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Somebody, pinch me

For my Digital Page and Web class, we have to do an eight page magazine layout featuring a celebrity. I needed a little bit more of a theme in place, so I chose Joseph Gordon Levitt, focusing on the business he started a couple years ago: hitRECord.org. It’s now a professional production company for artists.

Whatever you submit to the site (visual, written, audio, anything) is called a record. Whatever you put on the site has to be your own work, and once it’s there, it’s fair game. If you use someone’s work, you give them credit (obviously). Now that RegularJOE (his hitRECord username) has made it official, he chooses records that he thinks are really great and funds their production. Any money made from the project goes 50/50 to the artist(s) and back into hitRECord. It’s called the New Deal.

Here it is in video form:

So many artist now are resampling work of other artists or collaborating, bringing new perspectives to the art world. I think collaboration is becoming a new genre in itself. Art, communication, creativity, it’s all becoming a conversation and Joe is using the resource everyone can access all over the world, and making people’s work something signifigant.

Many stars promote reading, or anti-drug campaigns or animal shelters. They throw a non-profit some money and do the voice over for the commercial. Yes, donating to these causes is fantastic, but what Joe is doing for the art world is giving people an opportunity to show their talent in a way they might not have been able to otherwise and he is seeing it along the whole way. His own updates on the site pretty regularly. He did a lot of promotion at Sundance this year.

Here’s one of my favorite records:

He says it in the video, but I think this is a nice artist statement, “Open communication is at the heart of human progress, and I’m not saying that hitRECord is the key to that kind of communication, but I think it’s a good baby step in the right direction.”

Are you recording?

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