Reclaiming Critical Remix Video Book (Routledge, 2017) Finally Published!

My new book has finally been published! The title is Reclaiming Critical Remix Video: The Role of Sampling in Transformative Works (Routledge, 2017) by Owen Gallagher.

Reclaiming Critical Remix Video: The Role of Sampling in Transformative Works by Owen Gallagher Book Cover

Description: Remix is now considered by many to be a form of derivative work, but such generalizations have resulted in numerous non-commercial remixes being wrongfully accused of copyright infringement. Gallagher argues, however, that remix is a fundamentally transformative practice. The assumption that cultural works should be considered a form of private property is called into question in the digital age; thus, he proposes an alternative system to balance the economic interests of cultural producers with the ability of the public to engage with a growing intellectual commons of cultural works. Multimodal analyses of both remixed and non-remixed intertextual work, with a particular focus on examples of critical remix video, fuel the discussion, synthesizing a number of investigative methods including semiotic, rhetorical and ideological analysis.

Miley / O’Connor Mashup – Nothing Compares to a Wrecking Ball

Miley Cyrus vs Sinead O’Connor Mashup / Remix. The vocal track from Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ remixed with the music from Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares To You.’ Both tracks were resequenced and changed around quite a bit from the originals.

Miley Cyrus recently said that she took inspiration from Sinead O’Connor for her image and her music and then Sinead wrote a letter telling Miley to have more respect for herself and to be more mindful of the influence she has on her younger fans.

The two songs are the same tempo (60bpm) and the same relative key in major and minor (F/Dm), so they fit together pretty well. The music video is made up of clips from the official music videos for both songs as well as footage of Miley Cyrus from when she was a baby to the present day.


Copyright Disclaimer
Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. This remix video is a critical and transformative work that constitutes a Fair Use in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Top 10 Obama vs Romney Remixes

1. Obama Vs Romney Debate Remix – Eclectic Method – Oct. 2012

2. Eminem ►Barack Obama Feat Mitt Romney► The Real Slim Shady ♫ Remix – Espaco Rap – May 2012

3. Video 99 Problems Butt Mitt Ain’t One Obama 99 Problems Remix. call me maybe – BossNews13 – Sept. 2012

4. Original remix: Obama V Romney – ManarMaher2 – Oct. 2012

5. Obama Vs. Romney REMIX- Auto-tuned Singing – TICUMD – Feb. 2012

6. “I Agree” 2012 Presidential Debate Remix – TheJokerSpeaks – Oct. 2012

7. Binders Full Of Women (Mitt Romney Remix) – The Melker Project – scottmelker – Oct. 2012

8. Michelle Obama Vs. Ann Romney – Move Your Butt (Just Like That) Noy Alooshe Remix – NoyAloosheOfficial – Oct. 2012

9. Obama Romney – GANGNAM STYLE – ItsOnBTV – Oct. 2012

10. Mitt Romney endorses President Barack Obama! – 2012 – OrbitalCafe – Apr. 2011

The State of the Nation Address 2011 – Enda Kenny Recut

Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny reassures the nation in the run-up to Christmas by telling it like it is, in this critical remix video, which uses footage from the original RTE ‘State of the Nation Address’ broadcast from December 2011 recut and remixed with Vangelis’ Conquest of Paradise.

Fair Use Notice:
This remix is a satirical transformative work, which forms part of a doctoral research project and has been constructed for educational and research purposes, as well as critical commentary, therefore it represents a ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material, according to section 107 of U.S. copyright law.

State of the Nation Address by Enda Kenny, RTE (2011)
Conquest of Paradise, Vangelis

Remixed in Dec.2011 by Owen Gallagher, PhD Researcher, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland | |

Do They Know It’s Christmas – Occupy / Band Aid Mashup 2011

In this Critical Remix Video (CRV), the three ‘official’ versions of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ from 1984, 1989 and 2004 are mashed together with the most recent version, from the TV musical ‘Glee’ (2009). All four music videos are combined with footage from the Occupy Wall Street movement, contrasted against footage from the Arab Spring uprisings, in particular, those which took place in African countries in 2011.

Fair Use Notice:
This remix is a transformative work, which forms part of a doctoral research project and has been constructed for educational and research purposes, as well as critical commentary, therefore it represents a ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material, according to section 107 of U.S. copyright law.

Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid (1984)
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid II(1989)
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid 20 (2004)
Do They Know It’s Christmas – Glee (2009)
News Footage – AP, RT, CNN (2011)

Remixed in Dec.2011 by Owen Gallagher, PhD Researcher, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland | |

Man of the Year 2012: How Jon Stewart Became President

YouTube: (15 minute original)
Vimeo: (10 minute cut)

HTML5 Embed Code:

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What if Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Barack Obama ran head-to-head in the presidential election campaign in 2012? Who would win?

This is a Critical Remix Video (CRV) starring Stewart, Colbert and Obama from the Daily Show, the Colbert Report and the White House, respectively – also featuring cameos from Bill O’Reilly of the O’Reilly Factor and Christopher Walken from Robin William’s ‘Man of the Year’.

This remix is a transformative satirical work, which forms part of a doctoral research project and has been constructed for educational and research purposes, as well as critical commentary, therefore it represents a ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material according to section 107 of US copyright law. Please feel free to remix it.

