[Hackatao REMIXME] Justice Lives in the Mix
This began as a playful response to the Hackatao "remix me" project. It wasn't long however, before I was drawn into the conceptual depth of their carefully planted seed. They state that the subject of this work is "Dike," goddess of justice and daughter of Zeus and Themis. I included … (read more)
This began as a playful response to the Hackatao "remix me" project. It wasn't long however, before I was drawn into the conceptual depth of their carefully planted seed. They state that the subject of this work is "Dike," goddess of justice and daughter of Zeus and Themis. I included the referenced elements- sword (paintbrush), blindfold, scale of balance, of course, but most interesting was this convergence of justice, recreation/rebirth, and the MIX itself, all in the context of new media and the web (represented most obviously by the cell phone, which Hackatao referred to as, "the tablet of law," where judgment and power mingle freely).
The real centerpiece of this Hackatao art/event/happening is the concept of the MIX. I felt like the more that I chewed on it, the better I could taste the dreamy center they had baked in there. The central principle of the mix is that it is inclusive. You can't mix if you're on the outside. That inclusivity may be the foundation of democratic values, and it stands in opposition to all the efforts to control, limit, and exclude. It is that ability to put your thing in the mix, to raise your voice, to fly your free flag, to cast your vote, that brings Justice to life. She thrives in the mix where the many are represented, and she dies when that creative exchange is splintered into information silos, warring factions, and copyright fiefdoms. The mix is messy, it's playful, it's risky and probably even dangerous, but it's also vital, alive, and growing. The mix produces a family of co-creators who care for each other because they are united in the reflection of the project, art, business, club, culture, nation, planet, or just the feelings they've brought to life together.
The mix reaches in both directions as well. It's not just about what it means to the big us out there, it's also about what it means to the "eye" on the inside, to the self that becomes as it stirs things up with others. It was not an accident, I think, that a naked woman's body was central in the Hackatao original. She paints herself, they said, on a digital screen. If there's one place where the web has been wildly successful, it's in giving diversity a great global garden in which to gather and reflect. Our screens are filled with deliciousness in all different sizes, colors, ages, and forms. Our mix is blessed with the widest range of possibilities ever imagined, and it is into that playground of potentials that we get to dream ourselves awake. Justice spreads her wings wide here, where so many have been carried over the high walls of limiting beliefs and out into the open space of a diverse and inclusive human wilderness.
In approaching the work, I decided to hold myself to the same 20 seconds that were in the original. I wanted it to have that as a thread of genealogy with its Hackatao parent. My version is still posing to the original soundtrack with nothing more than a few tweaks here and there (just to affirm that there's often mischief in a copy). But the whole style of the original is really quite far from the ways that I usually work, so it was a delight to be pulled in entirely new directions by the demands of the mix and the desire to be in it. See, that's it! That's the thing, the art at work, driving us all to new places. Except for the visuals that were in the Hackatao original, all the elements were either made fresh in my own oven, or pulled from my pantry of previous work. This lent another dimension to the experience, as I was not only participating in a mix that extended beyond me, I was also remixing my self. Different styles, ages, moods, and messages, all tumbled together in recreation of the mix that I am. I hope it does justice to me and the fertile seed that brought it to the table in the first place.