The Original Remix

The Original Remix is a three-dimensional online museum gallery simulation filled with nine digitally glitched and remixed classic renaissance artworks. The works were selected from a Google image search ranking of the most popular works of renaissance art of all time (“most popular renaissance paintings”). After I had collected the images, I reopened the downloaded files using the TextEdit program. This process displays the image as code instead of the downloaded visual, and affords the opportunity to manipulate the text code and save the image slightly digitally “glitched.” Upon reopening the photo, the visual image will be different to a varying degree, depending on to what extent different parts of the code were altered. However, while this process is relatively simple, altering too much of the code could disappear the image completely, and certain sections also had the potential to be erased completely if the wrong code was altered.

The initial goal of this process was a way for me to appreciate and experiment with the relationship between classic fine art skill and digital tools in making the artwork to populate the gallery. The intentionality behind the three-dimensional simulation itself was twofold: first, I wished to add another element of classic art to the digital and traditional artwork conversation I was aiming to inspire for visitors; second, I have always had a great appreciation for museum galleries and their curation, and I wonder what role digital places with have in replacing or changing museums in the future.

Creating the mash ups provided an interesting angle for me to consider how the cultures of classical fine art skill and digital tools are colliding within the art world, and how the two methods of creation were so vastly different when applied to the same piece. However, as I began making the pieces to fill the gallery, I also began to consider how, while these two methods by definition seemed almost like opposites, they were not actually so vastly different. As such I decided to add a new element to the gallery and pose the question of originality of a classic fine art piece when adding such a drastically different element, like digital remixing. When making the works I varied the amount of remixing to see what amount of alteration would be considered enough to redefine the piece. I feel that this question of originality is also very interesting as originals can now be so easily duplicated in an increasingly digital world. I placed a text canvas at the start of the gallery, requesting that visitors to the digital space leave their thoughts and engage in this discussion of originality, fine art, and digital remixing.

Overall this piece helped me experiment with the major themes from the course of authenticity, digital remix, online space, and traditional artwork. I found my experience making the project to be very educational, and oftentimes unanticipated, which helped grow my curiosity about this subject. I hope that others will find this conversation worthwhile, and leave comments when they visit the gallery. To view The Original Remix and participate in the conversation, visit: