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date: 06 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores theorizing the musical mashup and its aesthetics, and argues it is necessary to rethink authorship in the context of its production, which arguably involves both a creative and an interpretive act of appropriation. As a point of departure, it analyzes “Psychosocial Baby” (2011), in which Isosine blends Slipknot’s “Psychosocial” with Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” It argues that it is the experiential doubling of the music as simultaneously congruent (it sounds like a virtual band performing together) and incongruent (it parodically subverts socially established conventions) that produces the richness in meaning and paradoxical effects of successful mashups. Mashups contest traditional notions of creativity and copyright ownership. They also add perspective to the now much-debated question about whether pop will eat itself: mashups move forward by reinventing the past, finding the new in the old, and announcing it with gusto and irony.

Keywords: mashups, aesthetics, appropriation, creativity, authorship, copyright, ownership, parody, production, consumption

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