Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) on Mashup/Remix Culture

How does Miller describe remix culture and global networks in his lecture at EGS?  Consider some of the points Miller raises in light of some of our previous readings in this course, particularly Ong, McLuhan, Kittler and Manovich.  Consider his specific examples: What parallels does he draw between graffiti tagging, urban landscapes, hip-hop sampling and the internet?  How does the concept of the network function both artistically and politically for Miller?  What does digital media contribute to artistic production?  Write as if you’re explaining and introducing Miller’s work to an audience that is unfamiliar with it.

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13 responses to “Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) on Mashup/Remix Culture

  1. Paul Miller (Dj Spooky) raises several points on how network functions influence him artistically and politically. The more interesting parts of his speech cover the history of graffiti. In the beginning it was an underground language. If one was not a part of the culture, then he could not read or maybe even comprehend the message or artistic expression. People who tagged the trains strategized and planned around train routes to determine how to promote their logo and get the most views. This is not unlike the “groups” setting on Facebook. The more groups a person has joined the more their name will be viewed. Advertisement agencies took key from the urban artists and used the space to endorse products, taking the personal space from the artist that was originally white public space.

    Miller also discusses how remix culture and digital media can contribute to artistic production in global networks. By taking a beat or sampling of music from a particular culture and remixing it, a person can take a foreign concept and shape it to where he can identify it. This new piece of musical media can then be promoted, thus spreading ideas no matter if the concept is contained only in a sound bite.

  2. In 2008, Dj Spooky, Real name Paul Miller, gave a speech on “Remix Culture” at the European Graduate School. I thought remix culture was just something boring about old cultures, but its not. Paul Miller defines it as a culture that has taken the traditions of yesterday and remixed or modified them into another form. He also describes it as graffiti tagging, urban landscapes, and hip hop sampling. Graffiti tagging can be used in a number of ways. One popular way was as a form of communication. Young people, mostly, would “tag” the side of trains, buses, and buildings as a way of marking their territory or letting others know that they were there. Tagging could also be used to tell a story of some sort. Like Ong with “Orality and Literary”, tagging was like another form of orality. It’s like a culture of its own and has a message that not everyone knows. Only if you are from that area will you know what those messages mean. It’s a way of telling a story without actually telling it. Tagging is also a good way of global networking such as advertising. People put things on buses and trains to advertise products and media. It puts the work in a public light so people can see it. Graffiti tagging is in some way like the internet with its use of space and media and can also be tied in to the book, “Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow. In the novel a secret web site was created called Xnet for the kids and only certain friends were able to get on it and understand the code. That’s the same thing with tagging. Only a certain group of know what the tags mean and are able to do them. It can also apply to the advertising. They may be trying to target a specific age or race and so the product may only appeal to them and no one else.

  3. In DJ Spooky’s (Paul Miller) lecture at ESG the thing that stood out the most to me was the graffiti tagging. When I was younger, I watched many urban shows on television that showed spray painting of pictures and names on subway trains, buildings and even on sidewalks. Until I watched the DJ Spooky’s lecture, I never really knew what these drawings meant. I thought they were just defacing buildings and destroying property because they were mad at the way of life that they had to endure living in poor neightborhoods. To know that people used the tags as a way of communicating is really intriguing. These graffiti tags essentially made up the urban landscape that existed in the 70s and 80s. If you watched the showGood Times, Graffiti was prevalent throughout the neighborhood in the ghetto that the Evans family lived in. Tags were a sign of where you were from and identified the tagger. Tagging was serious business because a lot of inner city fights were started because another tagger drew their tag over their work and that was an insult to them. Advertisers noticed that these taggers had found a way to show their work all over the city. Tagging essentially paved the way for advertising to be used on the side of moving buses and trains.

