R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX (remixworx) is a space for the remixing of digital media, including visual poetry (vispo), electronic poetry (flashpo), playable media, animation, music, spoken word, texts and more. It began as a blog in November 2006 and has grown to number over 500 individual works of media. The source material is made available and all media is freely given to be remixed. Each new work is remixed, literally or conceptually, from other works on the blog. Then, the new work is linked to the blog post(s) that contain the component parts, thus the blog ‘talks to itself’â€””I link therefore I am” (Amerika, 1997).
R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX is an accumulation of spontaneous ideas that spawn at random intervals, a flexible community, an adaptable entity that has been shown in a variety of waysâ€”performed live at festivals and conferences, or remixed live as part of DJ/VJ events. A web page of ‘selected works’ opens up the project, so to speak, with a visual interface, separate from the blog, and presented as an online journal of digital art and writing.
That is a statement the remixworx group has developed and collaborated on over the course of the project’s existence. R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX has no single author but it had a singular founder in the shape of Randy Adams, whose image and remixes are repurposed here by Chris Joseph and Andy Campbell. In his interview with Jeremy Hight at Unlikely Stories, Randy said:
Most members of R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX were brought together, initially, by the trAce Online Writing Community. R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX continues in a spirit of learning and sharing – in the original spirit of the World Wide Web. I started R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX out of sense of isolation brought on by the demise of trAce, and a desire to learn from others and create work collaboratively. (2013)
Certainly, in my experience, remixing is the antithesis of working in isolation even if you hardly ever meet your collaborators face-2-face. â€œA remix is a conversation with an imaginary other. The other becomes necessary to the creative process, the reason the work is being created. A remix is for the other – it’s literally made for the others in the remixing community, and we hope also for a wider audience.â€ (Wilks, 2012)
We have described ourselves as â€œa creative micro-community – a far-flung but tight-knit social group of recombinant artistic practiceâ€ (Adams et al, 2012). In this sense remixing is a form of repurposing social relationships and the collaborative process.
To remix, we don’t ask permission, we don’t communicate directly, we just do it. The creative conversation is through the work itself – remixes speak to each other. Remixing is a combination of interpreting and inventing the conversation. So, I invent the others, my co-remixers, as they, perhaps, invent me. These are multi-threaded conversations at many cross-purposes. It’s fascinating retracing our steps, retracing our conversations, reinterpreting as we go. (Wilks, 2012)
Some contributions are new seeds but many have been remixed over and over. If you trace the remixed elements back to their roots, you will find material repurposed from a wide variety of sources, from the WWW as well as from the world at large. We feed off anything that takes our fancy or stirs us in some way, but most of all we feed of each other.
Remixworx is a distinctly cannibalistic micro-community. In the early days, remixers were feasting on each other ravenously, greedily – a rich abundant diet. These days our appetites are more temperate, yet still we would rather cannibalise than consume. (Wilks, 2012)
In his book, New Directions in Digital Poetry, employing a concept that was first put forth by the Brazilian artist, Oswald de Andrade, in his â€˜Anthropophagy Manifesto’ (1928), Chris Funkhouser has identified this voracious appetite for repurposing as a form of creative cannibalism.
Transformative expression appropriates given data then warps or reconfigures it to new ends. Such a methodâ€¦ also relates to the type of cannibalism seen in examples of digital poetry. In anthropophagic texts, authors engage with multiple languages or idioms, devour other texts and icons, and freely remix discrepant methods and philosophical approaches. The cannibalisation of texts discovers and re-discovers meaning, establishing alternative perspectives on cultural or personal subjects taken up by authors in the process of textual composition, re-composition and composting. Through anthropophagy, artists freely reshape external influences. (Funkhouser, 2012, pp. 228-229)
In his review of works presented at E-Poetry 2009, Funkhouser drew particular attention to how â€œRemixworx divulged a particularly impressive display of cannibalism-by-designâ€¦ Beyond the high quality of the artworks, the collaborative axis of Remixworx commands respect, and the sheer variety of types of works (stylistically/aesthetically) embraced by the collectiveâ€¦ is remarkable.â€ (2012, p. 238)
Such is the artistic legacy of Randy Adams, aka runran.
â€œrun the [creative] program randyâ€
That’s how he unpacked his digital pen name in the comments under one of R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX’ earliest posts, scream to be remixed (2006). Sadly, runran is no longer with us but, as long as remixworx remains online, we will always be able to run and rerun the [creative] program randy because his digital body (of work) remains.
Once you’ve mixed in, you can’t leave [remixworx], not completely, because you’ve left something of yourself behind – your digital debris, your avatar, your code, your creations, whatever form it takes, your digital stuff is embedded in a dynamic environment. It plays on, it’s remixable. Something of you has become a mutating, evolving entity – many instances, multiplying. This other partial you inhabits the remixworx, lives in its world, carries on performing, and carries on behind your back with other remixes – mating, spawning, seeding all kinds of (other) things… (Wilks, 2012)
Although there can be no new remixes from runran himself, his digital remains will regenerate. The R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX url – remixworx.com – bids you to regard his body of work as a renewable creative resource. He leaves us with fertile ground for propagating from the rich compost of his creations, coaxing remixers to further expressive (re)purpose – as the images by Chris and Andy, shown here, so eloquently demonstrate.
rerun the [creative] program randy
repurposing his relics
Words by Christine Wilks
Adams, R. & Hight, J., 2013, An Interview with Randy Adams, Unlikely Stories – http://www.unlikelystories.org/13/adams1213.shtml [accessed May 2014]
Adams, R., Joseph, C., & Wilks, C., 2012, R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX – A Micro-Community of Creative Discourse, An Artists’ Presentation of Remixworx as a Case Study for Remediating the Social, Remediating the Social, Ed., Simon Biggs, ELMCIP
Adams, R., 2006, scream to be remixed, http://remixworx.com/?p=8 [accessed May 2014]
Amerika, M., 1997, Hypertextual Consciousness 1.0 – Grammatron – http://www.grammatron.com/htc1.0/ [accessed May 2014]
Funkhouser, C. T., 2012, New Directions in Digital Poetry, The Continuum International Publishing Group
Remixworx, 2006-2012, R3/\/\1X\/\/0RX – Selected Works, http://www.remixworx.com/remixworx/ [accessed May 2014]
Wilks, C., 2012, A crissxross trail < R3M1XW0RX, http://crissxross.net/remixworx/indexcxtrail.html [accessed May 2014]