Category Archives: Reading Response 2 (May 26)

Reading Response 2 — Alysia Lisanti

1.  The idea of Roland Barthes’ “tissue of quotations” relates to the context of Manovich’s viewpoint because it demonstrates that there is not a set meaning on anything original. In Barthes’ case, he is referring to specifically just text, but this concept extends to new media as well. With technology today, it can sometimes be challenging to create original content because there is a temptation to view existing subject matter, and derive parts of it to create something new. This is also readily available to a large population of people, so really anyone with the basic knowledge of software techniques are capable of remodelling something to their personal liking. Anything that can be found on the Internet or seen in the media is vulnerable for being remade. There are many instances of this, such as inspirational artwork, website platforms like Format, Tumblr, and Wix, even recipes in cookbooks; all can be remade and altered to suit the individual’s preference. The idea that there is not “a single ‘theological’ meaning” (3), according to Barthes, will remain true as long as media exists.

 “In software-driven production environment, these quotations come not only from the creators’ memories of what they previously saw, read, and heard, but also directly from the databases of media assets, as well as numerous other words that in the case of the World Wide Web are just a click away.”

-Lev Manovich, Who is the Author? Sampling / Remixing / Open Source (3).

Some Examples:



Looking at an “original” piece and its transformations; Original publicity still for the 1953 film Niagara (left), Andy Warhol, 1962 (middle), & Gary Andrew Clarke, 2014 (right). -A website dedicated to the similarities certain songs share in common.


2.  From what I gathered, there is a slight but distinct difference between remixing and resampling, according to Manovich’s definition. Remixing is the manipulation and remodeling of an existing piece of content, and resampling is a collage of pre-made material used to create something new. (Put simply, a remix adjusts something that is already made, and a resample does not exist until it is built by piecing content together). Initially, these techniques were only used in the music industry, as Manovich mentions, but they have now expanded beyond this. An example that directly targets online art and web design is the very notion of creating a new website. There is the option of using pre-existing templates that can be adjusted to suit personal preferences. Creators can also take existing coding and build something completely new. A specific instance of is the customization of a Tumblr theme; they are readily available and allow users to edit html for minor adjustments and personalization. Themes can also be created from blank documents as well; resampling can be made by gathering existing codes such as scrolling options and typeface choices and combined to build something completely new.


A distasteful example of an original song & a remix. (Note: more like a remake).

Original (Double Take, 2012.)

“Remix” (Dave Days, 2012.)


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Reading Response #2 – Jacqueline Carlos

1. Why does Manovich use Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe how new media is made and the role of software in its construction?

Manovich uses Barthes’ idea of “tissue of quotations” to describe new media production and software construction to illustrate its complexity as a concept. New media and software are created by users who’s basis of understanding pull from previously learned contexts, quotations if you will. Everything created in new media and software is made with the acceptance that it can and will one day be modified or referenced as the designers themselves are doing when creating their work. Manovich uses the example of House artists well to illustrate this concept. While a house artist is creating work through sampling and remixing their intention for work is to have their music played in a setting in which another DJ can and probably will change their work for their needs. Another example of this accepted continuous growth of change is authorship by selection. Tumblr layouts illustrate this idea quite perfectly. You can find a layout you like from another site (usually a tumblog that is dedicated to layouts) and copy their HTML into your theme editor. The user is then faced with simplified choices to make through dropdowns and colour pickers rather than having to hack away at the code themselves. The creators of the layout had learned their concepts from previous layouts and created their open source layouts for others to use and subsequently learn off of. The idea that creators are creating from the knowledge of the past examples for the users of the future creates a woven web of constant improvement, a network for a never-ending open work, a tissue of quotations.


2. What is the difference between “remixing” and “sampling” and how do these concepts apply to online art and web design? Provide a few examples.

To simplify the difference between remixing and sampling is to say remixing is a reworked new version and sampling is like quoting. Manovich describes remixing as a systematic reworking of a source to render the word appropriation obsolete. Sampling, similar to remixing is a rework of a source but it is more used to pull something old into something new to serve a different purpose by putting it  in a different context. These concepts can be applied to online art and web design in the way that it changes the way something is presented in consequence, perceived.