  4. According to the internet, remix culture is a society that encourages and allows derivative works. This type of society would be aimed at improving, integrating, and remixing works of copyright holders. The DJ Spooky talk we listened to in class discussed two types of people – those born before the digital age and those born digital. People born before this digital age were being influenced by those around them and closest to them, their culture. However, those of us born digital are influenced by the media and everything we read online and see on television. Everyone knows and likes the same things because that is what we are taught. One thing I found interesting in the talk was the point he brought up about businesses using kid’s graffiti on trains and such things as a way to get advertisement. This can be linked to the novel we read in class Pattern Recognition. The main character Cayce goes to the kids to find out what is in style and what is cool. If we can advertise and reach those who are young then the trends will begin to spread and be picked up.

  5. In DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation found on his website, http://www.djspooky.com/articles/rebirth.html, he remixes the impact of D.W. Grifith’s 1915 film “Birth of a Nation” with the media of today. The film was of an omnibus coming out of a tunnel and as the camera jams for a few seconds and afterward a funeral hearse is caught on film. When the film was watched, the omnibus was coming out of the tunnel but then the bus changed into a hearse and then changed back into the bus. This created the beginnings of a new way of filming in which the audience is placed in different places and times all at once. In this process, audiences were able to create different thought processes and the think differently due to the way that they took in things and how they were processed in the mind. This lead to many new breakthroughs in culture. New ways of telling a story with more than one media to tell it through. DJ Spooky compares this to the DJ’s of today who tell their story’s through their music and the remixing thereof. But Spooky says that society of today is “rapidly moving into what I like to call ‘prosthetic realism’, where all the traveling we do when in contact with the narration in media of today is mental. Now in today’s sense of media and film, anything is possible. The audience can go anywhere without leaving their seat, do anything, and have any concept relayed to them.

  6. Pual Miller, otherwise known as “DJ Spooky” does many tours and lectures focusing on what he calls “Remix Culture”. During a lecture that he gives at EGS in Europe he makes special mention of graffiti tagging and global networks. Incorporating theories of constructed by Walter J. Ong and Friedrich A. Kitler, Miller describes a second-hand Orality that has sprung from graffiti tagging.
    Before writing came about everything was Oral. Records were kept orally, everything was kept orally and retold to keep a mental record. Miller discusses the art of graffiti tagging as a way of communicating through tagging trains, which in a way is like a secondary orality. Back when culture was distinctly oral and transitioning into manuscript culture, one would need a scribe to decipher such information, something which Marshall McLuhan and Walter J. Ong spoke about in “Orality and Literacy” and “Understanding Media”. Then when writing came about it changed from oral culture to print culture. Miller transitions this thought into an urban landscape. He describes urban areas, among all the places in the world where graffiti tagging took place, of New York were changed by a an urban planner, creating nothing much but highway space. This forced the residents to have to communicate in another way. So, somewhere in the early seventies graffiti tagging began. The artist would tag the trains but only a certain number of people would be able to decipher it. This created an “encrypted message” much like the alphabet of the early scribes. Like Ong’s explanation of the literature takeover, this was similar in the fact that these people were communicating through a visual element, representative of something that was oral (Ong 121). The train was tied to a network, which the message could be sent through many different areas of New York.
    Among other things Miller mentions how he remixes old videos and audio over his movies and when he is DJ-ing. Miller discusses some thought that is reflective of Lev Manovich’s “The language of New Media” and Bolter and Gursin’s “Remediation”. His most known work for this is his film Birth of a Nation, remixed from the original film shown in the White house. The video has his special commentary and music dubbed over it, and in a way he has “remediated” (Bolter and Grusin 66) the message of the video, highlighting areas that he thinks are most important. Paul Miller brings to light many points within his speech at EGS, but what is most important to take from this is that no new media can really be the same, as the message can be delivered in a different light (i.e. Birth of a Nation).

