The Science of Stupidity

Jeff Ihaza

To Halberstam, Miller’s concern with remix culture would be considered an exploration of low forms of culture, perhaps even silly. Miller would point to the allure of remix’s rise in the information age as a response to a changing set of circumstances as a digitized archive produces more democratized tools for expression. Miller’s fascination with the altered identities in digital spaces would, to Halberstam, be an interesting point of conversation. In Halberstam’s interview, he describes his book Dude, Where’s my Theory, as an intentional play on the cultural value of ostensibly low forms of culture. He takes as similar perspective with animation. All of these things, for Halberstam, are examples of the varied forms of archives from which we pull from. Miller sees something more universal in these forms of expression; he concerns himself with the machinations of this culture as opposed to Halberstam’s disconnectedly academic assessment of them. Miller writes,

“There’s always more than one map to the territory: You just have to intuit the terrain…Play your hand, find out what the dealer deals. The rest is remix.”

For Miller, the proliferation of remixed music and identities is, on a large scale, a reflection of the inherent code of our social structure. Both seem concerned with the idea of an inherently valuable quality to the art of the everyday.

On the subject of the third part of his book, Animation, Halberstam writes

“…An easy way, sort of ready at hand – so that we see that the alternative is all around us, rather than being in some arcane set of political practices that are still to be imagined.”

Miller’s assessment of the remix follows Halberstam in that it acknowledges the importance of thinking differently but Miller perhaps would take issue with Halberstam’s rigid taxonomy for forms of knowledge or epistemology

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