A Contemporary Curation: The Paradox of Creation

As a new, new media scholar, I would like to focus on what intrigues me the most about new media, and what makes it successful. That is,  the different ways in which participatory culture happens. While contributions to new media have no guidelines, there seem to be two very distinct categories. I will spend my time explaining, depicting and comparing the traditional creator vs. the contemporary curator in an attempt to address what I will call the “paradox of creation” while asking, is there such a thing as new media creation?

If not, where lies the future of new media? Will the political argument of creation vs curation always exist? Will curation become the “norm” ?

First, I would like to provide my stance on each subject. For the very reason that I believe curation is creation I will define and label the topics as follows:

Traditional creation: “new” unexplored media that is not based off of another’s work in any way shape or form.

Contemporary curation: “new” previously explored media that has been shown in a different light, with a new message.

There are two further distinctions that can be made for contemporary curation. First, there is conscious curation where the curator is intentionally taking another’s work and making it their own (Girl talk). Second, is influential curation where past experiences are the reason for the curator’s work.


This video shows an example of conscious curation.  Each song played was arguably different, with fundamentally the same rhythm.  Curations such as these have deeper value as songs than their melodies — while even they are quite different themselves.  A song’s value is a compilation of its melody, structure, portrayal and meaning, not any one single category.


This video portrays influential curation through the conceptual application of an idea. It is for this reason that creation must be defined as curation.  Every teacher explaining this subject is taking the existing idea and portraying it in their own words. All teachers are influenced by their teachings, when teaching.


This video indirectly represents the paradox of creation.  In order for something to be “fairly created”, it must be original. Well, here’s an example of an idea that was created several times over, by just redesigning and advancing its composure. Every new cell phone coming out is not an original idea, just a better version.  Originality must focus on a work’s composition, not individual parts.

The Future?

Creation Curation

To rip and share a clip without remixing it is in fact to state its value. It is good enough already; it does not need to be enhanced—at least not for the moment. The old maxim holds true on the web: “Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery”. (Fagerjord)

Our culture no longer bothers to use words like appropriation or borrowing to describe those very activities. Today’s audience isn’t listening at all – it’s participating. Indeed, audience is as antique a term as record, the one archaically passive, the other archaically physical. The record, not the remix, is the anomaly today. The remix is the very nature of the digital. (Gibson, 2005)

Fagerjord, Anders. “Beyond Convergence.” After Convergence: YouTube and Remix Culture. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 187-200. Print.

Gibson, W. (2005). God’s little toys. Wired, 13.7.

A Contemporary Curation: The Paradox of Creation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s