Media jamming in the presidential election

Howard Dean’s post-Iowa primary “yeagh!” is now famous. This has provided the opportunity for musicians (and geeks) to rework and remix his speech to music. At last count there were 45 remixes available for discerning political pundits. All it took was one person to come up with the idea to do a remix of Dean’s speech, plenty more jumped on board, and it became a media phenomenon.

This is a fantastic illustration of what I call “media jamming”: taking media and playing with it, improvising variations and twists, then feeding it back into the media system. We can now all participate in the whole media infrastructure by how we rework and reinterpret what flows, building it into a ever-evolving feedback loop instead of simply a one-to-many broadcast system.

The other great example of this recently was when Cherie Blair sang the Beatles tune “When I’m 64” in response to demands for a song at a Chinese press conference, and it was remixed as an Ibizadance hit. Her song was also rumored to be available as a mobile ringtone.

These are some early and evident examples of what will develop into an entire world of media jamming. This promises lots of fun in store!