I would like to propose an alternative to the sort of mixed reality video games Steve Jones places a huge emphasis on. It is just another expression of the same underlying idea (I am doing this out of fear that video games be taken as paradigmatic source of the idea and not merely one of its many manifestations): It comes down to personal choice. What I would like to present is sample based music.
Sampling produces an entire aesthetic and philosophy. You take someone else’s sound and (in Steve Jones’ words) “decode and manipulate”.
1) Decoding: I hear a sound I like. I look it up on Youtube (or I search for some vague term like “blue and grass”). I take the resulting sound and plop it into a website which converts Youtube videos into mp3 audio files and then download it onto my hard drive.
2) Manipulate: I import the file into an audio editing program and tweak it using a variety of parameters.
In lieu of getting too stranded from my initial point, that this is merely another product of the “mixed reality” Steve Jones points out we live within, I want to give a context of how this happens. I fear I am being narcissistic here but this is how it really happens and what I think of when I look for concrete examples of this mixed reality: I am in my car driving home from a friends house and turn on a radio station I know to occasionally play songs I like: 89.1 on the FM dial. There is a song playing which perks my ears and I immediately think of not how I am listening to the song and enjoying it at that very moment, but how when I get home I know exactly how to access it and manipulate it. It is that easy. And that is the sort of mixed reality I think Steve Jones points us towards which I think is a valid one, though not without it’s problems (which I may elaborate on in a future post, or which anyone else should feel free to propose); a reality which is about criticism through production.