    • Paul Miller, otherwise known as “DJ Spooky” does many tours and lectures focusing on what he calls “Remix Culture”. During a lecture that he gives at EGS in Europe he makes special mention of graffiti tagging and global networks. Incorporating theories of constructed by Walter J. Ong and Friedrich A. Kitler, Miller describes a second-hand Orality that has sprung from graffiti tagging.
      Before writing came about everything was Oral. Records were kept orally, everything was kept orally and retold to keep a mental record. Miller discusses the art of graffiti tagging as a way of communicating through tagging trains, which in a way is like a secondary orality. Back when culture was distinctly oral and transitioning into manuscript culture, one would need a scribe to decipher such information, something which Marshall McLuhan and Walter J. Ong spoke about in “Orality and Literacy” and “Understanding Media”. Then when writing came about it changed from oral culture to print culture. Miller transitions this thought into an urban landscape. He describes urban areas, among all the places in the world where graffiti tagging took place, of New York were changed by a an urban planner, creating nothing much but highway space. This forced the residents to have to communicate in another way. So, somewhere in the early seventies graffiti tagging began. The artist would tag the trains but only a certain number of people would be able to decipher it. This created an “encrypted message” much like the alphabet of the early scribes. Like Ong’s explanation of the literature takeover, this was similar in the fact that these people were communicating through a visual element, representative of something that was oral (Ong 121). The train was tied to a network, which the message could be sent through many different areas of New York.
      Among other things Miller mentions how he remixes old videos and audio over his movies and when he is DJ-ing. Miller discusses some thought that is reflective of Lev Manovich’s “The language of New Media” and Bolter and Gursin’s “Remediation”. His most known work for this is his film Birth of a Nation, remixed from the original film shown in the White house. The video has his special commentary and music dubbed over it, and in a way he has “remediated” (Bolter and Grusin 66) the message of the video, highlighting areas that he thinks are most important. Paul Miller brings to light many points within his speech at EGS, but what is most important to take from this is that no new media can really be the same, as the message can be delivered in a different light (i.e. Birth of a Nation).

  7. In 2008, Paul Miller, better known as DJ Spooky, gave a talk at the European Graduate School on the topic of “remix culture.” Remix culture, as defined by Spooky, is a culture that has taken the traditions of yesterday and remixed or modified them into another form, for example the urban culture. This remix culture is like an art form demonstrated through aesthetics, hip-hop sampling, urban scenes, and especially graffiti tagging.

    Graffiti is the act of physically leaving your mark on the public domain while tagging is essentially an I-wuz-here but on a more widespread scale. Graffiti tagging is the public history books, an announcement of a person’s presence. It’s like the lone wolf howling in the middle of the night to let the packs all around know that he exists. Just as with the lone wolf, there isn’t just one. These graffiti artists have their own community of taggers built from their own language. There is a communication between tags like a non-digital blog. However, due to the exclusive quality of the tags, the information is encrypted and only those in on the urban flow understand the meaning. In essence, it is, in fact, like an indiscreet blog on the internet transported onto trains, bridges, and buildings as if stating that the internet has become too big, too populated and the individual has become lost. Just as a blog functions, tagging declares the artist’s presence, his opinions and his skills through his work, which can be loud and huge or small and indiscrete.

    This network of graffiti artists, and those in on the urban scene and hip-hop mixers, function both politically and artistically. It is a form of art that has physically put itself into the public world and is difficult to ignore. There are tags all over the place now. They are there on garbage cans, fence posts, dilapidated houses, parking meters, etch. Each artist has perfected their personal symbol, through time and effort. Unlike traditional artists, they don’t rent out space in a gallery to display their work. They steal a place. They trespass, they deface, they invade. Graffiti tagging is viewed as a crime through the political eye because of how pervasive it is. An artist, if caught, faces jail time for defacement of property and quite possibly trespassing depending on how big of an exhibitionist they are. Here is an interesting website that shows how beautiful graffiti is when viewed solely as artistic: http://www.graffiti.org/

