Nearly two years ago, we noted that NASA could learn a thing or two about inspiring the public and rousing excitement around its monumentally important work. Now, one NASA fan has taken it upon himself to bridge the frustrating gap between NASA’s deeply inspirational work and the toothless official communication about it, remixing breathtaking footage of our planet and the cosmos with an audio excerpt from Carl Sagan’s iconic Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.” ~ Carl Sagan
We’re big proponents of remix culture as the great enabler and cross-pollinator of creativity. Musician, producer, filmmaker and author Paul D. Miller, better-known as DJ Spooky, is one of remix culture’s most vocal and avid beacons, a rare champion of both its creative practice and its sociopolitical theory. In Sound Unbound, he curates a provocative and intelligent collection of essays drawing on the last 500 years of collaborative creation across music, art and literature and tracing everything from the history of stop-motion photography to Muslim influences on early hip-hop.
From an introduction by BoingBoing co-founder and open culture advocate Cory Doctorow to Brian Eno‘s exploration of the history of bells in Europe as a regulator of time to an investigation of the evolution of copyright law by Google’s senior legal counsel, the book features a wide and fascinating spectrum of texts by 36 of today’s most compelling, controversial and creative thinkers on remix culture.
Accompanying the book is a 45-track collage of a CD featuring fantastic, unexpected remixes blending rare historical recordings with modern music to deliver gems like “The Western Land” (William S. Burroughs and Iggy Pop with Techno Animal), “Erratum Musical (Score for Three Voices)/Voyage for Three” (Marcel Duchamp/George Lewis and Aki Takase) and “Eolian Episode/Gnossiene” (James Joyce/Erik Satie).
You can sample audio clips from it here, here and here, and catch an exclusive interview with DJ Spooky about the project.
As an artist, I’m a gatherer of personalities. I like pulling together radically different people and seeing what everybody has to say, and just kind of let it be a social sculpture.” ~ DJ Spooky
Sound Unbound is as much a research project into humanity’s propensity for non-linear thinking and co-creation as it is bold affirmation for the democratization of media and what we call combinatorial creativity.
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It’s (almost) Christmas and we wanted to wish you a wonderful holiday with this lovely vintage seasonal artwork from 1882, courtesy of the The National Archives UK.
So do as the man says and have yourself said varied assortment of:
Christmas Wishes, Happiness, Joys, Comfort, Good Fellowship, Freedom from all sorrow, care and pain, also many choice New Year’s Wishes, including Prosperity, Health, Happiness, and all the Blessings on eaath.”
(No spellcheck in 1882, apparently.)
A tangential but important note: This image is one of many fantastic archival photographs available on Flickr Commons — a free and open archive of images from some of the world’s leading cultural institutions, made possible largely thanks to the open-copyright culture championed by Creative Commons over the past decade. CC is a nonprofit, so please consider giving them a well-deserved holiday gift in the form of a donation — their work is the single most important enabler of remix culture today.
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