Inspirations for newquill: New Media Literacies – Appropriation

“Creating is a responsibility. Only by practicing it can you learn it.”

“Like a great essay or a funny joke, a remix draws upon the work of others in order to do new work. It is great writing without words. It is creativity supported by new technology.”

Larry Lessig


I think I watch that video at least three times a day. Seriously. Not only is it crazy catchy, but it makes me feel good. It tells a powerful story that unifies humanity. Seriously. I used it to teach theme while I was teaching middle school and it engaged students who were completely removed from the learning experience. You can see how I taught it at my teacher’s blog here: Whowillsurviveinamerikka?

The video and audio mashing is masterfully done. It brings us together. By diverting the audience’s attention through a too quick barrage of celebrities and familiar sounds it actually has the effect of making the viewer less impressed by celebrity and more aware of themselves. DJ Earworm takes on the role of a digital chef, chopping up, dicing, and sauteing a collection of meaningful, cultural artifacts that remind us that”we [not I] got the pop.”

No artist works in a vacuum. In pop culture there are no vacuums. Creators reflect – there are truly no “blank canvases” – only mirrors. We are influenced by everything happening around us – why not give those influences due credit?

newquill builds free culture based on the skills that we have all attained – the ability to write, to speak, to consume media, and our desire to share stories.

In his book, “Remix”, Larry Lessig asks,

“What happens when writing with film (or music, or images, or every other form of professional speech from the twentieth century) becomes as democratic as writing with text?”

That is the very question that newquill seeks to answer.

Remixing builds community while also educating in an entirely new way. Appropriation is apprenticeship. We must build these 21st century “dj” skills through practice. Currently, tools for high quality remixing are inaccessible based on cost and technology entry barriers.

But what if you took the prolific devices that are criticized for being distracting and dangerous for today’s youth – mobile devices – and you turned them into a production studio through a suite of creative and remix tools?

Why not? It’s a pretty popular concept these days: Everything is a remix.

How do djs get inspiration? First they need to listen.

Beta testing starts this weekend – newquill understands we must do the same.


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