Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where "everything is a remix."

Why you should listen

What's a remix? In Kirby Ferguson's view, any piece of art that contains a recognizable reference to another work--a quote from a lyric, a borrowed riff, a filmic homage. Which makes almost everything a remix, from a Led Zeppelin song to a classic film from George Lucas. His deeply researched and insanely fun four-part web series, "Everything Is a Remix," dives into the question: Is remixing a form of creativity, a production of the new on the shoulders of what precedes it, or is it just copying? He comes out firmly on the side of creativity, calling for protections for people who, with good intentions, weave together bits of existing culture into something fresh and relevant.

His next web series is called "This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory," an attempt to explore how US politics came to be the way they are.

What others say

"It's interesting, well researched, and visually delightful." — On The Media

Kirby Ferguson’s TED talks

Kirby Ferguson on the TED Blog

Culture

Everything is a remix: Kirby Ferguson at TEDGlobal 2012

June 29, 2012

In 1964 Bob Dylan was near the pinnacle of his career, pouring out now-classic songs at a near-miraculous pace. But a few critics claim that he is stealing other people’s songs. Could it be true? Ferguson plays “Nottamun Town,” a traditional folks song, then Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War,” and asks us to hear the […]

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Quotes from Kirby Ferguson

We have a strong predisposition towards protecting what we feel is ours; we have no such aversion towards copying what other people have.
Kirby Ferguson
TEDGlobal 2012 • 838K views Aug 2012
Persuasive, Informative
We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another. Admitting this to ourselves isn't an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness, it's a liberation from our misconceptions.
Kirby Ferguson
TEDGlobal 2012 • 838K views Aug 2012
Persuasive, Informative
Creative works may indeed be kind of like property, but it's property that we're all building on.
Kirby Ferguson
TEDGlobal 2012 • 838K views Aug 2012
Persuasive, Informative