  8. Paul Miller, also Known as DJ Spooky or That Subliminal Kid, spoke at the European Graduate School in 2008 giving a lecture titled “Mixing, Mashup, Remix Culture”. In his speech he discusses the way that various forms of artistic expression, mainly associated with urban culture, such as graffiti tagging, DJ culture, and the process of sampling are connected to the digital media. Specifically, I would like to focus on the connection that Miller makes between music sampling and digital media.
    When discussing hip hop and DJ Culture, a very important part of that is sampling, this involves taking fragments of one piece of music and applying it to another. When DJs or other artists do sample music it provides a way to have an unlimited amount of mixing and matching of music. He compared sampling in hip hop music to both collage in art and the montage in film which also incorporate different fragments and incorporating them into the whole, in the case of art incorporating, different pictures, and in the case of film different clips. The remix or remixing of a musical track is just the musical result of combining various fragments of different music.
    When I first watched Paul Miller’s talk the first thing that came to mind was The Language of New Media by Lev Manovich because of his discussion about the five principles of New Media such as numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding. The aspect of remix culture that stood out to me the most was the process of sampling because sampling is also the first major part of digitization. I kind of thought about the the way as Miller puts it that media can exist in multiple versions and yet still be able to be the same thing. His example of passing around the CDs with music from around the world and telling his class to trade the music and remix the music to create beats and new artwork, and creating an Open System where the network is all about exchange. Remix culture encapsulates the concepts of variability, modularity, and transcoding.
    The ability of networks to connect various styles of music from around the globe such as places as Angola, China, India, the United States, and Europe was astounding because it represents the way that networks of exchange in the real world are able to be mimicked in the world of the internet. People from around the globe can now connect various pieces of art and music from around the globe and create groundbreaking new work. As Miller describes it globalization is represented in the concept of multimedia. The way that the spread of culture especially music as he uses hip hop as an example of a now global phenomena.
    Overall, the process of exchange and sampling that takes place within remix culture and hip hop is reflected within the process of multimedia of all kinds. It is also a result of the various networks of exchange throughout the globe that have only become more connected with the advent of the internet. Paul Miller argues that this culture of exchange and remixing is the essence of what digital media is today because of the way that the fragments are able to be recombined into various different forms and create art that is original yet also transcends various cultures.

  9. Paul Miller, or Dj Spooky, compares the tagging of the New York subway to blogging by explaining that they are both personal appropriations of public space. Tagging or “bombing” is a way for certain groups to communicate with one another. Members of the group earn respect, fame, and are elevated to a higher status depending on how good their tags are and how many people see it. The taggers are not concerned with “outsiders” who cannot understand the language of their art. They are focused on their peers and being recognized through their tags. It is the same way for blogging. The popularity of a blog is usually considered by the number of people interacting with it and a blogger’s popularity is denoted by how many people know of their blog. Miller compares this to hip hop by asserting that it is an appropriation of musical space and sound. Hip hop, like any other form of music, did not just appear. It took something that was already established; played with it and changed it up until it had morphed into a separate genre of music. Just like the public trains and buildings that taggers recreate by putting their tag on them, hip hop and blogging are recreating music and the internet. Everyone involved in any of these three actions is taking part in appropriating public space and media.

