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Sampling Media$
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David Laderman and Laurel Westrup

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199949311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199949311.001.0001

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Remixing with Rules

Remixing with Rules

Constraint and Potential in Restrictive Remixes

(p.31) 2 Remixing with Rules
Sampling Media

Richard L. Edwards

Oxford University Press

Restrictive remixes are mash-ups or other kinds of recombinatory works that consciously follow or deploy predetermined rules, templates, or algorithms in the creation of new texts. As opposed to the “anything goes” school of remix culture, certain artists and practitioners embrace constraints, rules, and mathematical logics to generate a new mix or the next combination. Restrictive remixes are a vital and influential part of contemporary remix culture. This chapter views the historical roots of constrained digital remixes through the lens of the Oulipo: a group of French writers and mathematicians who founded a workshop in 1960 based on the concepts of constraint and potential. Finally, this chapter investigates the creative, critical, and mythological potentialities of restrictive remixes through three seminal works: DJ Freelance Hellraiser’s song “A Stroke of Genie-us,” DJ Danger Mouse’s album-length mash-up The Grey Album, and Lenka Clayton’s agit-prop video Qaeda Quality Question Quickly Quickly Quiet.

Keywords:   restrictive remix, Oulipo, constraints, remix culture, algorithmic criticism, mash-up, potential, rules, DJ, recombinatorics

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