by Latoya Peterson
I was tipped by Chrissy of the B-listed blog that DJ Spooky is at the Museum of Modern Art remixing the classic propaganda film The Birth of a Nation.
We interviewed performance artist and writer, DJ Spooky: That Subliminal Kid, on his latest project starting on Monday at MoMA here in NYC, where he is remixing controversial film Birth of a Nation. This event titled, MoMA Presents: DJ Spooky’s ‘Rebirth of a Nation” exposes and confronts the history of racism in this country. His “remix” exposes and confronts the history of racism in this country.
Our first post on this, got us wondering how he got the idea for such a project, so we decided to ask the man himself (find info on the event, starting on MONDAY at the end of the interview):
Why did you want to remix the film Birth of a Nation?
Watching the news, looking at Google, seeing how Youtube, watching films on cell phones, and stuff like the billboards in Times Sq changed the way people consume media content made me realize that in the last couple of years, we’ve had a massive sea-change in how media affects people. The 2004 election was the last election before Youtube, and you can see the way Bush’s people played with media – Swift Boat Veterans, weird innuendo etc. to make people believe crazy stuff – like Bush should be President. It made me look back at history and realize Birth of a Nation was still a big mirror held up to a very dysfunctional society.
How did you come up with the idea for this project?
Basically the elections of 2000 and 2004 made me realize that people can consume media without any critique. If you get into a cab in NY, you still hear many foreign cab drivers listening to Rush Limbaugh! I always want to ask them why they listen to such crap. Anyway, Birth of a Nation was the first film to show a flawed election, and it still has a deep resonance with us now that we have a Black President and the way the right wing is responding.
It’s being screened from June 22- June 28, just one short week.
NYC based readers, I need your help. While I desperately want to see this film, my schedule constraints are not allowing me to head up to NYC to check out. So I need readers who are willing to do one of two things:
1. Go watch the remix and put together a summary of what was shown and what was changed.
2. Other readers to just provide their impressions of the film. An impression can be anything from a couple sentences to a few paragraphs, but I am interested in your responses to the images presented.
If anyone want to do it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.