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Google Firestarters 7: Remix Culture

Kirby ferguson

"The remix is the very nature of the digital" William Gibson

At our last Firestarters event at Google in September we expored the theme of digital storytelling through the lens of three excellent speakers and some great contributions from the audience. Following on nicely from some of the ideas that arose there, our next event (held at Google HQ in London on November 20th) will be focused on the theme of remix culture. The subject came up in the conversation post one of our previous events, and it is one that I think is fundamental not just to modern culture, but to modern advertising and media. We talk in our industry about creating culture rather than ads, but digital has writ large the possibilities to create original culture from the endless recombination and reworking of existing ideas and content. At the same time media itself has become elementally recombinant as content and conversation is atomised and moves seamlessly across platforms and through APIs, and we combine and remix our media consumption to create new experiences.

To take us on our recombinant journey on the 20th, I'm really excited to say that we have Kirby Ferguson - renowned writer, director and producer of the groundbreaking ‘Everything is a Remix’ series of films, who is flying over from the US for the event. I've long followed Kirby's amazing work in which he tackles 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? His TED talk (which was described by one of our previous Firestarter's speakers Cory Doctorow as “an amazing, must-see talk about the way that creativity comes about as the result of creative re-use of others' work”) is excellent, and on the 20th he will be building on some of the ideas he talked about at TED, introducing some new ones, and considering the implications for how we originate ideas, plan and build stories for clients.

The event will be held at 5.30 on the 20th and is invite only but as usual I have a few guest passes to give away (first come first served) to readers of this blog. If you'd like one, let me know (I won't be able to respond to everyone but will notify the successful applicants).

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