The Mashups of YouTube

Open access

Abstract

This article focuses on YouTube mashups and how we can understand them as a specific subgenre on YouTube. The Mashups are analysed as audiovisual recontextualizations that are given new meaning, e.g., via collaborative social communities or for individual promotional purposes. This is elaborated on throughout a discussion on Mashups as a mode of everyday bricolages, which are moreover discussed through a theoretical approach to Mashups as exponents of what has been called “Vernacular Creativity”. The article also argues that the novelty of Mashups is not be found in its formal characteristic, but rather in its social and communicative abilities within the YouTube community. This leads to the article’s overall argument that the main characteristic of the YouTube Mashup can be explained in terms of connectivity. It is argued that Mashups reveal a double articulation of connectivity; one that involves the social mechanisms of the Mashups, and another mode, which concerns the explicit embedding of structural connectivity that accentuates the medium-specific infrastructure of YouTube. This double articulation of connectivity is furthermore elaborated on by including Grusin and Bolter’s concept of remediation.

Methodologically, the article draws on empirical observations and examples of Mashups are included to demonstrate the article’s main arguments.

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