Inspired by TED Talk “Embrace The Remix” delivered by Kirby Ferguson at Ted.com.
My sister is a chef in a longterm relationship. I’m a digital marketing professional who is single and dates. We’re both self-proclaimed foodies. Three years ago on a phone call with my sister I discussed this idea for a website that merges our passions for food and love and how food can evoke certain emotions in a person. The website would feature content focused around the ups and downs of relationships and recipes that would compliment the sentiment of the article. For example, an article about the types of emotions stirred when you meet someone new you really like would conclude with a recipe for Spicy Thai Shrimp with Lemon and Jalapenos, or something like that. Anyway, I pursued other ventures and the idea never materialized.
Fast forward two years later, my sister approaches me with what she says is a great idea. She wants write a recipe book that includes passionate stories that compliment the recipes based on the subject. Sound familiar? She had totally forgotten about the conversation we had years before and was convinced that her idea was original. This prompted me to search the web and see if anyone else had in fact launched a website with the same concept. Sure enough, someone had. The point? Most great ideas build on other accomplished ideas, and are rarely original.
Kirby Ferguson delivered a TED Talk in June 2012 entitled Embrace The Remix posted on TED.com where he discusses a different way of looking at creativity as a remix. When I think of a remix, I’m thinking of a Rihanna song that’s been reproduced to include a Lil’ Wayne rap in the middle. To Ferguson, a remix is:
“…any piece of art that contains a recognizable reference to another work–a quote from a lyric, a borrowed riff, a filmic homage. Which makes almost everything a remix, from a Led Zeppelin song to a classic film from George Lucas.”
What I like about his talk is how Kirby makes reference after reference to icons in our American culture who gained admiration and fame by “remixing” other people’s ideas and how much we don’t seem to mind. As a matter of fact, we idolize them.
“Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform.”
I encourage you to take 18 minutes to watch Kirby’s presentation and be inspired to create your own remix.
About Kirby Ferguson:
Kirby Ferguson is a New York based filmmaker whose deeply researched four-part web series, “Everything Is a Remix,” dives into the question: Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? He comes out firmly on the side of creativity, calling for protections for people who, with good intentions, weave together bits of existing culture into something fresh and relevant.