An example of remixing in online art would be Vanessa Omoregie’s online photo series called CamGirl Project. It pulls images of naked women in classical art and overlays “nudie pics” of modern day women in the same position on top of them. The intention of pieces are to provoke questioning of the sexualization of the woman figure but the intention of the work to be an image work remains. There is an obvious systematic rework of the classical imagery for the conversation of feminism to create a new version of art. This appropriation pulls from the exact fundamentals of remixing.

An example of sampling would be this remix of a playthrough channel’s audio. The reason this is a sample example instead of a remix example is because the context in which the represented work is changed. The voices are samples from a channel on YouTube where they make jokes over video game footage. The intention of the original audio was far from being an actual song. From this, the creator was able to make a new piece, online content for the YouTube community. The idea that the old was pulled to make something new for a different purpose is very evident in the context of Game Grumps remixes.


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Reading Response #2

by Emily-Rose Gibbons

Why does Manovich use Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe how new media is made and the role of software in its construction?

Manovich uses Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” as a way of describing the way that “innumerable centres of culture” (page 3) are drawn upon to influence a single piece by a single author. Ideas are borrowed from a myriad of resources, “other than that of the creators’ memories of what they previously saw, read and heard”, and pieced together into a single work.  The notion of “original author” is blurred as a result.

What is the difference between “remixing” and “sampling” and how do these concepts apply to online art and web design? Provide a few examples. 

Remixing is the “systematic reworking of a source” (page 7).  Sampling, on the other hand, is the taking a small “sample” sometimes from part of a larger whole piece and placing that sample in another piece. In the context of music, for example, a sample would involve taking a “central element of [a] composition” (page 7) and reworking that element into a larger piece. Remixing involves editing the existing elements of a composition (slowing down, changing the order, etc.) rather than just a piece or sample of a different composition.

The concepts of remixing and sampling relate directly to online art and web design in that oftentimes the artists are making use of/”borrowing”  open source software, coding syntax (perhaps copied and later modified from online forums such as StackOverflow or sites like GitHub), web frameworks (such as the ones available from Bootstrap), images, videos, among many other media to incorporate into or create one’s own work.


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Reading Response 2 – Lindsey Luckevich

Manovich uses the idea of a “tissue of quotations” to explore the notion of new media as pastiche. All software is indebted to the technical developments of the preceding programs. When working within a specific technology, nothing is ever really “new” just expanded or redeveloped. New media artists and software designers work in a field where their mode of production and their medium are well suited for meta exposition. With access to materials in their medium about their medium, artists engage with the “tissue of quotations” to create context for their work

Remixing, indebted to the multi track mixer, has come to refer to any reworking of an existing piece of media. Remixing views a piece of media as parts of a whole and works to deconstruct and repurpose these fragments into something new. As Manovich says, remixing implies a systematic rearranging of the whole text. A web example of this is Youtube Poop, which is a genre of youtube video where existing clips, generally from television shows, are chopped and mixed for humour, to be deliberately annoying, sometimes both.

The multimedia art distribution website Newhive actually offers users a “remix” feature where they are given access to the elements of other people’s pages and are free to create a new page from the content.

Contrast this with sampling, which is more like inserting fragments of something old into a new piece. This is the mode of production on YTMND, one of the oldest sites of meme culture on the internet. Users sample whatever content they choose, combining small fragments of media into a larger piece. The most viewed YTMND piece of the day is this one, which combines a Daft Punk song, an image of Keanu Reeves as Neo and audio of Keanu Reeves in Johnny Mnemonic saying he needs a computer to create a new piece about online. I really like this YTMND I think it says a lot about web experiences? Click thru:

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 11.16.21 PM

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Reading Response 2

Why does Manovich use Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe how new media is made and the role of software in its construction?


Manovich refers to Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe new media because of all of the influence that is thrust upon a piece of new media art. There are so many different things that influence the creator of a piece of new media art that come together to form a coherent piece of work.


What is the difference between “remixing” and “sampling” and how do these concepts apply to online art and web design? Provide a few examples.

