*THIS POST IS PART OF A CONTINUING SERIES OF RESPONSES TO ASSIGNED READINGS FOR LEARNING WITH DIGITAL STORIES, A MASTER LEVEL COURSE I AM ENROLLED IN AT UC DENVER.
“Cultures have to be made – created – and they are made by mixing ‘new’ elements with ‘pre-existing elements’ in a manner of conversations” (Lankshear and Knobel, page 97)
This week I decided that I wanted to return to the Lankshear and Knobel text. I have enjoyed the pace, casual writing style, and ample real world examples from New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning. I did feel, however, that I was ready to move on from introducing the topic and wanted to dive deeper into the concepts, so I decided to skip over chapter 3 and read chapter 4: New Literacies and Social Practices of Digital Remixing. This chapter was fascinating and I think that is because the concept of remixing (outside of music) was brand new to me but so important to understand the development of human culture. I think the quotation I shared sums up how the exchange of ideas between cultures and the subsequent incorporation of new ideas is how cultures evolve through remixing.
After I read the chapter I was talking with my partner about the concept of remixing and how it related to fan fiction, and photoshopping. She casually mentioned that this is a perfect chapter for me because I always want to remix the movies and TV shows we watch. She was right, I always want a different ending to everything I see and will describe to in great detail how I would have done it. To this day I believe that Star Wars episode III could have been the best in the series and possibly the best movie ever if the final 20 minutes of the Revenge of the Sith were used as the first 20 minutes and that the remainder of the run time depicted an armor clad iconic Darth Vader lightsabering his way across the galaxy in pursuit of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who must hide and protect the Skywalker twins. BOOM – Just imagine the number of toys that movie would sell.
The table in the appendix that provides examples of digital remix communities was interesting because it gave a snapshot of what people are doing and the technologies used to share. The diversity in the technical ways to remix and soruce material reminded me of the Cybercultural Matrix discussed in The New Digital Storytelling text. I was disappointed because the table was hard to read on my tablet and made it difficult to comfortably access the information. I did follow some links to view the remix examples. I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and most of it was interesting and respectable. I would not have the ability to create 30 minute long fan fiction videos or realistic faux movie trailers. I was also inspired by my inquiry to find fan fiction comics. I again found many well done and interesting work people have shared. One particular fan comic was awesome(warning comic has scenes of graphic violence): The Deal by Gerardo Preciado and Daniel Bayliss . This comic was set in what L&K described as an alternate universe style of fan fiction and gives Batman the opportunity to try a new approach to dealing with the Joker, who has yet again attacked The Batman by hurting someone close to Bruce Wayne. The art is also very nice and reminds me of Paul Pope’s work for Batman: Year 100. I love the freedom the authors used to solve the Joker problem by approaching it from a different perspective.