April 20, 2009

Paul D. Miller's Gift Economy

Maybe you know DJ Spooky, but not everyone knows Paul Miller. He's been an advocate for sample-culture in digital media for a long time. He's also a prolific music producer, and DIY graphic designer.

Paul Miller's latest book, Sound Unbound

The book includes examples of sample-culture that span some 500 years of history. Was Bach's style influenced by his job copying Vivaldi scores? Probably. What about Muslim influence on early hip hop? Other essays compiled in this book consider the role of bells and their mathematical patterns in human culture by Brian Eno, and an exploration of the term 'Emptyv' by Public Enemy's Chuck D.

Oddly, only a few of the chapters are available for sample. Hey, somebody’s gotta get paid!

Spooky compares music samples–motifs–to the snapshots which make up motion pictures. Scale-up remix culture, look at it across time and you can see larger patterns in “mediated communication” and artistic expression.

Still not sure what sample culture is? There's a lot to catch up on, and this book is good entry point, but here's another pretty well known example from the hip-hop world, just one of many involving legal dispute about sample clearance.

Miller explains...

Now, that’s using your media.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure about Mr. Spooky,
    actually he might be full of shit.