Intellectual Property

Go Vogue the Spartans

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New York interviews the fan video auteur Luminosity, with a conversation that covers copyright enforcement, feminism, and the history of visual remixes:

Vids are fan-made music videos. We create them using scenes taken from our favorite TV shows and movies, pairing them with a particular piece of music and imposing our own video-editing choices and style….

Vidding started in 1975 with Kandy Fong, a Star Trek fan, who made the first ever vid, at a convention, by setting a slideshow to music. Almost as soon as VCRs became available, fans started using them to make vids, which were shown mainly at fan conventions or passed around on tape by mail. Computers and the Internet have made it a lot easier both to make vids and to share them—now everyone wants to make things like vids. Vidding is not a static art form. It is subject to waves and schools, just like any other art. It may have started with parody, but now it has progressed, I think, into modern and postmodern interpretations of the source.

Caveat: That may be the history of vidding as a self-conscious community of fan producers, but the practice itself is actually older than that. Go here and here to see what one acclaimed remix artist created in 1936. Go here to see Luminosity's contributions to the tradition.