re- purposing etc. There was a lot of talk about remix and music, which I guess would be the most obvious association and perhaps the most recognized instance of ‘remix’ and cultural appropriation.
There were 6 teams. A lot of participants knew each other becuase they were from the same colleges or cities. Some people were very sure about what they wished to do, while some were uncertain. We had clarified in the beginning that making something was not mandatory and that if people just wish to have a conversations, they were welcome to do so but all the teams wished to produce something by the end of the workshop.
This day was spent largely in discussions and gathering of material (sound recording, photographs, web downloads). A lot of people were still undecided about the final form of their projects. Sound and specially music related ideas were more popular. Participants were open to new ideas and came up with interesting and ambitious project plans, which due to a constraint of time were simplified. Later, a lot of students attended the CC launch.
The CC launch was attended by many of the participants and the talks by some of the speakers were helpful in clarifying issues.
We began by showing some remixed videos accessed from Lawrence Liang of ALF
1) Asian Backstreet Boys
2) ALF’s Kal Ho Na Ho
3) IIT Madras’ version of Van Halen’s Right Now + The original Van Halen
4) ALFs campaign video – Brokeback Bharat (based on the trailer of Brokeback Mountain)
These we hoped would give a bright start to the morning and will act as interesting and creative instances of appropriation of cultural materials. The videos were quite a hit with the participants and we had a brief discussion thereafter.
This was a busy day as there was lots to do and there were quite a few unforeseen hic ups – such as missing cables, crashing software and unsaved projects that were either deleted or lost when the computer decided to not to cooperate! We finally worked on four projects. The facilitators circulated among the teams, largely helping with tech, having individual discussions on the project concepts, answering queries about CC, IP, Sarai, etc
The Four projects are:
1) Bollywood Calender:
This team earlier wanted to work on fashion – and changing trends/ styles etc but the idea was pretty vague and they were also not fully convinced by it. The project finally evolved into the Bollywood Calendar project. This is largely a photoshop work, wherein the team has used the software to create calendar pages, designed as film poster pages. They selected films , whose remakes have been made and combined the posters of the old and new films into one to create 12 separate pages for the 12 months of the calendar.
2) Piggi’s day
This team wanted to work with images set to multiple tracks of film music. They spent a lot of time on internet, looking at images and finally decided to work with a animated set of pig images – which they set to music. The short video depicts a day in the life of a pig with popular Bollywood songs acting as a second layer.
3) ‘main engineer kyon banna chahta tha…’
This group worked with photographs and images of the Internet set to music, depicting the trials and tribulations of being an engg student.
4) On Friendship
This team created a power point presentation with photographs of friends from Nepal, set the pictures to music and an edited audio track of vox pop on friendship done on the IIT campus.
By 5:30 four projects were done. They were well liked by everyone and showed a lot of promise among the young creators. There was general bonhomie, lot of photos were clicked, email addresses were taken down for the Sarai newsletter :-)
Meanwhile, the Sarai team also made some simple posters – printouts on A3 sheets that we put up on the main techfest area – on notice boards, walls, trees etc along with some broadsheets.
- “asal, nakal, shakal, pehchan kaun
CD jalaile, jigar se
jigar maa bari aag hai
copy. share. distribute”
Poster 02 (from Cybermohalla)
- This book is yours. Agreed. But what about its shadow?
Poster 03 (from Cybermohalla)
- If a shadow of the photographer had fallen on you, then whose image would we have called it.
“Remix” as a theme for this workshop worked because it had some recognition value – students had an opinion on remix – even if it was – “I like remix music. Its cool”. I think we did manage arouse curiosity, raise important questions and create a certain awareness within the students of their own capacities and possibilities of their computers, labs, still cameras, MP3 recorders etc.
We’ll upload the works on creative dot and the new sarai website. Soon :-)
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