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Featured Artist: Wreck and Salvage

2009-06-25 16:29:09        Posted by: ikat381        Category: Copyright

Given that this trio of editors has chosen to give themselves the name "Wreck & Salvage," it's not surprising to find their body of work repeatedly raising the question of how we get value out of all the video footage that floods our lives. The sources W&S draw from are as varied as the internet: corporate news and commercials, internet memes, ephemeral daytime television, propaganda, archive footage, and plenty of amateur video, be it from youtube kids or soldiers serving in Iraq. Their artistic priorities are just as diverse: their Eadweard Muybridge tribute celebrates and explores the awkward magic of moving images; their "Saturday Morning" mix drives home the stifling forcefulness of ultra-bright, fast cutting, relentlessly mercenary children's programming; and the group doesn't mind putting together a quick detournement now and then to take the piss out of some of the more absurd excesses of right-wing propaganda (see "NOM: Gathering Gay Storm; SUPPENDAPO" for a recent example). W&S edits all this footage to look for ways to make it useful, either politically, socially, artistically, or all of the above.

All three members of W&S are comfortable with nearly any digital editing technique you could think of. But perhaps their most important contribution to online remixing is what they've accomplished with "farming" for footage. Some of their most powerful remixes are made up of extensively researched footage collections organized around various themes or subject matter: Club Iraq combines a large number of amateur video clips from soldiers in the Iraq war to give us a powerful and disturbing picture of the culture of military occupation; their Mt. Rushmore remix collects amateur video of the monument and traces the diverse motivations for getting your own personal recording of an image you could find on a million postcards; "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" builds a montage of soloists, amateur and professional, who appear in sequence and together sing the whole song. These exploratory remixes take the impulses of obsessive video-bin hunters and combine them with a movie editor's insight to sculpt raw footage into rich, rewarding videos. These guys advertise themselves as Wreckers and Salvagers, and they make good on that promise.





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