Tag Archives: vision

Remix culture frames Remapping Europe

In Remapping Europe, we use re-mixing of media both as a tool as well as a cultural framework. The concept of ‘remix’ refers to a broad set of social and cultural practices consisting of the fragmentation, re-ordering, and re-contextualisation of both pre-existing and new content – whether text, sound or image.

url-3Perhaps as a result of the digital shift or perhaps simply as a sign of the times, creators today are working generally more inter-disciplinarily, less willing to define themselves by, or confine themselves to, a single discipline. Remapping Europe brings together film, video, live cinema, performance, media, remixed image and sound and reflects new audiences’ interests. The artists have different profiles complementing each other as media artists, performers, 3D animators, documentarians, musicians, DJs and VJs.

Remix culture frames Remapping Europe: de-constructing narrative(s), recreating new narrative(s) of representation, using D-I-Y forms of media production and appropriating mass media texts. It is a cultural operating system, in which existing audiovisual material and images are framed in a new context, juxtaposed and seen from a fresh perspective, revealing new visions on our past, present and future. Remix is also a tool that is accessible, reflects a multidimensional, rather than a linear interest, and encompasses everything from collaging to digital storytelling.

At its root, both Doc Next Network and Remapping Europe are intergenerational – looking at Europe as the intersection of generations rather than a division or gap between generations. The organisations on the ground have designed intergenerational activities for their communities and the project brought together the narration of the young creators with that of their parents and grandparents. It remixes and weaves the stories, contexts and perspectives of older generations through archival searching – confronting and interrogating them. A personal story becomes the centre of a more collective narrative. Because we are standing on the brink of the greatest generational shift that we have experienced in the western world, we must find intergenerational approaches and innovations – intergenerational knowledge sharing – rather than looking at projects, programmes or solutions that address ‘older’ people and others that address ‘youth’. The inclusiveness of our communities must also include generations.

url-4Many of these intersections raise questions and fuel debate, sometimes heated. Perhaps the most debated is the notion of the value of inter-experiential connections and knowledge – placing the voice of the expert alongside that of the ‘experienced’. The digital shift has played havoc with the comfortable hierarchies that we are accustomed to: between the writer and the reader; the teacher and the student; the amateur and the professional; the consumer and the producer; the institution and the individual. Accessibility of technology means that everyone can create and share their creation without any intermediaries – D-I-Y takes on a whole new meaning. However it is not just Do it Yourself – but it is also Do it With Others, or Do it Together. The subtitle of European Souvenirs, ‘Remixing media, crossing (shifting) borders’, also refers to these elements and intersections.

The increased opening-up of archives and collections to the public further enhances this potential – allowing people greater access to information and the ability to attribute their own meaning to it. Meaning becomes much more important that the information itself.

How do we make sense of it all though? How do we make our way through the masses of information and content? We do need increased media literacy – by the creators (the millions of them) and in the sifting and filtering ability of the audiences (millions more!). Given this caveat, it is our belief that the opportunities and benefits of open access far outstrip the challenges.

Remapping Europe is seeking a new generation of digital storytellers. Remix is both the conceptual starting point and the tool to remap Europe. The existing narrative of a single new image, photograph, recording, sound or story is ‘de-constructed’ from the individual perspective of the participant and a new imagery based on the original is then created. In his book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, Lawrence Lessig (2008) ‘presents this as a desirable ideal and argues … that the health, progress, and wealth creation of a culture is fundamentally tied to this participatory remix process’.

As remix culture is becoming more acknowledged as an essential aspect of contemporary art and cultural practice, Remapping Europe – a Remix provides many opportunities to exchange, interact, to be involved and to ensure peer-to-peer learning. It goes far beyond the individual remix, the individual organisation, institution or community.

More about Remix Culture

http://www.nfb.ca/film/rip_a_remix_manifesto/ (video)
http://blip.tv/good-copy-bad-copy/good-copy-bad-copy-full-feature-364089 (video)

This article contains texts from “Remapping Europe – a Remix: a case study in international and inter-institutional collaboration and networking” by Katherine Watson and Vivian Paulissen, to be published in “Migrating Heritage: Networks and Collaborations across European Museums, Libraries and Public Cultural Institutions” by Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Wey Court East, Union Road, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7PT, England.

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Why we do it?

