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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis. “Multimedia” is not simply a genre category but also a mentality. Aesthetic thinking has been conditioned by text-based approaches according to which meaning is inherent. By contrast, multimedia practice and theory are predicated on dynamic interaction of media and generation of emergent meaning in real time. Digital and Internet technologies have enabled significant extension of multimedia practices, transforming principles of montage and extreme intertextuality into a core cultural practice. The chapter illustrates this through a case study of the remix trio Eclectic Method, whose work ranges from Web-based multimedia to live performance and from subversion of copyright to innovative forms of marketing for multinational corporations. The chapter also considers the collision between such practices and intellectual property law, which identifies creativity with individual authorship. The media business has been based on the exploitation of intellectual property, but aesthetic and technological developments suggest that it is becoming a service industry.

Keywords: multimedia, mashup, remix, intellectual property, emergent meaning, montage, intertextuality, Eclectic Method, authorship

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