Shrine to the Funky Drummer

This project was initially developed during my residency as Artist In Research at the Berwick Research Institute.

It is being published by ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art in Volume 16: Low-Tech.

Audio commentary by Wayne Marshall of wayneandwax.com.

Shrine to the Funky Drummer is an experimental video documentary that seeks to portray a specific instance of media sampling as an archetypal cultural moment and a lens through which to examine a multifaceted story of creative appropriation.  The ‘Funky Drummer’ is a five-second excerpt from a James Brown song that has been used as the foundation of hundreds of other musical compositions and is one of popular music’s most famous samples. For this project I gathered and created artifacts and ‘holy relics’ that explore the early history of Hip Hop and the creative acts of sampling and remixing. The video examines debates about copyright and fair use in relation to Afro-Diasporic musical notions of “versioning,” the fetishistic culture of record-digging, and postmodern theoretical questions about authorship in the age of digital (re)production.

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