Remixing refers more towards changing something. It takes an idea or piece and recreates it through different means of presentation. Manovich uses this term to refer to music, which is the most common thing that people think of when they hear of remixes. Many times when you download an album, it’ll come with remixed versions of the artist’s bigger hits.

It is also quite common to see this amongst “fan art”. Fans of some sort of popular movie or show who are also artistically inclined will often take some kind of well known painting or something equivalent and essentially “remix” it with the characters of which they are referring to.

DarthVaderNapoleon LegoMonaLisa

Sampling on the other hand refers more to taking certain elements of one thing and combining it directly with another. This differs from the act of taking an original and remaking it almost exactly with a few changes, which is essentially what remixing is. Sampling requires more combining than blending. This can be more prominent in television shows, when shows created by the same production company decide to do cross over episodes. They are combining two shows to make one episode, which is something new in itself.

Web design can take a lot of influence in the form remixing and resampling. Taking old ideas and trying to make them appealing to the new aesthetics can be one way of looking at it when it comes to designing layouts and content. As styles change, there is nothing that is safe. Cars, clothes, furniture, even water bottles have changed to be more aesthetically appealing. There is no doubt website designers would have to adjust the look of a website as styles change. They can look at changes – what has changed and how it has changed – and decipher what is no longer “out” and what is “in”.

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Reading Response 2 – Laura Rojas

1. Why does Manovich use Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe how new media is made and the role of software in its construction?

Manovich makes reference to Barthes’ idea that cultural texts are created from “a variety of writings, none of them original, [which] bend and clash.” (p. 3). Like cultural texts, new media and software are products made up of a tissue of quotations much like written words, but gathering from outside sources like databases or through the internet instead. These online, coding languages which form the backbone of the online world are created from elements which are universal and hardly original, repeated from site to site.

2. What is the difference between “remixing” and “sampling” and how do these concepts apply to online art and web design? Provide a few examples.

The difference between remixing and sampling is rooted in the way a finished work makes reference to the original work where chunks of ideas were taken from.

The term ‘remixing’ is used when an original piece of something, most commonly music, is reworked into something else which still retains some original elements and is recognizable as a reworked piece instead of something completely new. RAC (“Remix Artist Collective”) is an example of an electronic artist who sprouted his (now very successful) musical career off of remixing popular songs. Manovich defines the practice of remixing as “systematically rearranging a whole text.” (p. 7)

“Sampling” comes into play when a piece or part of a song, for example, is detached from the original stem and incorporated into a different work, often not credited in the immediate title. One great example is The Avalanches, a band who released an (amazing) album called Since I Left You which contained around 3,500 sampled bits and pieces of songs. This term is equivalent to “quoting” which Manovich defines as “inserting some fragments from old texts into the new one.” (p. 7)

How do these concepts apply to online art and design? In Models of Authorship in New Media, Malovich talks a little about the Open Source Model which allows for the remixing and sampling of software code by users with good intentions. I feel like these concepts apply to online art and design in exactly the same way. There are definitely works which stem off of other works, as well as works which are “remixed” by artists through the power of the internet. Online collaboration is alive and well, and all the products of this practice can be said to be remixed/sampled.

An example of sampling online can be found on’s Searching for Michelle site, particularly on this page. The private detective listing is actually from a show called Bored to Death (a really good HBO comedy starring Jason Shwartzman, Zack Galifinakis, and Ted Danson) in which Shwartzman is posing as a private detective by making a fake add on Craigslist. The add that appears on that page of SFM, along with the background text, is from the first episode of the show.

Another example of remixed/sampled online artwork can be seen all over the internet with examples ranging from work created through emojis, to glitch art which you could argue takes the aesthetic from broken code and remixes it into deliberate art.

