Rebekah Modrak’s latest essay ““My Work is Yours to Do What I Want” was published in “Forking Paths in New Media Art Practices: Investigating Remix,” a special issue for Media-N, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal from the New Media Caucus, dedicated to critical dialogue on new media art. This special issue of Media-N on contemporary approaches to remix was inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’s short story, “The Garden of Forking Paths,” a recurring point of reference in the development of media culture. Borges’s narrative exploration of remix was a means of reflecting on the possibility of multiple simultaneous realities with no clear beginning or end. His imaginings offered a literary and philosophical model for creative uses of emerging technology throughout the twentieth century.
“My Work is Yours to Do What I Want” relies on remix to tell the story of Peter Buchanan-Smith and Peter Smith-Buchanan. In this truthful story that often reads as fiction, a cast of characters, including wagyu beef, Professor Skiller’s forgotten payment, and the law firm of Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, are entwined in acts of manipulation, machismo, and disturbances of consumer culture.