Monday, January 3, 2011

NEWS UPDATE: Critical Remix Festival Info & Goodies

Gallery 25 will host screenings on each of the following weekends until January 28, 2011.

Gallery 25
660 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 264-4092

Byron Russell discussing the Critical Remix Festival:

KFCF Art Attack!

Critical Remix Festival Introduction

Welcome to the Critical Remix Festival: Oil and War, presented by the Appropriation Alliance. I am Byron Russell, its founder and your host for this event.

We are pleased to present twelve finalists from across the United States and Canada, each vying for the $1000 grand prize. All of these short online videos address the theme of Oil and War using some or all recycled video from other sources, such as network news or movies. This type of video is known as remix. Remixers make something new out of something old, in the process discovering new ways to communicate. Through remix, we can explore deadly themes without taking life and do it on a shoestring. Websites like YouTube make an inexpensive, worldwide forum for people to share their work.

Reusing media is an idea as old as cinema itself, but these recent developments in technology have made it conceivable for anyone to access, edit and post video. Becoming producers as well as consumers marks a profound change in how we relate to media. We are witnessing the democratization of media and a new dawn of media literacy is approaching.

But for the moment, many people still believe that videos which reuse media are more piracy than art. The Appropriation Alliance could not disagree more, especially since artists working in other media have fought and won this battle many times in the last hundred years. Remix deserves an audience, for people to speak up for this art and its value in our culture. We believe people will embrace remix when they have a chance to see for themselves how fascinating and creative it can be. That is why remix artists Diran Lyons, Desiree D’Alessandro and I founded the Appropriation Alliance.

This festival was created in that spirit to show off some of the fascinating dimensions and possibilities that exist in remix. War and Oil is a theme that many remixers feel strongly about and have worked with during the development of remix as a form. War is probably the most common theme in news and art, so there is plenty of source material available. However, the ubiquity of War and Oil in our culture presents the remixer an interesting challenge to create something that feels fresh or to embrace the intrinsic familiarity of this subject. This tension between innovation and cliché can be seen in our finalists, which each in their own way grapple with formula and stereotype. While this challenge may be exaggerated by our chosen theme, all remix relies on existing material for content, and thus investigates to some extent that spectrum.

The Appropriation Alliance felt our first event should reflect some of the strengths of our community, but by no means are political statements the only possibility for remix. To the contrary, there are limitless subjects, themes and technical approaches that remix has yet to address. The Appropriation Alliance will be a part of fostering that exploration.

Looking forward, we are excited about assembling a collaborative book project so that more people can learn about the different genres and methods of remix and be inspired to create their own.

Finally, we want to say a very big thank you to our sponsors, Peace Fresno, The Fresno chapter of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, whose cooperation allows all of your donations to be tax deductible. We couldn’t do it without you! Please join us in supporting remix by making a donation through our website so that we can continue to cultivate innovative remix.

We have only one prize to offer, but the prize and festival are dedicated to all of the filmmakers who submitted videos for the festival, to all of you out there who make remixes, or will someday. This festival is an expression of our passion for remix and the desire that we all recognize and appreciate the power, creativity and freedom that remix represents. We love this work and hope you will too…

[click on the image above to view larger]

For your convenience, below are direct URLs to view each participant's remix:

Complete Playlist -

Robert Dohrmann - Me America
Martin Leduc - Chevron - We Agree
Artur Augustynowicz - War and Oil
Edward Pelkey - We Have the Technology
Erik Nelson - Bad Romance
Josh Gorfine - The Light at the Tip of the Candle
Lili White - Stuff of Our Dreams
Chloe Hamilton - SOS
Elisa Kreisinger - You Can't Vote in Change
Tactical Stencil Lab - Recruiting Young, Poor and Minority Soldiers
LJ Frezza - Nuke'Em Duke
Aaron Valdez - There Will Be Oil

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