A History of Political Remix Video (Before YouTube)

A History of Subversive Remix Video before YouTube: Thirty Political Video Mashups Made between World War II and 2005 – Curated by Jonathan McIntosh

“Filmmakers, fans, activists, artists, and media makers have been reediting television, movies, and news media for critical and political purposes since almost the very beginning of moving pictures. Over the past century, this subversive form of populist remixing has been called many things, including appropriation art, détournement, media jamming, found footage, avant-garde film, television hacking, telejusting, political remix, scratch video, vidding, outsider art, antiart, and even cultural terrorism.”

See the complete article and video collection via the Open Access online journal Transformative Works and Cultures:

Amazon Random Shopper

Darius Kazemi wrote a bot that buys him random crap:

“I’ve had an idea for a long time now. It’s inspired by one of my favorite feelings: when you order something on Amazon, and it’s put on backorder, and then you forget you ordered it, and a year later it arrives—and it’s like a gift you bought yourself.
Well, I thought: what if I just wrote a program to buy stuff for me? The first iteration of this was going to be a program that bought me stuff that I probably would like.
But then I decided that was too boring. How about I build something that buys me things completely at random? Something that just… fills my life with crap? How would these purchases make me feel? Would they actually be any less meaningful than the crap I buy myself on a regular basis anyway?
So I built Amazon Random Shopper. Every time I run it, I give it a set budget, say $50. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word. It then looks for every paperback book, CD, and DVD in the results list, and buys the first thing that’s under budget. If it found a CD for $10, then the new budget is $40, and it does another random word search and starts all over, continuing until it runs out of money, or it searches a set number of times.”

[via kottke]

Planking Piece

Erik BerglinPlanking Piece, Video loop 139:06 min, 2012

“Planking is an activity consisting of lying face down – sometimes in an unusual or incongruous location. Both hands must touch the sides of the body. Some players compete to find the most unusual and original location in which to perform this act while others do it in ordinary situations.
The term planking refers to mimicking a wooden plank. Planking can include lying flat on a flat surface, or holding the body flat while it’s supported in only some regions, with other parts of the body is suspended. An important aspect of this activity is to share the pictures through social media. Famous artist such as Dennis Oppenheimm, Douglas Huebler and Erwin Wurm has all made work that reminds of planking and the title of this work refers to Ray Charles Plank Piece.

The concept for planking is simple, which allows for almost anyone, anywhere in the world, without regards of class, gender, age or ethnicity to perform this act. There are thousands of images with people planking, the selection in this work takes us on a trip around the world, to popular tourist destinations, to private homes and offices. Some images are from spectacular places taken with great risk while others are made within the safety of there own backyard. In a way it provides an mirror of what the world looks like today.”

[via collect the wwworld]