Negativland’s “Our Favorite Things”

I got a postcard in the mail the other day from WFMU announcing their upcoming record fair in NYC. Unfortunately, I won’t be making it up next weekend, but I did notice an announcement about some Negativland shorts under the title of “Our Favorite Things” and I was intrigued. So I Youtub’d “Negativland Favorite Things” and hit pay dirt. “Our Favorite Things” is a collection of “video shorts from our favorite copyleft heroes,” to quote WFMU’s description, “from U2 to Gimme the Mermaid here’s a solid hour of good, illegal fun.”

Negativeland is simply awesome, an artistic, mashed up approach to critiquing the state of copyright and ownership. And their ability to imaginatively re-contextualize the basis of our culture in so many provocative and exciting ways is mind blowing. This is what I would like be doing as an educational technologist, helping to create madness rather than cultivating the consumption of courses.

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3 Responses to Negativland’s “Our Favorite Things”

  1. Brian says:

    They are indeed a wonderful thing, they really opened my head to a lot of stuff back in the 90’s, and I still enjoy their work.

    Small thing: you’ve added a “e” to the spelling of “Negativland”…

  2. Reverend says:

    Yeah, I am discovering a lot of their stuff for the first time these days. I heard the U2 mashup back in the 90s, but never really pursued them and I am actually thinking about how much your stuff for the EDUCAUSE review on mashups, openness and copyright gives so beautifully with Negativland’s approach. It’s their creative approach to commentary and critique is inspiring, Brad of Judges mentioned them a few months back and the WFMU postcard just pushed me to finally watch as mch stuff as I could find, I’m richer for it.

    And thanks for making me look good as always with the “e,” it’s silent anyway so I can see why they got rid of it 😉

  3. The first Negativland album I heard was “Escape From Noise” when I was in college. I really got into them after that…..grabbing as many OTE shows where I could and finally getting to meet them on the “Free” tour.

    From there, I got into Head and Leg as well as the amazing “Deconstructing Beck” release from Illegal Art and Evolution Control Committee from here in Ohio. Great mashup work from the pre-web2.0h days.

    If you have time, go on over to Negativland’s site and check out “Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2”. The audio portion is hosted on the site for your listening pleasure. The book itself contains some fantastic info regarding the U2 case, fair use and some nice jam art. I was lucky enough to score a copy when it was re-released in 1995 with the audio as well.

    Remember, copyright infringement is your best entertainment value.

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