  10. Intelligent and charismatic young man, Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) gave an approximately two hour speech at EGS, (European Graduate School) on the subject consisting of the term “remix culture.” In his lecture, Miller describes what his definition of remix culture is and the parallels he creates between graffiti tagging, hip-hop sampling, urban landscapes, and the internet. Remix culture basically applies the terms of aesthetics, literature, and philosophy together. Miller claims in his lecture that he accomplishes tasks mainly for investigating this type of culture. On the subject of the archive of the twentieth century, which draws ties with John Palfrey and Urs Gasser’s article, Born Digital, where society has evolved into a more connected industrial culture. Palfrey and Gasser explain this by stating, “So identity formation among Digital Natives is different from identity formation among predigital generations in the sense that there is more experimentation and reinvention of identities, and there are different modes of expression, such as YouTube and blogging” (21). In a sense, Palfrey, Gasser use this as a means of explaining how today’s culture is consisted of. Digital Natives (born into the digital world) have an understanding of the new technologies that are present today, rather than the older generations are not as “literate” in the digital world.
    Miller continues on to explain the history before the late twentieth century, where society shared the same texts, such as singing familiar songs in villages around the world. This type of society eventually evolved into the print culture, and onward into the second oral culture where our society is continuing its residence. Walter Ong’s article, “Print, Space and Closure”, he emphasizes this and states, “Writing is here once more at the service of orality” (124). Society has combined different types of media that uses print and oral attributes that
    However, Miller continues on and lectures on the topic of graffiti tagging; it started in the late seventies when young adults would draw “graffiti” along the sides of trains and have “style wars” with other peers their age. This tagging gave them a way to message their peers and only for them, which is similar to those who are considered to be a part of the group of digital natives. Ironically, advertisers examined how the attributes that the young adults were using and began to use the same techniques in the advertising field. Although graffiti was extremely popular in America in the 1970’s, it was not originated here, but the graffiti tagging expanded from New York and continued throughout Europe and unto the rest of the world. The train in Miller’s reference is a metaphor that he uses to refer to internet networks that exist today. There is a bond between graffiti tagging and the internet with the use of sense of media as well as public space.
    Miller passed out mixed CD’s during his presentation from all over the world which focused mainly on the terms globalization and sound. He used this as an example of what he referred to as a “gift economy.” This is where if everyone gets something different, the digital media refers to customization. This can also be used for an example of what digital media contributes to artistic production and political stanza.

  11. The remix culture is defined by graffiti tagging, urban landscapes, and hip-hop sampling- things that have all developed in a sort of “underground civilization” or vacuum that has remained unaffected by the standardization of doing things. We know from Ong, and other writers that technology, however, does not exist in a vacuum, and is actuality based on the ideas and formula of previous inventions. This is particularly why the remix culture seems so fascinating. DJ Spooky so eloquently states that the remix culture is simply a collage of varying degrees of traditions and customs transcended and remixed into another art form. The art form itself takes on another life of its own, breathes creativity, and forces from its subjects in many urbanized areas, originality. Graffiti tagging (on trains) that lay alongside the urban landscapes of a city provide a contrasting way of comparing public space with private expression. DJ Spooky believes that it is this type or style of creativity that he hopes to bring to the mass public.
    What DJ Spooky’s job mainly consists of is hip-hop sampling which is basically taking fragments of hip hop songs,(often involving other genres of music and video sampling) then braking it down into smaller segments to create a bigger, more wider medium of expression that encompasses many styles of music. Sometimes, DJ Spooky couples hip-hop with many other genres of music, along with visual aids to convey a bigger message that can often be seen as political and controversial. More importantly the “remix culture” is basically a new spin on old ways of life and there is essentially nothing “new” about it. DJ Spooky merely puts a spin on a old form of media- combining analog and digital cultures together. DJ Spooky views the rise of global networks as a paradox; while human beings have become increasingly globalized and nomadic in a sense, they have also have become more isolated as well. What amazes DJ Spooky even more is the large amount of media outlets that may be contained in a global village. This idea is similar to Born Digital, where before people may have only known the people who lived in their small village, people know live in global villages where they have access to a lot more technologies. This has made it easier for DJ Spooky to convey provocative political and social topics as a means of information to more people and at a faster pace.

  12. Within couple minutes of the first video, DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) explained how people in a village had certain tastes, however in New York people are nomadic – which led to the changing of the city which in turn made the city grow. This idea of a “village” reminds me of the article by Palfrey and Gasser entitled, “Born Digital”. The article describes a girl assumably from the stone age who is from a small town in which everybody knows everybody. So, thus, it isn’t surprising that the townspeople know information about the girl’s personality, where she lives, and her style of dress. The only way that the girl could change how people perceive her, she would have to abandon the town and move away and start over, hoping that no one there knows about her prior social identity, or the way others perceived her, and create a new one. In New York, Miller describes the people as “nomadic”, or always on the move, which in turn creates a new social identity because of the influx of the different personalities are in that area. In contrast to the small village where people most likely have similar likes and dislikes, etc. According to Miller, because of the influx of different ideas, hip hop grew into its popularity as we now know it today.

