RECollection, volume 1: a new view on collaboration from Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Arts & Film, Blog, Books, Film, Music, Technology.


RECollection, volume 1, the first “tactile experience” from hitRECord.org, the web-based collaborative production company founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was released on Tuesday. If it’s not immediately obvious to you what a “web-based collaborative production company” is, or what a “tactile experience” is, allow me to explain. A “tactile experience” is a book, CD and DVD anthology of some of the best work (or records, as they call it) created by the members of hitRECord.org. hitRECord.org is basically an open platform website where artists of all kinds are invited to upload anything they are working on. The idea is to promote collaboration, or “remixes” as they call it. Once you join, you can download (for free) anything that anyone has uploaded, and remix it, and re-upload it. It’s a brilliantly simple idea and it allows for artists all over the globe to collaborate and produce some pretty beautiful art. You could easily spend hours just browsing around the website, watching each step of the creative process as it filters through any number of people.

Although in RECollection, volume 1 you will only see finished records, on the hitRECord website you can see the entire process that went into making them. The “Morgan M. Morgansen” short films (which are included as dvds) are clearly the site’s best and most complete work. The process by which these films were created (films which, by the way, were presented at Sundance and SXSW this year) reveal the many ways that collaboration is not only critical to art, but also can lead to something that ultimately is greater than the sum of its parts. Some 1,201 contributions from 471 people went into the records in RECollection, volume 1, and the scope and beauty of the book speaks to the sheer power of artistic collaboration.

There are over 50,000 people that are a part of hitRECord and so the possibilities for future collaborations and creations are virtually endless. It’s unclear why hitRECord decided to make a book – something so analog and tacticle – out of something that is so glorious in its shifting, amoebic nature, but I guess it’s all part of being truly multi-media. I highly recommend at least a visit to the hitRECord website. RECollections, volume 1 is a beautiful book, but it you can also get most of the content for free on the hitRECord.com, not to mention that you can delve into the creative background of each record to see exactly who did which part of the piece. The hitRECord model may very well be the future of media and the creative process, so check it out soon!

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