What was initially conceived as a companion column at Nomos Journal to my dissertation has since evolved into a more general blog in the aftermath of that project (Remixing Religion, with the first two posts reproduced here). While still mostly focused on remix theory and its application to the study of religion, posts also cover broader topics pertaining to other research and personal interests. I try to post at least once per month, but a larger book project is starting to take more time away from this schedule (see Current Research for more information on that project). New posts are announced via Mastodon.
Wabi-sabi, a concept in Japanese aesthetics revolving around the beauty of imperfection and impermanence, aligns well with both the goblincore aesthetic and subculture and some of J.R.R. Tolkien’s short, hairy creatures.
Buddhist philosophy and punk ideology probably don’t come across at first glance as complementary models for attaining a life without suffering. But they both advocate principles that demand the raising of one’s fists to put an end to an unsatisfying, oppressive, and cyclic existence in very similar ways.
When production and output is understood as being dependent upon all else in causal-effective chains of interrelation and combinatorality, remix theory starts to sound quite a bit like…Buddhist philosophy.
As the building block of civilization, sand’s conditional and combinatorial nature can help us understand concepts like impermanence and interdependence in Buddhist philosophy, especially when used in creative, meditative practices that facilitate mindful awareness.
Reframing the mining and crafting of blocks in Minecraft as making do with sampled sourced material can help us rethink and reconsider concepts like bricolage and techniques like upāya.
Piratical databases of electronic texts challenge the structures that otherwise keep such material closed off and inaccessible. These so-called shadow libraries help push for a more informed, creative, and critical society that hinges upon accessibility rather than censorship and control.
Even under the notion or guise of sanctity, access and control are still very closely tied to power structures and the hierarchies that establish and regulate them, and copyright law has played a large role in how this has developed.
Sid’s mashup toys in Toy Story are a clear example of the creative-destructive processes underlying cultural innovation.