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Reading Response 2 – Michael Montana

Hi all,

So as far as the question go, here is my take on them. In Who is the Author? Manovich describes cultural text as “tissue of quotations“. In terms of how this describes New Media, it really relates to trends. That meaning that when something “big” becomes popular many small companies try to cash into the “hype”, an example would be some social media applications; Tinder, Facebook, YouTube, Skype these are just the big ones. Websites like these became majorly popular though they are not “original” ideas. Similar sites like Friendster, Myspace, LinkedIn, Hi5 have all derived from social networking websites that were made in 1995 or even earlier. When looking back at what Manovich stated, it seems to be true. It stays true as well for the construction of software. With the free information movement, many offer their software as open source and accessible to the public. It can be seen in many operation systems; Linux/GNU, Unix (OSX) and Windows are now user friendly with graphical user interface as they derived from Xerox. Apple’s Unix is available for free on their website, and with this anyone can reverse engineer their OS and create their own. Similarly to how Linux distributions are, there are hundreds of different Linux OS out there like Arch, Gentoo, Redhat, Fedora, Mint etc. These are all “freeware”. Getting back to the question: Why does Manovich use Roland Barthes’ idea of a “tissue of quotations” to describe how new media is made and the role of software in its construction? It is mainly due to how everything derives from something, improved upon, taking from different sources and some become lucky and make it big in the market.

When talking about “remixing” and “sampling” one can see them in terms of a painting versus a collage. That being that sampling is similar to a collage and remixing can be seen as the painting.

This is a rough visualization of what a remix is, that being that the left image is the original versus the one on the left as the remix. In term of how this would apply to online art and web design, you can see this clearly in the layouts. The user interface in most web design are essentially just “remixes” of each other. That being, no one is trying to “reinvent the wheel” to how the menu is perceived or how it works. This can be seen through many video playing websites, every media player in existence is just a “remix” of other media players, however that is not necessarily bad considering people are familiar with the interfaces and it’s good in terms of universal design. When applying this to online art, it can be seen when looking at glitch art. Almost all glitch art is the same in terms of aesthetics, but there are millions of variations to glitch art. Sampling in online art is more so seen in “vaporwave” as it appropriates images and “collages” them together in a arguably random manner.

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Reading Response 2- Sophia Oppel

1. In his text “The Death of the Author”, Roland Barthes employs the analogy of a “tissue of quotations” to describe a text derived from many sources. In this case, the act of re-contextualization becomes more important than a single, all powerful author and the reader or viewer has more say in the conceptual reading of a text. As no content can be truly “original,” multiple connotations can be drawn from a work that are equally valid. By placing Barthes quotation within the context of new media software construction, Manovich is effectively citing the implicit authorship of the software as another borrowed conceptual framework. Additionally, within the networked practice, single authorship becomes a deconstructed notion, replaced by the democratic availability of software and files so that anyone can effectively re-interpret a text until the ‘original’ author is no longer a presence.

2. Remixing is a more holistic reworking of a single text, while sampling is the quotation of one or more texts into another. Remixing can be largely expanded to the reworking of an individual score, implying the systematic alteration of a whole track. In contemporary music practice it is common for each element of a song to be available for remixing. Manovich states that the practice of remixing began largely in the 1970s and consisted of merely changing the weight of various elements of a track. By the 1980s remix culture became more experimental and adaptive, juxtaposing unlikely track elements together. Sampling, on the other hand, can be aptly compared to collage or montage, but is not synonymous with the modernist scope of the early twentieth century. Sampling began to take effect in the 1980s, and would thus fit more accurately into a postmodern mentality. Rather than the self-contained editing of one piece in remixing, sampling employs borrowing and citing of many sources to create multi-faceted text.

As contemporary digital culture is very much based on re-contextualization and the subjective ordering of audio-visual stimulus on cites like Tumblr, Pintrest, or even Contemporary Art Daily, remixing and sampling are incredibly relevant. It is now normal to view images completely devoid of context within the larger strata of a website.

An interesting example of digital remixing found on the web is glitch art- both stills and GIFS which edit the coding of one single image (or a few frames from the same filmic source). The glitching scrambles around the original visual information into a new aesthetic composition; while the original textual material is there, the reading of the piece is completely altered.

Here are a few examples pulled from tumblr:


glitch gif from


glitch GIF from


still glitch from


Jon Rafman’s Betamale , a video exploration of the furthest reaches of internet detritus, employs a great deal of sampling in its combination of video, stills and audio. These many sources serve as an index of digitally reliant culture and the mass overload of unrelated stimulus.

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