A brief note on the “Do We Need Remix?” workshop

February 4, 2007 at 8:16 pm 7 comments

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

Day One

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.

Day Two

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.

Poster 01
– “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 🙂

– Iram


Entry filed under: Workshop.

Thoughts on Remix Uncreative Writing

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anirudh Sharma  |  February 5, 2007 at 4:04 am

    lol! i miss the excitement of completing something like that in such a short time. Iram, you’ve misspelled my name…anyway hardly matters. cheers to arti, bhagwati and sridhar and that big bearded guy….forgetting his name

  • 2. kumar paudel  |  February 5, 2007 at 8:12 am

    cheers!! Iram and whole Sarai team,
    U have put the correct information…Our Nepali participants enjoyed the workshop a lot.
    I would like to thank Abhisekh for his great support for completing the Bollywood Calendar project.
    we wish for the greater exploration and advancement of this Sarai Team………………………with love, Kumar ,from Nepal

  • 3. dinesh & devendra tiwari  |  February 5, 2007 at 11:48 am

    it was such a joyfull & glorious moment of our life that i spent with all of u & ur SARAI team. all member of ur team have good sprit to deliever the knowledge & experiences. i have got new frnds from ur two days exciting program.

  • 4. Bishal Singh  |  February 6, 2007 at 3:52 am

    wel….the experience i Had at SARAI workshop was sumthing which i experinced 4 the first time…n hey i would luv 2 hav such experinces in future….Thanks to whole SARAI team 4 organizing such an intresting n knowledge enhancing workshop….

    n hey siddesh if u see this…please mail us our proj…..giv us ur cont. no. tooo..

  • 5. prabhash jha  |  March 20, 2007 at 9:52 am

    i am very much satisfied with the workshop we attended . we are very thankful to all sarai members.we not only assessed the positive work of sarai but also learned the importance of recreation.we will be very thankful if the team of sarai could organise a similar event here in kathmandu,nepal.

  • 6. tovorinok  |  July 5, 2007 at 10:58 am


    Great book. I just want to say what a fantastic thing you are doing! Good luck!


  • 7. Reuben Stefansky  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Remix music is very nice since you can enjoy it all along. *

    <a href="Our very own web portal

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