Here’s a roundup of academic takes on fandom remixes that might be of interest to fans:
- At the digital industry conference NEXTBerlin, presenter James Bridle utilized fan fiction in his talk “Metaphors Considered Harmful.” The piece was about the development and changes in stories over time and across storytellers: “Every time we retell the same stories we are also acting on them, we are changing them in some fundamental way.” He included a segment on Fifty Shades of Grey‘s evolution from Twilight fanfic, saying “There’s a lot of anger about it from professional writers and publishers because they don’t like fanfiction, they think that that’s somehow a lower form of writing. But they’re idiots because Borges wrote fanfiction as well.” After explaining how Borges rewrote Lovecraft who rewrote Poe, he said “All of these stories are layered one on top of the other.”
- Bridle then cited fans’ use of Omegle to write Harry Potter roleplay fic and explained slash to the audience. He noted that the fact that they are queer stories often authored by women opens up a whole discourse on why the audience might want to take possession of the stories, and that slash fiction adds characters, voices and ideas not existing in the original stories. He then comes to his thesis which is that too much happening in the technology world is attempting to stick close to canon rather than opening itself up to new ways of thinking. (No transcript available)
- An example of what Bridle was driving at can be found in Classic Movies in Miniature Style. Turkish art student Murat Palta created it as part of a graduation thesis. “It all started 2 years ago with an experiment to blend traditional ‘oriental’ (Ottoman) motifs and contemporary ‘western’ cinema. After a positive response to “Ottoman Star Wars”, I decided to take the theme further, and developed more film posters using the same technique. Combining global with local, traditional with contemporary, and adding a bit of humor made it a fun and rewarding experience for me.” It also suggested Bridle might be right when he concluded that “the Internet is human fanfiction.”
If you’re part of Twilight, Harry Potter, or Star Wars fandoms or have things to say about how fanworks and remixes are part of a global culture, why not write about it in Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.
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