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to the mic

Page history last edited by PBworks 11 years, 5 months ago

music, meet wiki; wiki, meet music



ShareRiff creeps to the mike like a phantom...


"Music, meet Wiki; Wiki meet Music" narrates a pedagogical experiment based on this premise: the art of participating in the configuration of wiki space is a visual and spatial analogue of musical rhythmic practices of composition. What happens when we try and amplify this "sonification" of rhetorical practice in digital information ecologies by directly mixing sound and wiki?


content and format: get off your ass and jam


The wiki version of this proposal will narratE an experiment with sound and wiki in [a freshman composition course at Penn State University last fall]. Based on lessons learned in the experiment, this wiki will attempt to solicit what Rich Doyle would name \"wikidelic\" effects, a set of ongoing interconnections that form of a commons. In the experiment, freshman writers training in the art of counter-argument participated in [3 notes and runnin'], a protest/contest organized by [Michael Bell-Smith] and Downhilll Battle in response to the Federal Court of Appeals [case no. 01-00412]. Here the court ruled that recording artists NWA violated the law when they sampled, troped, and repurposed a snippet of Funkadelic's "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" into a new context. In this brief, the 6th Circuit reversed a lower court decision when they decided "that even if a sample has been mixed into an unrecognizable form, artists must secure the rights to use such clips" (http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,65037,00.html). So, the (sampled) assignment was simple: first, following the rules of the 3 notes and runnin' contest, students were to sample the controversial swatch of sound, remix it anew using [Audacity], an open-source multi-platform sound editor, share the results rendered and listen to peer entries. And the remix took one more form: students then took this process of sampling and remixing and rendered into language on a wiki.


A little more about format: whereas [Esquire magazine, along with hundreds of wikidelians] recently demonstrated the potential of a wiki collective to revise a text for publication, this wiki hopes to allow for more dramatic remixing strategies, including counter-arguments, re-enactments, and other techniques of pedagogical debugging that can be as simple and painless as making a link. In the beta version of the narrative, we'll mostly hear the voice of the teacher/"bandleader" in the story, a character known as [ShareRiff], a transparent wikidelic-self name easily linked to Trey Conner, a PhD. candidate in rhetoric and composition at Penn State, where [composition instructors are using wiki to design a digital pedagogy in tune with today's ecologies of communication]. Anyone who'd like to try and remix the assignment, should do so, and share it here on this wiki. Some may simply remix the Funkadelic sample in question and share a link to the mix rendered, others may be compelled to fold some text into this process, and many will encouraged to begin sampling and remixing the wiki version of this narrative by adding new stories and revising old stories detailing the phenomenology and pedagogy of sampling in classroom contexts.


[ShareRiff] will also, in the meantime, revisit the assignment with participating students, who will again feedback together, in wiki space, about the experience. Of course, they had plenty to say at the time, but it will be instructive to listen to students reflect on this writing experience a year later.


print it! 3 notes


While intitial riffing in this experiment may not have been entirely "successful," the print-version of this narrative will amplify three potentials made available by the wiki dimension of this rhetorical experiment with sound, suggesting that


  • Wikis allow students to think about ideation and invention of argument in terms of rhythm, which resets and makes palpable the often-times abstract concept of "audience."


  • With wiki, compostion classrooms can become a space a hospitable to remix culture. In this experiment, [ShareRiff] hoped that music, when mixed with wiki, would provide a scaffold for navigating the depatterning experiences wiki provokes, and reset the "distribution of authorship" notion by encouraging students to perform techniques of remix culture and experiment with the ethics of response-ability so elemental to [rhythmizing] and collectively "programming" networked web environments.


  • Not only can music help us find ways to let wikis be the rhythmizable media they want to be, but musical wikis can also open up topical and exigent surface area for introducing and working through intellectual property issues raised, for example, by the case of [Napster], post-Napster network pedagogies, and the recent [MGM-Grokster case]. The "3 notes and runnin'" project provides a necessary [progymnasmata] for peer-to-peer rhetors: working directly with sound as a persuasive medium. In an atmosphere where students are treated as consumers and potential thieves (at this time, Penn State had just signed a licensing agreement with [\"new\" Napster]), mixing sound into wikis with students encourages us to take seriously the conditions that constrain commons practice in composition classrooms and beyond, an important consideration in our era of [myopic court decisions] and the intensification of "intellectual property" concerns.


Specifically, [\"sonic tropes\"], gestures of [prolepsis] in the form counter-argument blogging, and student responses to the opportunity to sound out--collectively, in text and on wiki, as a way to of hacking the formidable blockages of rhythm that "p2p rhetors-in-training" face when we attempt to seek out, download, exeriment with, and share emerging technologies of writing--will provide clues and traces of this attempt to mix sound and wiki.


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