Remixing the Archive


King Tubby and Marcel Duchamp are kindred spirits in so far as they each helped usher in the conceptual aesthetic now known as the Remix. The former did this through Jamacian Dub music in the late 1960s and early 70s while the latter appropriated a mustachioed postcard of the Mona Lisa. While King Tubby's strain of reggae has sprawled across the sonic landscape to affect everything from Grime to Mariah Carey, the remix has not been as pervasive within visual culture, partially due to an unfortunate insistence on the absolute authority of the 'genius' artist. As such, the Berkley Art Museum's new exhibition RIP.MIX.BURN.BAM.PFA, which opened October 24th, is a welcome break with orthodox. Curated by Richard Rinehart, guest artists were invited to remix two digital works from the museum's collection, Ken Goldberg's Ouija 2000 and Valery Grancher's 24h00 (both 1999). Each 'new' work is being displayed along side the 'originals.' ReMixer, a live event and performance, is being held in conjunction with the opening reception on Friday October 26th at the museum. Berkeley's Kid Kameleon and DJ Ripley will perform, and making the celebration of all things remix as egalitarian as it should be, the Improbable Orchestra's do-it-yourself DJ machine will be on display. The event and exhibition ensure what so many promise but fail to deliver, an aesthetic of multiplicity. - David Michael Perez