By definition, a remix is “a version of a musical recording produced by remixing”. But in reality, a remix can be a lot more than just a song. Some might even say that everything is a remix. Sure, this might be a bit of a bold statement, but it’s not such a silly one.
Think about it. Today, almost every movie, TV show, song, book, pretty much anything you can think of, draws its inspiration from something that already exists within our society. Your favourite sci-fi movie would no doubt take themes and ideas from the likes of Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who, and your romance novel follows a similar path as the likes of Romeo & Juliet and Pride & Prejudice.
Because of this, true originality can be hard to achieve, but that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t create their own media and content. In fact, it means the exact opposite. Increasing fan bases and access to technology should be taking the advantage of having so much content available to them because of the internet and putting their own spin on it, essentially creating a remix.
It’s simply a reality that everything is remix in some way. We just need to embrace it.
Donald Trump. The American President’s persona is certainly one which has quickly become a favourite of global media. Everything from magazines to websites to news broadcasts seem to love ‘sending up’ Trump’s somewhat obnoxious personality. Some are more political than others, leaving room for differing interpretations.
The above image shows the upcoming March 26 cover of the commentary magazine ‘The New Yorker’. On the surface, the cover looks to portray a stark naked Trump addressing what is implied to be the media. These observations are the denotationsof the image; what is seen by everyone, no matter their background knowledge.
Whilst all of this is true, there can always be a deeper meaning uncovered when one looks a little more critically.
A few questions can be asked of this cover. Why is Trump naked? Why the extreme size difference between the media and Trump? What has Trump done to warrant such an event? The answers of these questions leads us to make connotationsor the evoked meaning. Connotations of an image can be different for each person and generally depend on a person’s knowledge of the topic in question. In this circumstance, there can be multiple interpretations and answers to our questions.
Why is Trump naked? This could mean any number of things. It could be a comment on his previous status as a reality star, implying that this status makes him vulnerable to the media’s all-knowing eye. It could also imply that he feels he has nothing to hide, however the covering of his ‘private parts’ indicates that even he has privacy limitations. Ultimately, there is no one definite reason as to why Trump is naked.
Why the extreme size difference between the media and Trump? It’s no secret that Trump is a larger than life person. Perhaps his large size against that of the media is a representation of how he values himself over others and places himself higher, in order to feel superior.
What has Trump done to warrant such an event? The short answer to this question is any number of things. In the current political climate, the most obvious answers would be the push for changes to the gun laws or his new tariff laws.
Whilst all of these might seem obvious to some, in order to interpret the image in any of these ways, it is necessary to have background knowledge of other topics such as American politics and Trump’s history. Ultimately, interpretations, particularly of images, aren’t always black and white and we should always allow for a different point of view.
In our ever-changing technological era, the focus is generally placed on the messages we receive from the media as a whole. Every day we take in new information and disperse our own interpretations of it. But the way in which we are presented this information is a lot more important than many would think.
Take Twitter for example. The online platform has over 330 million monthly users, approximately 1.8 billion less than Facebook. But why does Twitter have so many less? Twitter’s format attracts a different, smaller demographic than Facebook, primarily because of its short, straight-to-the-point way of communicating.
But what does this have to do with ‘the Medium is the Message’? The medium of Twitter dictates the way messages are portrayed on the platform. Everything from the character limit to the ability to add gifs to a ‘tweet’ appeals to a specific market, whom best use this particular medium to their advantage. If it was freeform, allowing longer posts like Facebook, well, it wouldn’t be Twitter anymore would it? It would simply become lost amongst the thousands of other communication platforms across the internet.
To me, the medium in which we communicate our individual messages really is an extension of ourselves, even if sometimes we wish it wasn’t.
Whenever I’m talking to someone about uni and I’ve said that I have to do a ‘Digital Artefact’, I’m usually met with blank stares. I then usually go onto explain that it’s ultimately a collection of media based around a topic, produced on the internet for public access. Seems easy enough right?
I mean, once you actually have an idea, a means to go about said idea and a projected audience, it really does seem somewhat achievable. However, the process to actually get to this point is exhaustive, and one which I’m still chipping away at.
I’d like to think I had a breakthrough this afternoon. After using Travis Wall’s ‘Project Starter’ I realised that yes, there was something that I know more about than the average person. Musicals. Because of this discovery, I’m ‘tossing around’ ideas of content that I could create to educate, entertain and enthuse musical lovers like myself. The front runner at this stage is a series of short video summaries of popular musicals, done in a comical style. Now we’ll just have to wait and see if I’ll actually be able to get this idea off the ground…
Today, audiences are interacting with the media they consume in new ways, with advancing technologies and an ever-changing social media network making it easier than ever to get ‘up close and personal’ with our favourite content creators.
In my introductions post, I talked about my love for YouTube and music. Typically, these are both forms of media which are consumed by audiences through screens or devices such as smart phones and radios. Just because this is the typical way for them to be consumed, doesn’t mean it’s the only way. And no, I’m not talking about concerts, I’m talking about the exclusive of having a meet-and-greet. Sure, concerts and the like are a fun way to interact with your favourite media personalities in an impersonal way, but being given the chance to actually meet them puts you just a step above the rest of their audience, even for a limited time.
I’ve been lucky enough to be given the chance to meet multiple of my favourite media personalities, and speaking from experience, it’s surreal. In 2016, I won the opportunity to go to the Today Show studios in Sydney to see Troye Sivan (my ALL time favourite YouTuber/Singer/Person in general) perform live as well as a (surprise) meet and greet.
I remember waking up at 2am to get to the studio by 3.30 and still not quite believing that it was really happening. It wasn’t until he arrived that it sunk in that one of my greatest role models was metres away from me. When it came my turn to ‘greet’ him, I was a bit of a mess and don’t really remember the encounter, but I do have the picture to prove it, so I know it happened.
Meeting Troye wasn’t the only positive outcome of that day. I met some of my closest friends, some of which live in different states, but who I still keep in contact with to this day, all because of our shared love for Troye Sivan. I think that’s the real power of ‘meet and greets’. It’s not the meeting the celebrity, but rather the chance you are given to interact and bond with other people who are there because they share a love for the same person you do. We have all been a part of their digital audience, but now it has become physical audience.These friendships seem to last beyond distance, time and age, the real positive of being a part of a media audience.