edited by Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss, 
Mashup Cultures

edited by Stefan Sonvilla-Weiss

, ISBN-13: 978-3709100950
256 pages, 2010, English
Participatory strategies involving the collective manipulation of digital content were hampered in the past due to worries about intellectual property rights, but they are increasingly becoming welcomed now that commercial online social networks have begun to understand the inherent recreational potential. Sonvilla-Weiss has stated that he picked the title of this book because in “web developments [it] denotes a combination of data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service,” which seems even more appropriate when applied to culture. This anthology gathers texts from quite different fields of research on the importance of remix practices. The author clarifies in the introduction what conditions he believes makes for a meaningful mashup, while subsequent chapters document different mashup directions, from literature to education. The Japanese practices of appropriation (amateur content production based on commercial characters) described by Mizuko Ito, for example, are an established tradition now. Eduardo Navas’ taxonomy of mashups seems to be central, defining “regressive” mashups (final cultural objects obtained from previous ones), “reflexive” mashups (using a constant flow of information as the source of a performative remix) and “regenerative remixes” (intervening on the original material). The recombination of digital content has evolved from a proof of concept into a freely recognized paradigm for creating meaningful contemporary culture that can engage with different cultural artifacts with plenty of interest and, finally, no fear.