Course blog for CSP 11 (Fall 2012) @ Occidental College

CSP 11: Copyright + Culture

Remix Video Assignment

In class, we’ve seen a number of remixes and fan videos that make a compelling argument, whether they’re critiquing gender representations within video games (e.g. “Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor”), or engaging with the tensions between producers, fans, and the transformative works they create (e.g. “Us”).  As Virginia Kuhn notes in her essay “The Rhetoric of Remix,” remixes can be viewed “as a digital utterance expressed across the registers of the verbal, the aural, and the visual […] thus, remix is a form of digital argument that is crucial to the functioning of a vital public sphere.”

For this assignment, you and a partner will create an argumentative remix video that comments on some element of copyright + culture that we’ve discussed in class.

You should approach this assignment as you might a paper for this course: you need to collaboratively hone in on an argument and spend some time planning how to most effectively execute that argument…albeit in an audiovisual form.  Instead of creating a dialogue between your readings and textual analysis, here you’ll be creating a critical dialogue between the audio and images you select.  Think about how you might create resonant moments, or interesting juxtapositions between the audio and the images in order to articulate a claim.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get creative, consider the power of alternative modes of argumentation, and get more comfortable manipulating media to comment on media (and our relationship to it within copyright culture).  With all of that said, this will be a labor-intensive project.  I have supplied you with over 150 short video, in order to make the process easier, but you will need to go through these clips in order to pull relevant segments, and seek out your own materials.  Likewise, I’ve booked out the oMac lab for our class sessions next week, but you’ll need to work on these projects there on your own time.

To begin this process…

Step 1: Pick a partner, inform me via email asap

Step 2: Collaboratively formulate your argument

  • Pick a broad topic we’ve discussed in class
  • If you’re having trouble narrowing your scope, select a quote from one of the readings to serve as an inspiration
  • This argument might evolve as you work, but you need to have a strong sense of it going in so that you can begin cultivating materials

Step 3: Select your audiovisual evidence

  • I have supplied you with some options in Moodle that you will have access to in the oMac lab
  • Any other audio or video clips you’ll need to gather on your own. See the tools list provided by politicalremixvideo as a starting point.
  • Take detailed notes on which clips (and, specifically, which sections of the those clips) you might want to use. Just as you might choose between two or three quotes from an article when attempting to support a point, you may need to weigh the power of multiple images when crafting your remix video.


  • All remix videos must be between 2-3 min long
  • All videos make an argument that addresses the relationship between copyright + culture
  • You can work within any remix “genre” or style that you like (fan video, audio dub, fake trailer, etc.) but you should have a clear conception of why that particular style is most effective form for conveying your argument
  • You can use any of the clips provided in moodle


  • Headphones (each of you will need your own pair; if you don’t have a set you can check one out from the library info desk.  I will supply the headphone splitters so that you can work collaboratively)
  • Audio and video files you want to begin working with
  • A laptop or notebook for notes on your project (bringing in a shot list, breakdown of a song’s lyrics, etc. will be incredibly helpful)


  • Whichever computer terminal you initially sit down at in the oMac lab will be the terminal you need to use whenever you go there to work on your remix video.  The same goes for the login you choose, you’ll need to keep it consistent.
  • Do NOT choose a terminal in the back row of the oMac lab.  These computers may be wiped in the next few weeks, and your project will be lost.
  • I will be posting/linking to various iMovie tutorials on the blog, please look them over before you come to class on Monday, 10/22.


  • Friday, 10/19: Email to inform me who you’ve selected as your remix partner
  • Sunday, 10/21 by 6pm: Co-authored blog post that briefly summarizes what your remix video team is attempting to argue and how you plan to execute that argument due (approx 300-500 words)
  • Wednesday, 10/24: Bring remix files/materials with you to class
  • Sunday 11/11 by 8pm: Upload your finished remix video to our YouTube channel/email me the link
  • Wednesday, 11/14 by 8am: Upload your co-authored blog post about your remix video (goals, argument, methodology/execution)
  • Wednesday, 11/14: Student remix video screenings and discussion.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Pingback: CSP 11′s Codes of Best Practices in Fair Use: Remix Assignment « Copyright + Culture

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