Produced in December 2011 by Owen Gallagher, PhD Researcher, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland. | |

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Comedy Central
The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central
The O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly, Fox News
Man of the Year starring Robin Williams, Universal Pictures
The U.S. Government Whitehouse Presidential Broadcasts,
Facebook, Terry Gross, The Adjustment Bureau Soundtrack


How does identity correlate with critical remix? You have the identity of the producer of the work, the identity of the viewer, the identity of the source samples used and the identity of the remix itself. What do we mean by identity in this context? Identity may be described as the sense of self from the subjective perspective. However, we all have a sense of identity of the people we know in our lives, so that may be described as our perception of their sense of self. Who they are. But it is only a sense. There may not be a true version of oneself, a universal, absolute “me”. Rather there are multiple selves that may be portrayed and perceived in different ways depending on the situation and people involved. In a person’s personality, there may be particular recurring traits that we come to expect – certain behavioural patterns we come to know and recognize in that person and become familiar to us. But these are not fixed by any means. All modular aspects of our ‘selves’ are subject to change over time. We can effect such changes in ourselves or be changed through experience. And so the once familiar becomes alien, uncanny, like a person you’ve known all your life who undergoes a mental breakdown or a stroke and becomes a different, almost unrecognizable person as a result. In remix, the ‘identity’ of the source material becomes alien, unfamiliar, through the process of recontextualisation. There is at once a sense of familiarity, recognition of the source material, but also a sense of unease, wonder, surprise, even amazement at seeing the material you recognize changed so drastically in the remix.

Decoding the Remix

Decoding the remix – layers of meaning and interpretation. Looking for specific undertones, e.g. evidence of class issues in found footage film-making or perhaps elitism? Looking for hidden meanings or altering meaning. The meaning of the original text is altered as a result of being recontextualised. Consumerism is our culture. More about the process of creating meaning – less about the work itself or the artist, more about the processes and practices of meanings and those who perceive it. Evidence of power struggles in found footage filmmaking. Turning the tables, tipping the scales – found footage filmmakers looked for the scraps of culture to make their work. Now commercial work looks for ideas in the scraps of found footage filmmakers! Benjamin, De Certeau, Debord, Baudrillard, Hall. War metaphoes in remix. Decoding remixes is one thing but many PRVs or Critical remix works are decoding mainstream media themselves. So it becomes quite meta – decoding something that is itself decoding something else. Manovich meta-medium. Surveying the origins of meda media in found footage filmmaking. Surveying is like mapping so to survey this field is to create a map of people, places, events, work and the systems in which they operate. Times, dates. It is certainly possible to create an interactive visualization of this. A survey of a field alone is not considered to be original research. A survey of what has been written about this in other academic publications, summarizing the content and context of each one. Marxism in found footage – class consciousness – Arnold Howser. The Social History of Art. The Social History of Found Footage Filmmaking and its Digital Evolution into Meta Media Production. The goal is to show how found footage filmmaking interacts with power structures in society. The critical approach that could be used is Marxism. Marxist visual culture attempts to show how art is tied to specific classes, contains information about the economy and how images reinforce the status quo (current ideology). Check Clement Greenberg. Art History entry. Evidence in current work of a change from capitalism to something new – looking at found footage filmmaking, we can see the rise of consumer society and postmodern thought reflected in its evolution and today we can see the emergence of a new economic system. T.J. Clark and Meye Schapir.

Aesthetics of Remix

How can we come to understand the aesthetic of remix? Is there a more academic friendly term other than remix? I am less interested in digital appropriation than in remix. Somehitn gthat is clearly defined. So, what is involved in a discussion on remix and aesthetics? The crux of my research is the ethics and aesthetics of political remix. That’s it. So, aesthetically, as mentioned previously, remix comes in many forms. In fact, any cultural work may be remixed – music, film, literature, animation – anything that may be recorded or performed live through some form of media platform, whether that is a book, a newspaper, a magazine, a poster, a flyer, a brochure, a business card, a CD, a DVD, a website, a YouTube video, a game, an animation, a computer program/software package, any kind of printed or digital media. Of course, it is infinitely easier to remix digital media, due to its fundamentally malleable nature, however, all forms of printed media may be digitized and subsequently remixed more easily. Remix refers to adjustment after the work has been deemed ‘finished’ or ‘completed’.
In that respect, Nicolas Bourriaud’s attempt to label the practive of remix as post-production is somewhat flawed. Post-production is a stage of the creative process that occurs before a work is deemed finished, admittedly, the final stage of the process, but once the axe comes down, the post-production phase is over. Anything that follows this, whether digitally remastering, re-editing a director’s cut, or using samples in the creation of an entirely new work, may be categorized as remix. In plain English, it means making changes to a work after it is finished. Reworking it. Reinterpreting it. Reimagining it, but still using the same words, video, audio, code, imagery or animation that you used in the so-called ‘finished’ piece, just reshuffling them, rejigging, changing their order, the sequence of events, or combining parts of it together with parts from other finished works or adding completely original elements to it.
But where does the original work end and the remix begin and vice-versa? The distinction between an original work and a remixed work is important in understanding both. So, remix may be perceived in the same way that non-remixed or ‘original’ content may be. It can be watched, read, listened to, smelt, tasted, touched, experienced. Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, tongues, fingers/body and of course it may be recollected, imagined, dreamed. But what is different about watching a remixed video and watching a non-remixed video? Do we perceive it differently? How so?