R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX is a blog for the creative remixing of media

Since its inception in November 2006, several media artists and writers from around the world have collectively created a media rich site containing over 300 pieces: animations, audio, digital images, visual poetry and texts. All media is freely given to be remixed, thus, the project has no single author. It’s alive, interactive, and ongoing…

so what’s it like to participate as a remixer? one player’s perspective…

It’s exhilarating, stimulating, fun, liberating… There’s room for each artist/writer to stamp their mark on R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX, but R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX is just as likely to stamp its mark on each of us too. Unpacking someone else’s creative work, remixing it and adding something original of your own is a transformative process that works both ways. Often it’s a multi-authored piece so you can trace its generative history, see how it’s mutated. Coded works, such as Flash pieces, you have to literally get inside to deconstruct, to decode them, which is almost like getting inside someone else’s head. It’s an oddly distant but intimate form of co-creation.The process opens you up to new ways of working, new ideas, new creative challenges, new techniques, new ways of looking at the world, both online and off.

There’s a kind of simultaneous duality in operation – each of us is working independently as a solitary creator but we are also collaborating in an extended improvisation, making the entire site, collectively, a work of asynchronous co-creation.

The site evolves and with each successive WordPress upgrade we can make creative use of new functionality. For instance, our tag cloud (a new feature for 2008) offers more ways to navigate and explore, which in turn offers more opportunities for remixers to make connections, to be inspired to remix, to improvise, to invent. The tag cloud itself could be viewed as a kind of poem. As new tags are added, there are times when a phrase appears that seems to make sense, and then, like a cloud in the sky that for a moment looks like a ship, a dog, a face… the sense dissolves back into the surreal tag cloud. However, by exploring the tag cloud, by using and remixing tags, odd kinds of narratives may emerge – not entirely ephemeral, but morphing narratives.

Recently, I was asked if there have ever been occasions when I’ve disliked the way someone remixed something of mine. This had never occurred to me, and I’ve been involved since January 2007. Unlike most other forms of collaboration, we don’t have to agree, or compromise. If you give something freely, you accept that anything can happen to it – the thing has a life of it’s own, we don’t own our creations, we don’t contain them, they are free to wander and mutate. Indeed a number of motifs have been used virally throughout R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX and we’re beginning to see pieces spreading beyond the site into the wider web too. Each remix is a gift, and a generous complement – someone cares enough to do a remix – it’s always a pleasurable surprise.

Whilst R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX creatively extends the social aspects of the blog form, it differs from other, larger social platforms where individuals post and share their creative work. The project has a collective aesthetic unity, which nevertheless embraces diversity. It’s not a collection of disparate and discrete works, it’s a whole, much greater than the sum of its parts… a self-seeding, mutating, epic, unending, vispoem.

There’s an intensity in R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX that comes from a deep commitment to collaborate in this free, and freeing, way. It’s not for everyone, and some don’t stay, but that’s fine – the remix machine, of which we are all part, devours whatever is given and regurgitates it in wonderfully unexpected ways.

crissxross, May 2008

R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX out and about

R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX has been presented at ePoetry 2009 (Barcelona, Spain), Digital Resources for Humanities and the Arts 2008 (Cambridge, UK), Interactive Futures 2007: The New Screen (Victoria, BC, Canada), featured online at JavaMuseum –> a+b=ba? and we dropped several pieces into the Digital Fringe. Three members of R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX have created a standalone flash movie – The Devil’s Rope Journal – and R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX is often performed live as part of a VJ events such as Exploding, Plastic & Inevitable.

the players

R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX and The Devil’s Rope Journal authors: babel (aka Chris Joseph, Can/UK), crissxross (aka Christine Wilks, UK) and runran (aka Randy Adams, Can)

R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX contributors: Peter Ciccariello (US); Angela Genusa (US); Marco Giovenale (It); Jukka-Pekka Kervinen (Fin); Simon Mills (UK); e k rzepka (Can); Matina L. Stamatakis (US); Ted Warnell (Can)

…and more artists have contributed via the R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX flickr group …how about you too?

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interactive storytelling, digital art & writing by christine wilks