Addictive TV is a duo of multimedia artists from London. They use music and video remixes almost in all of their gigs. On 4 December 2009, they performed in Jakarta. The next day, Wok the Rock interviewed one of the Addictive TV members Graham and the group’s manager Francoise. The interview was conducted in ruangrupa on 5 December 09, Ade Darmawan of ruangrupa was also present at that time.
About a movement that’s starting to bubble, getting caught with trousers down, and some other things.
Wok : Do you use downloaded movie for your remix?
Graham : Not often. Because sometimes the quality wasn’t so good. Usually the Americans who done them. So they came in NTSC or in small 564 type(?). It’s okay if you played it in small clubs. But when you played it in big screen, it looks shitty.
Wok : But Torrent also provide a DVD rip. Some VTS types also.
Graham : Yeah. Sometimes we can find a good quality video there. Sometimes we used downloaded video. In one gig, we remix the thunderbird. The one from the 60s. Most of the clips were from DVD. But there’s one scene when the guy and the rich lady, Penelope, in the car. We can’t find it anywhere. So we download from torrent. But the quality wasn’t really good. So we used smaller screen.
Some of the DVD that we used, we bought them in market like Mangga Dua. or in China. Also in Moscow. We bought these like ten films for 100 thousand rupiahs. And the quality was quite good. If you buy all of this film from shops, it can be very expensive. We don’t know if the quality is good or not. Sometimes we just try it, to see if we can remix it. Sometimes we can not remix it at all. We have to buy many films, and watch it if we can use it as a sample. In the UK, one film can be 15-25 poundsterling. It can be very expensive if you buy more and more film.
Wok : Do you see yourselves as promoter of Creative Commons?
Graham : Actually we are colleague. When we’re in SXSW last year. And they had a little stand. We talked to the guys there. Works that are under Creative Commons license arent’ the type of works that we like to remix. Works like documentary. And also you’re not allowed to commercially exploit it. If you can’t commercially exploit it, it’s not really the works that we want to use.. We choose to just take Hollywood films and do it illegally. We’re also talking with the studios and the BBC. All of this kind of people keep saying, Please come on. You have to open our library. Because this whole culture, it started to bubbling. When you cook something, and you put the chicken in, the vegetables then you fill out some water and it started cooking. It haven’t cooked yet, but it’s bubbling. You’re using the same phrase, when you’re telling about art, the art movement. The scenes are bubbling. It’s not yet ready, but it’s started to happen. It’s an english phrase. And I think with what we’re doing, with Megamix Militia, I think it’s bubbling under. In five, maybe ten years, we’ll be ready.
And now finally we’ve started to find good people. People within the studio or the BBC. They started to understand. They started to think, this stuff is really happening.
Francoise : And the strange thing is , it’s not yet beginning in the music industry, they are so slow in catching up. It wouldn’t make sense to remix the music from 50s and 60s. It’s very difficult to access the patent and to get your right.
Wok : Except for Public Domain.
Graham: Yes except for Public Domain.
Ade : So mostly, you did it illegally?
Graham : Well… (laugh). It’s obviously ,a yes, we did. I think what else can we do?
Wok : Can you tell me more about your James Bond case?
Graham : That’s very funny. That’s very strange. It was because we made this remix. Which was a homage. It’s like when you like something and you pay a tribute. We took all the James Bond movie and we mix it into one remix. We performed it live in the National Theatre in London. Because we’ve done quite a lot project in the National Theatre. They are quite a big venue in London. They’re doing fundraising. They held a big dinner for very very very rich people. I’m sure you’ve had heard about this, it’s very popular in America. and especially in England where they had many funding in arts. There, they got rich patrons, like big TV producers, famous actor, and they all sit around in the table. Like they have big dinner. Similar like they do with fundraising for politics in America. This people pay a lot to be included in these things. So this is the audience. It’s not for public. It’s for all of these rich people who are patrons of the National Theatre. And they also have this auction where famous people will say “Take me to the dinner” and people started to pay for 5.000 or 10.000, 50.000 dollars. They bid to pay for the charity. They also think that they are getting something because they’re gonna have dinner with the famous people.
Because we had done projects with the National Theatre. And they asked many many people who already done projects with the National Theatre, such as play, theater, music, to perform for 10 minutes. Each groups gave 10 minutes performance. And one of the prize that they gave was to view and visit the film set of 007. In the place where they made all of the James bond movie. And to meet Daniel Craig, the new James Bond. That was the last prize. And we’re thinking, hey we gonna have to chase this prize. It would be great if we do the remix of James Bond. But what we didn’t know was that some of the producers of all James Bond films were among the audience, like Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, who is the daughter of Cubby Broccoli. All of these people. And no one had ever shown them the illegal mixing of their film. Within the 10 second after we play our remix, Michael G. Wilson jumped to the stage. And he was very angry. He jumped to the stage and coming at us, and he said where all of these images coming from? What the fuck are you doing? I’m producing all of the James Bond movie, from the beginning. This is illegal. And we’re like “Shit!”. And in English, there is a phrase “Caught up with your trousers down”. It’s like you’re having sex with your secretary and you got caught with your pants down. And we’re like caught up with our trousers down.
Francoise : And also for this remix, we sample all of the James Bond movie, including the new one. The new film just got released, so this was his main concern.
Graham: Actually the new film, has not been played yet in the cinema. But two days before, there’s a royal premiere of the new film, the Casino Royale. There’s the Queen, and then this guy also came. A Big premiere. And they showed a little clip of the movie in TV. So we take this little clip from TV. And add some scratch to it. So when he asked “Where the fuck are you taking this clip?” and we said “from TV!”. We said “two days ago from the TV”. We said we didn’t have a copy of this film. We haven’t seen the film. Well, he’s just really really angry.
Francoise : But after the screening, the audience clapped. And the reaction was really really good. We thought somebody would call the police or we’ll get a letter from a lawyer but nothing happened.
Graham :Yeah, tip the wood!
Francoise : Fortunately!
Graham: And we are never gonna play this anymore. We’ll never gonna use James Bond anymore. It’s too dangerous.
Francoise : But it’s too bad because it’s such a good remix. And we spent a lot of work and time to make it.
Graham : We would play it yesterday in the tour, but there’s too many people. And too many camera. We don’t want people to film it. But we would play it in a talk or in private situation. Where nobody has camera, or nobody has anything to record it with.
Francoise : Do you think in Yogyakarta there are a better scene for mixing and mash ups artist than in Jakarta?
Wok: But they are not playing in the big clubs. More like playing in the small gigs. There are lots of them, especially young people.
Graham : It’s funny, because the guys who organize this and in some interview, they didn’t know if there anybody else who does similar things in Indonesia. I said it’s not many, but there’s few in Indonesia. And they asked where? and I said in Yogyakarta. I told them about Megamix Militia.