Project : Remix

Description and examples

In this project, you will produce a substantive creative work by remixing and/or adapting creative works by others.

For example, you could:

  • Write a story or poem that incorporates material from other texts.

  • Use images, text, links, etc. to create a website that tells a story or communicates an idea.

  • Use some images to make a collage (either using digital tools, or by printing out the images and making a physical collage), or digitally alter the images somehow.

  • Download the code for one or more images in the Context Free Art Gallery and modify/combine them to make your own remix.

  • Make a video that adapts/remixes other video and audio material.

These examples are not meant to be an exhaustive list of options. You should feel free to do something not on the above list (take a series of photographs? make a painting? write a song? needlepoint stitching?), or to mix multiple types of media, as long as you follow the guidelines below.

The project is due at 5:00 pm on December 4.


Below are some resources that may be helpful to you. These are also far from exhaustive; there is LOTS more creative work out there licensed for adaptation and reuse! Just search for it. For example, if you want to find some modern poetry licensed for adaptation, you certainly can—just do a Google search for something like “creative commons poetry” and see what turns up.


  • You must somehow make use of two or more other creative works.

  • The used portions or influence of the other creative works must be somehow recognizable. For example, you can’t just take a few colors from an image or only a word or two from a text. However, recognizable does not necessarily mean obvious. It’s OK if the use or influence of the other creative works needs to be pointed out in order to see it.

    • Note that you don’t necessarily have to literally reuse portions of the other creative works. For example, you could write a story whose plot closely mirrors another story, but with different characters and details. This could be a recognizable use (especially if the other story has a well-known or easily recognizable plot) even if it does not literally quote any material from the other source. For instance, this kind of thing is often done with Shakespeare plays (e.g. Ten Things I Hate About You).
  • On the other hand, your use needs to be transformative. That is, you must make something recognizably new; you are not just changing something about the existing creative works, but using them to make something new. For example, putting two poems one after the other, or changing a single word of a poem would not normally be considered transformative.

  • The other creative works you use must be explicitly available for adaptation and reuse.
    • For example, they could be in the public domain.
    • Or they could be licensed under a Creative Commons license
      • …but not a Creative Commons NoDerivatives license!
    • Or they could be licensed under some other suitable license.
    • You may not use any other copyrighted works.
      • Note that an argument could easily be made that adapting a copyrighted creative work in a transformative way for a class project falls under fair use and hence is allowed under copyright law.
      • However, the point is not (only) to make sure your project is legal, but also to help you explore the ideas of free culture we have discussed in class.
  • Creative works used must be cited/attributed properly.
    • For example, to properly attribute Creative Commons-licensed works, see Best practices for attribution.
    • If you are not sure of the proper way to attribute a source, just ask.
  • You must note your copyright and any license you wish to apply to your remixed/derivative work.
    • For example, you could write “Copyright 2020 by Firstname Lastname”.
    • If any of the original creative works used are licensed under a ShareAlike license, then under the terms of that license you must use the same (or a more restrictive) license for your work.
    • Otherwise, you are strongly encouraged (though not required) to license your work under a Creative Commons license of your choosing. See Marking your work with a CC license for help.


Along with your finished creative work, you should write a 1 page reflection on your creative process. For example, you might consider questions such as:

  • How did you choose other creative works to make use of in your project? Was it easy or difficult to find them?
  • How did the works you chose affect your own creative process?
  • What was your creative process? How you made use of your chosen creative works?
  • Did your perspective on your chosen works or their creator(s) change as a result of using them in your own work? If so, how?


The project is worth 150 points, broken down as follows:

  • 40 points: Your creative work displays originality and effort on your part.
  • 10 points: Your work makes use of at least two other creative works.
  • 20 points: Your work makes transformative use of the other works: not just repeating them but turning them into something else.
  • 20 points: Your creative work uses the other works in a recognizable way (possibly with an explanation in the reflection).
  • 10 points: Copyright notice
  • 25 points: Proper attribution of works used
  • 25 points: Reflection


You should submit the following files by uploading them to this Dropbox link:

  • Any files necessary to transmit your creative work or explain how to find it. For example:
    • A text document, if you created some kind of text
    • A .jpg or .png if you created some kind of image
    • A .zip file if you created a collection of images or texts
    • If you created something which requires a very large file (for example, audio or video), it may be easier to upload your work to a public site such as SoundCloud, Vimeo, or YouTube, and then simply submit a text document with a link to a URL where your project can be found.
  • A text document containing your copyright declaration, license, and proper attribution of the other creative works you used.

  • A text document describing and reflecting on your creative process, as explained above.

  • If you choose, you may combine multiple text documents into one, as long as you are clear about the different sections. For example, if you write a story, you could put the story, copyright, attributions, and reflection all in the same document. Putting everything in one document is not necessarily better—do whatever you think is most clear.

  • All files can be submitted via this Dropbox link.