Deep Remixability

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Lev Manovich


This article is the second part of the series devoted to the analysis of the new hybrid visual language of moving images that emerged during the period 1993–1998 and which today dominates our visual culture. In the first part the author suggested that the new language can be understood with the help of the concept of remixability if we use this concept in a new way. We can call this “deep remixability”, for what gets remixed is not only the content of different media but their fundamental techniques, working methods, and ways of representation and expression. In the earlier article discussion was started of how the new software-based methods of production – specifically software such as After Effects – made this language possible. In this part the author continues to explore different effects of software-based moving image production, and then uses this discussion to refine his analysis of how deep remixability functions. He discusses how today the design of moving image sequences takes place within three-dimensional space, with 3D compositing gradually replacing 2D compositing. He also looks at the shift from the concept “moving image” to a new concept of “media composition”. Finally, he analyzes how the typical production workflow in a contemporary digital studio the ways in which a project moves from one software application to another – affects contemporary visual aesthetics of not only moving but also still images. The article shows that this workflow has two fundamental effects. On the one hand, never before have we witnessed such a variety of forms as today. On the other hand, exactly the same techniques, compositions, and iconography can now appear in any media.

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