    Miller also references the word “graffiti tagging” in which he describes kids using trains as their own public systems with their own logos and designs. Miller calls this a “encryptic social space” meaning: ‘If you don’t know that language you are illiterate. This comes hand-in-hand with the book, “Little Brother” by Cory Doctorow because in the novel, Marcus creates this special type of web using the Xnet so that only he and his “online friends” could communicate so that they could not be caught planning against the “terroists”. Miller then goes on to say that the graffiti movement was sparked by an “ambiguous tension between private space and public expression”. Miller then goes on to say that “tagging became a new form of message discourse,” which means that tagging became a way for the kids to communicate with one another without others knowing its meaning – its artistic appearance was not only fun to look at, but had a meaning as well. Miller says that “this encryptic sense of public space is for people who are literate in that code,” which reinforces my previous statement that the kids are strictly making it for their peers.

    Miller explains the effects of tagging to advertising. Miller says “Rhythms, beats, African Bambataa, Grandmaster Flash…reappropiated old records in the same way that the younger kids are reappropiated public space,” meaning that much in the same way that tagging was done on trains or buses which in turn made it public property in the same manner that your trash becomes public property once taken outside, once hip hop musicians and DJs recorded or voiced their music to the public, that too become of the public, so then everyone has access to the same rhythms and records. In order to change that, “the best mixes and the best tags won”. Advertisers would study the graffiti of the kids to market a certain demographic (like kids). Miller describes that this form of advertising was specific to the American urban landscape but quickly spread to Europe and eventually to the rest of the world.

    Miller describes the term “bombing the system,” which is basically menas choosing the best train lines for graffiti writing so that it could reach many people. Miller says that there is a similar parallel between this and blogging and other networks in the 21st century because of “personal sense of media in a public space” which appears to mean that whenever something is posted on the web or written in graffiti or on a bus, that is now owned by the public – your personal space is now public for everyone to see. This idea is similar to the article “Born Digital” because in the article the authors describe a “digital native” as being born in an area of booming technology and references the use of the internet by a “digital native,” and explains that a sixteen-year-old, for example, is more inclined to reveal more information about themselves online – on chatrooms, on FaceBook, etc. And because of that, more people than ever will know about a person’s whereabouts and tastes than in the stone age before the invention of what we now call the internet. As another example, I blog a lot. Many of the posts that I write are essentially private, however many people have “access” to my information. This again shows how private material can become public once written or spoken or heard in a public space, like the internet, or a transportation system, like a bus. There is a parallel between urban landscape and the network that runs through it. Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote, “the medium is the message” signifies this. According to McLuhan, the medium in which the communication runs through is much more important than the message itself because the the invention of the railroad itself, changed the way humans traveled, not necessarily how they perceived a means of transportation. Change, it appears, is much more important to McLuhan than perspective.

    Miller also describes the networks as being “local”. So the role of people was “maintaining and updating information and making sure people know what is going on in that encrypted space”. This reminds me of the technological boom in phone usage. For example, last year or the year before, Apple (I believe) came out with this new I-Phone which is supposedly more advanced than the one that came out the year or two prior. It seems as if America is obsessed with updating cellular phones and throwing away old ones like used condoms, but in light of my point, people update cell phone devices (frequently it seems) and have to know the lastest trends in phone use, like the lastest fashion trend. And it also seems to be localized in the U.S., or at least that is what it appears to me. (Americans and phones…). In continuation with Miller’s speech, he describes house and techno music as being (not only associated with gays) but with Detroit and the underground scene and that New York had their own local music from different burroughs – only people in that specific area knew that particular type of music.

    Miller also described the term “Cultural Capital,” which basically means that if your tag was seen by a number of people everyone will start buzzing about the new topic. Again, with the phone example, once everyone found out that the new I-Phone III or whatever existed, lines of people camped out days before its release to be the forst ones to get their hands on the phone.

