So You Think You Can Be President

Last summer, when Mindy and Jonathan were planning the Remix Institute, they taped a whole bunch of episodes of So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol off the air. They talked about how the election commentary between Obama and McCain was reported on like a game or a contest and voila, the concept for Jonathan’s video remix was born. This is all Jonathan - editing and critical analysis. What a great remix it is! Here is the link to Jonathans website :

The pressure is on as contestants present their positions on a range
of social and political issues then face the hard-hitting scrutiny of
our panel of judges. The audience at home will delight as candidates
are challenged in ways never seen before on television.

The mainstream media spectacle of American democracy reaches new
heights and this time with a twist. Contestants on our program are in
for a surprise: our panel of experts doesn’t exactly play by the
prescribed broadcast rules. Unlike the corporate news media of today,
which often coddles leading politicians, our judges grill each
candidate on their policies with hilarious and unexpected results.

In this week’s episode only two weeks before the general election,
Senator Obama and Senator McCain have their feet held to the fire over
shockingly similar positions on energy and foreign policy.

Who will be this season’s champion and take home the grand prize?
You’ll have to watch and decide that for yourself, then participate by
casting a vote* for your favorite performer on November 4th!

Challenging the Sound Byte Culture

Two remix examples using excerpts from Rev. Wrights sermons show are exercises in contrast.

Imagining a New Reality

Bush has been a favorite target of political remix and this video that uses the song from U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday - which is about the violence in Ireland between Protestants and Catholics - but used to talk about the Iraq invasion.

This next example shows that a new world is possible.

Changing Political Consciousness

At its best, political remix challenges dominant world views and awakens political consciousness. This famous video about Katrina is both a music and video remix cut by subMedia is an effort to keep the mantra going “George Bush Don’t Like Black People” by The Legendary K.O. Make sure you stick through the credits for a surprise ending.
Director/Editor: Franklin Lopez
Music: Legendary K.O

Jonathan’s Analysis of Advertising Propaganda

Here are two remixes by Jonathan McIntosh, FURI facilitator, who uses remix to analyze and critique propagandic systems by corporations.

Remix Reveals Media-based Stereotypes

Many political remix videos expose the stereotypes and negative portrayals of modern media. Here are two great examples:

The History of Remix

As Lawrence Lessig reminds us - Remix is part of human cultural history. Here is one of the first remixes ever done in film in 1942 by Universal Newsreel. Humor, parody, irony, juxtapostion and satire are used to expose and critique systems of power and oppression.

Another early remix can be found in the montage sequence of Bamboozled by Spike Lee.

FURI Remixes Complete: Premiere is July 25th

The Fair Use Remix Institute drew to a dramatic conclusion with the completion of five exciting video remixes by youth participants. Another two will be completed in the next week in time for the World Premiere to take place on July 25 at 6:00-7:00 at Columbia College’s Journalism Department. (33 East Congress) A food and drink reception begins at 5:30! Don’t miss this exciting event in which you will see some of our favorite remixes as well as our own and learn how remix represents a cultural communication right of youth.

Watch all our remixes now by clicking here.

Transformation by Keith (Imagine My Potential) Gordon

Positive Tribute vs. Negative Critique

On Tuesday, we had a great discussion about two Remixes using sermons by Reverend Wright. We began by talking about the difference between a remix that uses the media to critique the media and one that celebrates it or pays positive tribute to it. We also discussed how many remixes out there can certainly claim fair use but they may in fact reinforce racism or sexism rather than challenge oppressive systems of power. We decided to watch three examples and then post comments about what we saw. In evaluating whether it is a political remix or not, we need to ask: 1) WHAT IS THE SOURCE MATERIAL; 2) WHAT IS THE MESSAGE; 3) IS THERE A CRITIQUE; 4) IS IT POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE.

All of the examples we watched can be seen in the Category on the FURI blog called REMIXES BY OTHERS.

The first example we looked at was Sunday, Bloody Sunday, an amazing video in which a speech by Pres. Bush is re-cut in order to form the words to the U2 song, Sunday Bloody Sunday. Many of us didn’t know the original U2 song and that it was calling for an end to Protestant vs. Catholic violence in Ireland.

Then we viewed two remixes using sermons from Reverand Wright. Jonathan asked how Rev Wright was portrayed in the mass media. We discussed how the speeches were taken out of context and distorted to make it seem as if he was a kind of radical lunatic. The first example actually uses one of Wright’s uncut sermons about America’s history of racism, oppression and imperialism cut with movie images from Terminator, still images and other source footage. The second video cuts sound bytes of Rev Wright to a Simpson’s episode in which Grandpa Simpson writhes around the ground in a crazy fit. Both of these videos have a very different approach to the speech. The former adds a visual element to intensify and demonstrate the message of the speech, whereas the latter actually takes pieces of the speech and ridicules the Reverand by placing him in a cartoon character culturally symbolized as crazy.

Learning to Speak in Public

On Tuesday, we were very fortunate to have a communications and public speaking expert , Anita Sarkeesian, teach us the fundamentals of how to outline and deliver a speech. Anita stressed the importance of creating an outline to help guide us in this process. She also emphasized techniques to engage the audience by making eye contact and relating the material to the listeners lives. Today, we will be practicing some of these techniques and skills when FURI participants lead a critical evaluation of their rough cut remix!

Check out Anita’s Guidelines and Evaluation Rubric under the category Resources.

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