“I love fools’ experiments. I am always making them”
Charles Darwin, 1809-1882
Universal logo for mashups, concept by Zohar Manor-Abel, criticalflare.com
Brokeback to the Future. Must Like Jaws. Google Maps with just about anything. Danger Mouse’s the Grey Album. We just can’t escape mashups. When the very last music track, piece of software, data or film has been spliced with something else to create another new hybrid output, perhaps then, and only then, will the world rest easy.
Or maybe it shouldn’t. We could look at consumer-orientated mashup culture as just the start of something with even broader application. Taken to an extreme, I’m talking about mashing up entire industries. The marriage or mutation of skill sets inside an industry like marketing & communications, with those on the outside. The sole purpose of the experiment to devise radically new, hybrid forms of creativity.
Industries as diverse as architecture, astrophysics, poetry and genetic engineering are already showing us how it’s done, collaborating and cross-fertilising with each other to evolve. A BBC podcast not so long ago explored this whole area with almost Darwinian alacrity, a guest on the show summing up his take as follows:
“How do we produce original knowledge? …We no longer need specialist knowledge, but trans-disciplinary creative solutions.”
Andy Miah, editor of ‘Human Futures: Art in an Age of Uncertainty’
The implications for creative businesses seem particularly significant. Despite the pride the communications industry has taken historically in its ability to seek inspiration from far & wide, it’s undeniable that large chunks of it currently maintain a pretty insular, closed off existence.
Consider this then a rallying cry to break down the walls, take a step outside and embrace the new forms of creativity that lie waiting for us at the intersections with fields, disciplines & cultures different to our own.