    Going back to graffiti and hip hop now….Miller describes Graffiti as “One person’s destruction as another person’s creativity”, and “liberating public space”. Miller then goes on to say that the kids had a “poetic engagement with urban landscape that they felt they participated in….reclaiming public space,” which essentially means that graffiti art for the kids is their way of expressing themselves on a public space (like a bus) as if to say, “This is how I feel – Take it or leave it society!”

    “The gift economy” is another term that Miller explained as he was passing out different music CDs to his listeners. The gift economy “explores how cultures transformed through exchange”. Everyone gets something different – the sharing of ideas – what digital media is all about. The CDs that Miller passed out randomly to his audience were all random and different – not everyone got the same thing. Some got Jamaican music, some got Asian music, and some got a “wildcard” mix. In relation to digital media, like hip hop and other forms of music, people exchange ideas to come up with something new which in turn changes the scope of human communication. For example, According to William Ong, the crucial development of printing came with the development of the alphabetic press in 15th century Europe, (118), and of course, the alphabetic press is fundamental in the development of typewriters and eventually computers. Without the influence of ideas by another source, it is hard to change communication. In relation to hip hop, without the DJs and other artists exchanging their records, hip hop would most likely not be so mainstream, and would remain localized to a particular area. Miller goes on to describe the CD as a “culture”. And then goes on to describe this idea of a “Bootleg culture” in where “bootlegs” can be made – anyone can make a copy of anything. Thus, helping to promote exchange. In line with this thought is when artists would remix or sample a track, or take different beats and put them together. The idea in both of these examples is creativity and exchange. According to Manovich, “New media allows us to create versions of the same object that differ from each other in more substantial ways”, (39). People are influenced by others’ work and use that work for themselves somehow. Again with the example of the I-Phone, the developers are influenced by the previous I-Phone phones and wants to keep “adding on to it” in order to advance technology and thus, advance hhuman communication.

    The invention by John Harrison – the “Harrison clock” developed the latitude/longitude system. It helped “put the world on a grid”. He also describes how the British Empire was losing ships due to navigation failure and that ships were drifting off and that they wanted a device that could help solve this problem. Thus, the creation of the “Harrison clock”, which kept the ships on route and made navigation a “global pattern”. Miller describes this invention as the first sign of early globalization, which essentially organizes human experience into a systematic structure – “the grid”. In relation to music, Miller says that “house music, techno, drum and bass, relates to the clockwork economy of the ‘invisible hand’, which organizes human experience”. According to Miller, just how the Harrison clock organzied ships’ navigation system, music organizes how a person experiences life. Miller also gave another example using the invention of the streetlight – “red, yellow, green” – which also organized the urban landscape in which we live. This is common sense, but without streetlights, people would drive their cars anywhere on the road and most likely kill of pedestrians and other drivers because there is no direction or instruction given. Music, according to Miller is like the streetlight because it gives us direction and is another form in how we experience life.

    Miller also brings up a good point. He asks how much is culture lived through recorded projection devices and how the recording itself is no longer related to the physical anymore. When he speaks of this, what immediately comes to mind for me is how much the television influenced our lives. Kids today spend more hours watching television than doing homework. (I will admit that that used to be me!) Men would rather spend time watching sports programs than enjoying time with their family. It seems as if much of our culture is represented by the objects itself, not necessarily the message that it gives. Another example in realtion to TV is Family Guy. Most will admit that the show does have some sarcastic humor that can be funny. However, what people fail to realize most of the time while watching it is its influence of racist attitudes and its exually explicit notations, which can be disturbing and offensive. But it seems as if people tune that out, and focus on the fact that they are watching TV and that nothing on TV cannot possibly be real, and in turn, denying the fact that many of teen viollence stems from TV watching. I am not trying to bad mouth Family Guy persay, but I am just saying that people are more in tune with the object they are viewing instead of the message that it gives nowadays. Also, this tunes in with McLuhan’s idea that “the medium is the message” in the fact that the medium in this case, the TV, is essentially the message here, not really the actual TV program. It is as if society is controlled by the thought of having a TV and watching it, not necessarily thinking about the influences of what they might be watching.

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