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Mbanna Kantako

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Collage is the act of appropriating existing messages to make new ones. Literally anything can be considered collage fodder: in the visual realm this usually means photographs and printed material, bits of which are selected and blended together on a new canvas to produce a new picture or interpretation.

In the worlds of audio and video, collage is much more difficult to make: the source material isn't static and neither is the final product. The issue of copyright is also much more likely to come into play when making collages from popular music, film, television programs or commercials.

The act of appropriation is not theft. It is a legitimate and established artistic technique to further the interpretation of existing works. This is because a work of collage is more than a sum of its parts. See this excellent synopsis of the Fair Use concept for further details.

Audio and video collage have been experimented with for decades, but until the desktop computer and A/V editing software came along it wasn't a widespread phenomenon. Only since the 1990s have computers and software become cheap and easy enough to use that, today, anyone can become a collage artist.

Featured Collage Galleries

Collage Artists

Other Collage Online
A Fair(y) Use Tale
Bucknell University professor Eric Faden assembles a "humorous, yet informative" video presentation that reviews "copyright principles...through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms." (2007)

Auto-Tune the News
Finally, someone's figured out a good use for that infernal "instrument."

Bush Raps (Re)Mix Contest
Another collection of anti-GWB collage.

Concrete T.V.
Mindblowing video collage aired weekly on NYC public access.

The Droplift Project
Surreptitiously spreading audio collage through record stores!

Free Speech For Sale
Audio collage album completely derived from advertising fodder.

Godxiliary: 28 Seconds Later
A collaborative collage-project to celebrate the month of February. (2009)

Illegal Art
Traveling exhibit of appropriated collage material using corporate source images, audio and video; a project of Stay Free! magazine.

The Infinite Jest
Home of the American Crusade series of trading cards and other jam galleries.

N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)
Exhibition dynamically extracts audio being shared on the Gnutella network to make a shared montage/collage.
An archive of "filecasts" of found sound that's available for further remixage.

Open Source Cinema
A "collaborative documentary project to create a feature film about copyright in the digital age."
Streaming transmissions of appropriated mix action featuring members of the Snuggles crew.

PR Gnus Of The World
A wonderfully creative (and overdue) project - remixing NPR. Check the extensive archives.

Some Assembly Required
Blog and podcast of the syndicated collage program.

Subversive Remix Video
YouTube Channel features tons of fodder involving political/commercial remix-action from a variety of sources.

"Kutiman mixes Youtube"; amateur musicians are assembled into virtual video-orchestras in mashup-fashion. (2009)

Music from video games old and new, remixed to hell and back.

Voices of America
"[A] participatory radio remix project that reflects on the 2008 US Presidential Election through the Voice of America Radio Network."

Massive mashup album blends Wu-Tang Clan and Fugazi with aplomb.

For More on Collage, Remix Culture, and Intellectual Property
Home to the magazine that ponders our mental environment; home to a Culture Jammer's Gallery and lots more information on the practice of jamming.

A history of subversive remix video before YouTube: Thirty political video mashups made between World War II and 2005
An interesting research paper on remix culture in the pre-digital media era. (2012)

Billboard Liberation Front
Jamming the encroachment of advertising outdoors.

Center for Social Media: Fair Use & Copyright
A good place for a primer on copyright law and how to stay within (and hopefully) stretch its creative boundaries.

Collage Clearinghouse
A blog about finding "all kinds of information about collage" of multiple/mixed media styles.

Blog of legal and regulatory news about intellectual property and innovation.

Copyright Criminals
A groundbreaking documentary on the art, science, and legality of sampling.

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid - Remix Culture
Lecture at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill on the "future and meaning of remix culture." (2/8/08)

Illegal Art
A media collective all about exploring and expanding the fringes of appropriation for the purposes of creativity.

Copyright Criminals: This is a Sampling Sport
Documentary video features artists and academics parsing the line between art and theft. (2006)

Copyright for Collage Artists argues that fair use is no defense.

Creator's Primer - So What ... About Copyright
Public Knowledge's Empowering Creators Project dishes up a helpful primer into the ins and outs of copyright law for artists.
A gallery, a village, a library, a studio, a news service meshing fine art with pop culture.

The Festival of Appropriation
Annual Minneapolis multimedia extravaganza made completely of collage works.

Good Copy Bad Copy
"A documentary about the current state of copyright and culture." (2007)

Kembrew McLeod
Home to Freedom of Expression®.

P2P Foundation - Remix Culture
A pretty comprehensive wiki-style site on what remix culture is, and where to find out more about it.
"To promote public understanding of the history and effects of copyright, and to encourage the development of alternatives to information monopolies."

Recut, Reframe, Recycle
American University's School of Communication studies the use of fair use, now and in the future - and how it appears to be being resuscitated online. (December 2007)

Rethinking the Digital Remix: Mash-ups and the Metaphysics of Sound Recording
Is remix culture really all that original? (2008)

Corporate parent to the Deconstructing Beck compilation, among many other well-executed culture jamming projects.

The Snuggles Online Collective
Virtual correspondence-HQ for audio collage artists from around the world.

Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW? - An excellent comic from the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain explains the dangers of intellectual property rights fundamentalism.

Teaching Copyright
An Electronic Frontier Foundation-authored K-12 curriculum guide to teaching the truth about digital rights.

VJ: Live Cinema Unraveled
Limited-edition book delves into the video remix culture.