In business, like in any other sphere of life, the development of new ideas is based on the incorporation and remixing of old ones. According to Ferguson (2015), everything created by humans in the contemporary world is a remix since people are using old findings, existing knowledge, and ideas to reinterpret them and present them as new and innovative ones. Indeed, the same goes for artists, such as painters, singers, writers, and movie directors. As Austin Kleon states in his TEDx Talks presentation (2012), the special technique of remaking or remixing existing pieces of art and using the best examples to deliver new messages originated in the works of William Burroughs and other masters of mash-ups and other techniques. In this paper, the remixing techniques used in the work of a Swedish film director Roy Andersson will be analyzed.
The 2014 award-winning film “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” is a collection of 39 small sketch-like episodes portraying various absurdist life situations. The signs of remix might be used in such areas as camera work, plot development, and scene design. Indeed, as the director himself states in an interview, he was inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya, whose style may be noticed in the film (Roddy, 2015). Also, Andersson uses the painting of Peter Bruegel, “The Hunters in the Snow,” to create the title for the motion picture. As for the camera work, all the scenes are shot with the camera motionlessly installed in the studio, which reminds the paintings of Edward Hopper. In addition, the scene designs with the setting, character placement, and color choices also remind of Hopper’s paintings. As for the absurd in the plot, Andersson states that he used the motifs from “Don Quichotte” by Cervantes and “Of Mice and Men” by Steinbeck (Roddy, 2015). Thus, the film director remixes the visual and plot-related elements to arrange them in his movie for the delivery of an absurdist but innovative movie.
In summary, innovation in the contemporary world is relative since it is commonly based on the ideas that have already existed. Remixing the elements considered to be the most valuable, the authors try to achieve new levels of success and deliver new meanings, as in the case of Andersson. However, the same issues apply to the world of business, where the innovation in business models is based on restructuring and rearranging the existing approaches and techniques.
Ferguson, K. (2011). Everything is a remix Part 2 [Video]. Vimeo.
Roddy, M. (2015). Behind the absurdly comic work of Roy Andersson, and his movie that doesn’t look like other movies. Fast Company. Web.
TEDx Talks. (2012). Steal like an artist: Austin Kleon at TEDxKC [Video]. YouTube. Web.