Friday, June 17, 2016

Remixing since the beginning of time- Wk 2 Reading Reflection

Urban Street Art, from the way back-


Lascaux Cave Paintings- Dordogne region of southwestern France, circa Paleolithic Period, 20 thousand years ago
Take a virtual tour

It was a conversation this week via Hypothesis, on Lankshear and Knobel's "New Literacies" (2007) that re-sparked my attention to the earliest form of storytelling, and street Art. The Caves at Lascaux hold the history of man, and the first recorded images/writing of man that we know to date.

In the dialogue there was a dispute over the context of writing and new literacies, ie: Memes. Are memes writing? If I would have asked my self this question ten years ago, I wouldn't have the slightest clue of what I was talking about, but today, memes are everywhere. The focus of the conversation became rather memes, and other visual graphics are actually writing because they are only pictures. Only pictures, I gasp? And my mind instantly went to the Caves at Lascaux, if these things were mere pictures, and held no literary connection, we might not be 'writing' today. As Lankshear and Knobel theorize the idea of re-mixing as a means to communicate and tell stories in various mediums, I can 't stop thinking about those cave 'drawings'.
Lascaux cave painting

As the cave paintings at Lascaux, offered the people of the time a way to record history, tell stories and inform those who came across the               paintings, the petroglyphs do the same things, slightly different, or shall we say in re-mix?
WE can continue to follow throughout history as images, symbols and pictures are used and manipulated to communicate and tell the story of life. 
petroglyphs Colorado

Images and Symbols verses characters and 'writing'

contemporary graffiti alphabet
I offer that some forms or symbols used for writing, some more intricate than the next, but all images and pictures. All are a re-mix of the idea to build a system of symbols and images to communicate. In Lascaux there are over 2,00 symbols that represent what we now know are six 'stories' of the life of the early paleolithic man that inhabited the area over 20 thousand years ago. Imagine if the works in Lascaux were dismissed as just pictures.

I offer you you this:  WE learn and are taught what pictures and symbols create a language that is spoken or written to communicate.

What does this all MEME? 

Memes are just that, the current form of writing, the new version of what humans have been doing for thousands of years, create graphics to express what they wish to communicate about a current or past event. The meme takes a whole new twist or 're-mix on the form of writing as we know it, and re-mashes visuals with our writing system to invoke a deeper understanding of the communication that the author hopes to convey. Imagine the image on the right being posted alone, it looses impact. 

 With a positive mindset on technology,  we have to embrace this new way of writing, teach it, learn it until the next it to is re-mixed into something new. Symbols and images have changed over time , just as Shakespear's new language boggled the minds of those around him,  we no longer write using script, we must adapt to the way our written language is being used today, without forgetting and diluting the importance of the ways we communicated in the past.  The paleolithic people used the symbols familiar to them to write their stories, street artist use familiar symbols today to record, inform and communicate, the walls are bigger, the colors brighter and the medium and tools have changed along with the exact reasons, but the idea stays the same, tell a story. 


Yes- Of course there is a Banksy for this too... look familiar ( or would this be considered copying like Warhol)
Lankshear & Knobel (2011) Chapter 4: New Literacies and Social Learning Practices of Digital Remixing

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