Design and Innovation Daily

TV vs. Web; the Amen Break

Posted in culture, theory by Dan on December 10, 2009

In a recent post on Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox (a column in which he posts summaries of his valuable usability research findings and advice), he compares the differences between the way media is consumed on TV and on the web. Even if it’s not relevant to your work, the comparison is an interesting reflection of the way content, hardware, process of consumption, form of experience, and social context all determine and depend on each other.

A couple days ago I heard a track by Wax Tailor, “Once Upon A Past”, which cleverly samples audio from a short documentary about the Amen Break, produced by Nate Harrison. Can I Get An Amen? “unfolds a critical perspective of perhaps the most sampled drum beat in the history of recorded music,” exploring its role in the development of hip hop and electronic music and its implications for copyright law and the world of art. Like the TV vs. web discussion, it also addresses the relationships between technology, culture, and the transformation of content (that is, music). You can watch the 18-minute documentary here, but if the QuickTime file disagrees with you, it’s also on YouTube.

I’ll be back with more on that topic tomorrow.


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