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"Remixthebook" is not a book.

By Eric T. Hall
The Gospel Coalition

Amerika_remixthebookRemixthebook is not a book. It is, in the words of Mark Amerika, “more of a hybridized publication and performance art project that appears in . . . print” (p. xi). It is an experiment in composition and cultural creativity that defies the expectations of a “book” with its closed structure and pre-packaged creative potency. Remixthebook is open-source material composed of open-source material, ready and available for renewable redistribution in the age of remix. The theories behind Amerika’s hybrid composition are difficult to discern, but only for the reader who is looking for a plain statement of them. Amerika performs his theories more than he states them. Remixthebook is a show-and-tell performance of the philosophy of remix, the practice of combing existing cultural objects to make new creations. Discerning a central thesis or even an organized set of clear arguments would be impossible with Amerika’s performance piece, but that is not to say it lacks another kind of clarity, a lucid force of realization that strikes from any angle throughout Remixthebook. In this way the ideas in Amerika’s show and tell are coherent since they hang together in the same vein of flux. In order to review this “book,” I feel that it is best to simply trace some of these energetic lines of flux that inhabit Remixthebook instead of methodically summarizing each “chapter.” Even so, given that the “book” is what Amerika calls a “novelty generator,” it would be impossible to catch every freshly remixed idea that comes in each reading—each reading can yield new thoughts for every reader.

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