Monday, April 26, 2010

Critical Review #10 Novak 2010

Novak's article does a good job in demonstrating remediation through tracing "Jan Pehechan Ho" from its original context to isolated context to the Heavenly Ten Stems to Ghost World. I didn't know anything about the song, the band, or the movie, so in learning about them, I thought it would be a stretch to link these three examples together. Nevertheless, Ghost World's super-reflexivity on "nostalgia" was a very meaningful end to the analytical trajectory.

Remediation just sounds like a fancy term for how people interpret the art around them to make art of their own. I suppose it has its specific uses (e.g. graphic novel to movie) or clear, distinct examples ("Jan Pehechan Ho"), but I think its hard to draw the line between what is cultural diffusion and "remediation". I think the example from the movie, where Enid claims something that is "so bad it has gone past good and back to bad" is what draws that line.

The point of this article and the point of Ghost World is to decry the effects when remediation replaces the original idea that gets mediated in the first place. When novelty, kitsch and humor replace what heartfelt meaning (not that one can't profoundly feel kitsch etc.), what is the nature of the "new" remediated product that springs forth from the old ones?

The aesthetic of interruption and disconnect used to describe the disjointed tropes and styles of Bollywood movies lays out fertile ground for this "spontaneous remediation". Remediation born out of no evident connection to the original source. But what is original source anyways?

I found Windy Chien's comment, "If you like a Bollywood song now [in 2008], you have to really like it. It's available--so it's not the exotic mystery... (63)." The article mentioned she owned Aquarius Records in San Francisco, which I have been to a couple of times. I quickly understood Aquarius as this bevy of obscure, imported I-don't-quite-know-what. Cool, but I didn't quite know why or have the money to find out why (it's hard to utilize the global current and torrent/megadownload some Columbian electronica you can't locate on iTunes/amazon etc.). Chien, one of the "protesters" at the Heavenly Ten Stems show, goes on to work for the man--for iTunes--exterminating the kitsch and novelty which seem to make a place like Aquarius Records--and the obsessive collectors in Ghost World--thrive.

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