The key of our thinking about modern media education is parallel activity for the professionalisation of cultural workers and investing in young artists who can combine their artistic potential with social mission, who can share their skills with younger generations. Film and photography are currently two of the most popular media used by young people to learn and describe the world. Cell phones are used as photographic cameras, and cameras provide video and voice recording functions. The recorded images can be published right away on Vimeo, YouTube or on social networking platforms and thus shared with millions of viewers.

Every year organisations, community centres and common rooms invite us to conduct workshops. Each of our film and photography projects has several hundred applications a year. The application and evaluation forms show us that young people need and look for modern media education. In the 9 years of our work we have observed that this kind of education is created and realised by community centres, common rooms, libraries or independent artists and animators. At the same time our experience shows that Poland still lacks animators and educators who consciously work with film and photography.

That is why we have created the Polska.doc programme in which young DIY artists get the opportunity to develop their skills trained by professionals. They go through the project process (form the idea to the finished project) and realise their own (often their first) documentary projects (film, photocasts, photographic series) with the support of experienced tutors. The first year of the programme gave us 13 finished productions. All are accessible on our website (www.polska.doc.e.org.pl). They can also be seen during shows and events initiated by the international Doc Next Network in which we partner.

Within Polska.doc we have also conducted a very important educational path called „Animate on your own!”. Our participants could not only master their talent and make their imagination roam freely but also try to work as a cultural animator. With theoretical and practical knowledge they went to places all around Poland to voluntarily assist experienced tutors and co-conduct multimedia workshops for less experienced friends. Good practices gathered throughout the project are presented on our website in the Inspiration section.

We believe that visual media prove useful in unravelling history and the local identity, in engaging young people in actions for the local community or in integrating neighbours. We want the world to be described by grassroots initiatives, by the members of local communities and with the assumption that the artists want to dig into reality, not slide on its surface.

Association “ę”


Poland.doc: 10 minutes of inspiration

Participants with Marcel Łoziński. fot Ula Klimek

The Polish project from the Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” kicked off with a very special event. We have gathered our participants in one of Warsaw’s flagship cafe-clubs to have an intellectual speed-dating session with some of our most inspirational artists. We called it “10 minutes of intelligent conversation”.


The idea was thus: at 12 tables in Chłodna 25 cafe sat 12 inspirational artists and intellectuals. Our participants sat with them in groups of 3 and had 10 minutes chats. Then switched over to the next table. 10 minutes is not long for an in depth conversation, but it is just enough to ask this one important question we had in our minds for a while, talk about this book or film we have been wondering about. Enough to get few very important sentences to help us kick off our own projects, to start pondering something new – in other words get inspired.

Our guests included:

Marcel Łoziński – Oscar nominated documentary director and a tutor in film at academies in Paris and Warsaw. His films include: “89 mm to Europe”, “Anything can happen”, “Poste Restante” and the most recent – “Tonia and her children”.

Tadeusz Rolke – photographer with keen eye for social issues and situations, considered the precursor of polish photographic reportage. He bought his first camera during the World War II. Tadeusz contributes hugely to the education of young photographers.

Tadeusz Sobolewski – film critic, worked with most of major Polish film titles and now is a film editor at the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He has also contributed to film as editor and screenwriter.

Kobas Laksa – photographer known for artistic approach and mixing media. He has also written and directed short films and music videos.

Lena Rogowska – cultural practitioner and gender studies academic. Lena has pionieered musical work with women in difficult life situations and has successfully produced musicals with girls from reformatories.

And many others.

This was the start of Poland.doc, which through a series of workshops will see a group of young creative through development of their own documentary film and/or photo projects. The workshops are tutored by experienced professionals and 10 most promising projects will gain a chance of realisation.



Poland.doc workshop 10-12th of June

Another workshop of Poland.doc will take place in the headquarters of Association of Creative Initiatives “ę” next weekend.

On Friday – participants will consult their ideas and documentation gathered so far with Pawel Lozinski (film) and Rafał Milach (photography).

On Saturday – Q&A with Lukasz Trzciński, artist currently exhibiting his works at the Center for Contemporary Art and Adam Mazur, curator of said exhibition.

Agata Nowotny, sociologist, will carry out a workshop on being a researcher of local community, presenting fundamental skills and  tools involved in such research.

In the evening we will host a screening – participants bring their favourite films and chose which ones and in which order will be shown.

On Sunday – workshop with Joanna Napieralska – sound director, who will give a lecture on how to tell stories with sound. The workshop will be followed by group evaluation and closing of the 3rd session of Poland.doc.

Stay tuned for our report from the session!

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