Kirby Ferguson at Gel 2011: Everything is a Remix from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

New York-based film producer Kirby Ferguson reveals the underpinnings of much of popular culture: remix. This is not a new idea, he argues. For hundreds of years innovators have learned their craft with an important first step: copying.

Watch the full series, Everything is a Remix: http://www.everythingisaremix.info/

More Gel videos: http://gelconference.com/videos/

13 thoughts on “Kirby Ferguson at Gel 2011: Everything is a Remix

  1. One point in the video I found unique was his reference to Pablo Piassos’ piece as being a gold standard of creativity yet he also said it had many influences from his time period. So the message I took from this video is that you can still take the ‘essence’ of previous ideas and create something that can be your own, even if everything is a remix.

  2. I found this video very interesting when he started to talk about star wars and how it was based off of other films from the past. It made me realize, that all of my creativity and other peoples creativity is also based on other peoples ideas, but “remixed” in different ways. So basically, we all copy, but transform it in a different way.

  3. I just get excited whenever i hear Father MC. But i agree, i feel people never really have their own ideas, only ideas inspired by others. there’s a certain truth to that.

  4. I really liked how he got into the topic of famous individuals who have remixed things of existence, such as; Bob Dylan’s first album was mostly all cover songs. It really struck my mind because it made me realize how much we don’t pay attention to those things…we just care that it’s Bob Dylan. This is really not a big deal to me but I feel it’s important to understand the trance that well-known people in our society have on us.

    As much as I always try to focus new pieces of art to create I always feel like it’s my own, which he brings up towards the end. It’s amazing how we think ideas in our head are OURS when in reality, a million people have had the same exact idea. “Ideas are not our property.” SO TRUE.

  5. I understand what Kirby was saying about how every idea stems off a previous or somebody else’s idea. As a photographer, I look at it like this: anybody can take a picture of a tree but from what interesting and unique angle will YOU take the picture of that tree everyone has pictures of? The idea of taking a few things that are already around , like the e m and c in his Einstein example, and figuring out how they relate in a new or interesting way is a challenge but not an impossible one.

  6. Liz! Great! Almost there! ’tis true there is nothing new under the sun and clearly everyone is borrowing from previous work to either copy, transform, or ideally combine influences to create something new.

    What is the next step for those starting out? It is not enough to leave it as a challenge.

  7. He may have some points, but just because starwars made 2 babbling robots doesn’t mean it was an idea taken from something else. He made it look like starwars almost frame for frame took an idea off of something else and used that for the film. Now the idea may not have been the first or original but that does not mean its a remix of that specific idea or even a copy of that idea. I understand how he points out that we all take inspiration from other things in life. Most if not all technology came from other advances in technology, its an ever continuing cycle. As something “new” comes up, whether its a copy or a remix, it itself can inspire or help create other ideas, even though the originals would never had had such an effect.

  8. This video is unique because it puts creativity in the light that we all try to ignore – that nothing is essentially original, and that all has been done before. However, this is not at all a negative thing – the greatest works of creativity come about through a process of copying (for example, Bob Dylan’s first album was mostly covers), transforming (the lightbulb was an improvement to the electric lamp), and combining (Star Wars has scenes and characters that closely resemble scenes and ideas of characters from multiple movies, as well as a plot progression matching that of a book). Everything is a remix – we take what already exists: our influences, our culture, our memories, our inspirations – and we build upon them in order to create. To communicate, we speak a language – and to relate, we connect influences and ideas that already exist in culture. Ideas exist inside of ideas, and there is an endless network that we will never cease to dig through and create with. “The most modest of creations are the beginnings of great ones” – by combining more ideas, we create more things and even more ideas. We can not all be Beethoven, but we can be new spins on all that we know and all that we are – everything is a remix.

  9. What I found unique about this video is the way remix was presented. I like how he explained that remixing an original can turn it into something completely new or something similar. It’s like saying that anytime something inspires you to go create something, it’s sort of your own remix of whatever inspired you. I also thought it was unique the way he talked about copying others work. When I thought about it, it kind of makes sense when you think of copying something as a remix of the original.

  10. I think the video was unique because throughout it the audience was being told that remixing, and borrowing ideas from other people are okay. I like that because we were told to emulate people’s work that we admire, because that is probably what they did too, since almost every piece of work was inspired by something else.

  11. We have been told countless times that all stories have already been told, it is just how each person tells it that varies. The same is with remixing, it is just borrowing and idea and adding our own interpretation, transforming it. Ideas build upon ideas, creating new concepts.

    • I’m actually going to add to what I was saying because I feel I couldn’t leave it at that.

      Most if the things we do are derived from imitation. We all have different interests and we filter what we, to put it simply, enjoy or don’t enjoy. As our lists of interest grow, we expand upon them, mold ideas together. Sometimes to the point where we can’t exactly pinpoint our influences entirely. An influence can be a culture, an artist, a place, maybe even just one work from another artist. Ideas do not just pop out of thin air and hit you on the head. They grow from a steady base depending on how each person nourishes it.

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