UbuWeb is hosting over 300 early avant-garde films that are currently out of circulation as a (free!) scholarly research tool. Duchamp, Kiki Smith, Yoko Ono, Fluxus, Burroughs, Genet, Kuchar, and more!
Ages ago, back when cassette tapes were the main way to share music, a friend gave me a mix tape (which I played endlessly) with a snippet of a routine from the William Burroughs film Bill and Tony playing over a Psychic TV track. Watching the film made me realize how often culture cross-pollinates, building upon itself often without our knowledge of the original sources.
Mash-ups are just one recent form of cultural sampling, and though the profit-mongers at the RIAA and Universal might not agree, they are a much more vibrant and interesting phenomenon than anything I’ve heard coming out of the bland corporate music factory.
Like these early films, mash-ups are a form of cultural experimentation, created to answer the question “What if…” instead of “How much…”
Long live DJ Earworm! Long live the gift economy!