Reading Response Week 3- Mashups

Grey Album Producer Danger Mouse Explains How He Did It

The way Burton describes a mashup as a deconstruction as opposed to just stealing and reproducing is fascinating. This reading makes it clear that  since a mashup is dealing with two separate media, it is important to cater to the restrictions of each to make it work. The deconstructions really supports the integration of the songs as opposed to them sounding chopped together.

The New Math of Mashups

I like the way that Brown introduces the idea of finding a commonality in two songs that at first may appear completely different in every way. Emphasizing the idea that mashups should result in a single final product, not two products put together. I think it is interesting that this author states that Burton’s Grey Album is not a good example of a mashup because it is too seamlessly integrated. While I believe mashups where you can tell the different parts being mashed up are interesting, I also enjoy the seamlessness of a mashup like Burton’s- that is what makes Burton a musical artist himself. When talking about Roy Kerr’s work on “A Stroke of Genius”, the author mentions that once you hear the song twice you can’t imagine either of the original songs sounding different. It is as if the original two songs were made in preparation for the mashup and once the mashup is complete they become irrelevant. I feel this way about much of Girl Talk’s work.

Hacking, Mashing, Gluing: Understanding Opportunistic Design

Again I see more examples of the idea of deconstruction: the three toy designers from this interview sequence all bought toys to disassemble to mashup for their idea and as the author states, “sesigners extract mechanisms and reuse them in different skins”. SOmething that really interests me is the concept of different levels of integration that is mentioned here as hot glue and dovetail joints. It really depends on the type of mashup that one is doing to decide which method is best.

Mashups the New Breed of Web App:

Before beginning this reading, when I was thinking about possible mashup ideas, I questioned the feasibility with data integration. Like Burton says about his work, the two items have to be well integrated and in order to do so one has to find a common ground for hosting both technologies. The author here notes that “in addition to missing data or incomplete mappings, the mashup designer might discover that the data they wish to integrate is not suitable for machine automation; that it needs cleansing. For example, law enforcement arrest records might be entered inconsistently, using common abbreviations for names (such as “mkt sqr” in one record and “Market Square” in another), making automated reasoning about equality difficult, even with good heuristics.” Again, this further exemplifies Burton’s emphasis on the importance of deconstruction.


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