The quote above is a funny, yet very accurate introduction to the topic developed in the documentary by Kirby Ferguson : Everything is a Remix.
(side note: If you care who said this quote go check this link to figure out nobody really knows.)
Everything is a remix explores the concept of originality in creativity.
Never heard of it?
Please, take the time to watch it below.
In an era where content creation, and Internet are at the core of our culture and economy, understanding how creativity works is a must-have skill.
Here are the 4 episodes and some bullets points for those a bit lazy in a hurry.
Episode 1 – Music
Where you learn:
- Heavy Metal was a term coined to remix text and not music
- Daft Punk in “Around the world” is just a resampled version from “Good times“, by Chic – a hit from the late 70’s.
- Stairway to Heaven opening was not created by Led Zeppelin but was a cover from an other group, Taurus
- Actually most of Led Zeppelin songs are covers and knock-offs
- Most of Bob Dylan musics are also covers (explained in detailed in the TED Talk linked below)
Episode 2 – Films
- 74% of hollywood major output are either remix, sequels or books adaptations
- If you think Star Wars was a very original piece of film, well… brace yourself, disappointments are coming (Flash Gordon rippoff to heavy Japanese film influence, and more…)
- Kill bill is a complete mashup of other films, with nearly no piece of original elements
Episode 3 – Technology
- The nature of creativity
This episode is more interesting for its historical perspective – as today most of the facts presented about the Mac and computing in general are kind of common knowledge.
And in general, we are more culturally ready to see scientists and engineers build on the top of their predecessors.
Episode 4 – Copyrights, Patents
Because we can be as much assholes to each other as we can be great to each other.
Watch this one and educate yourself
If you want more from Kirby Ferguson:
A case study on the iphone – a clear and his TED Talk
Well, just a few words to wrap this:
Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed, said Antoine Lavoisier – famous chemist from the 18th century
He talked about chemical transformation and how matter works.
Yet, the matter of ideas is pretty similar.
Some thinkers even go as far to say that nothing is ever invented but is only discovered (can’t remember their name – old memories from philosophy classes in high-school – if you have names, drop them in the comment section please).
So anyway – practical considerations :
- Creativity imply we absorb models and patterns of creations
- The nature of the transformation is up to us, each will manifest his / her own creativity by remixing the old into a kind of unique new thing that will help share his/her vision of the world.
- Imposter syndrome is the result of our lack understanding of how creativity works.
Side note on copyright laws:
Copyright laws have long lost their initial purpose of protecting creators, and we cannot change this.
What we can however, is to join the collective effort of creation and that each add his/her own piece to the giant patchwork that is our human creative soul.