At this time almost five years ago, the first open DS106 was launching.

One of the early readings then was Gardner Campbell’s seminal A Personal Cyberinfrastructue (the fuel of the idea that became Domain of One’s Own) along with a suggestion to watch Gardner’s 2009 OpenEd talk No Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable About Open Educational Experiences.

There is a lot of powerful ideas in that nearly hour long talk. I know. I was sitting in the room. I can hear my voice cackling at some of the funnier lines.

But it also touched off one of the riff upon riff things that came to characterize the “DS106 way” — a series of “Bag of Gold” remixes . This was from his frustrated rant about trying to get his colleagues to appreciate the bag of gold that is the open internet.

It’s a bag of gold. What part of that do you not understand?

Tom Woodward did an audio remix. Martha Burtis blogged her contradictions after listening to Gardner’s talk then having to listen to a Blackboard Tutorial. Tom came backed and remixed his own music mix with a clip from a Blackboard “mashup” tutorial. Noise Professor remixed that into a video called Bag of Noise.

Meanwhile, Tim Owens did a kinetic typography video.

Rowan Peter remixed Gardner with Neil Young (not a bad combo to see in concert).

And on and on.

It was unpredictable web riffing. No one could have planned that. It just… happened.

In my prep work for the just getting underway Western106 I’d used a bit of Enrico Morricone’s music for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (the title is… The Ecstasy of Gold). That was Daily Create that turned into a promo piece called The Ecstasy of ds106.

So it dawned on me tonight I had Gardner’s Bag of Gold (here is the part where he starts the riff) along with a youtube video with Morricone’s music over the scene from The Good The Bad and the Ugly where Tuco, chased by Clint Eastwood’s character firing cannon balls at him, runs madly through the cemetery. He ultimately falls on the grave where supposedly all the gold is hidden.

That whispered to me “mashup”. The clip length I wanted from the Morricone music video was about 3 and half minutes — and that almost perfectly matched to the segment from Gardner’s talk from the opening right to where he says the Bag of Gold line.

How good can it be?

This is all done in iMovie, with the GBU track atop Gardner’s. I just picked a lot of segments in the top clip, and changed the opacity of it to almost non to almost full, playing with points where I wanted to emphasize one track, but almost always with overlap.

Then, just for fun, I added an audio clip towards the end of Jonah, Mikhail Gershovich’s son, who I recorded on a visit in 2011 where Jonah blurts out the Bag of Gold line.

Listen to see how that comes in… here we go, Yet Another Bag of Gold remmix “It’s an Ecstasy of a Bag of Gold”

That’s what we do in ds106. What are you going to do? Get yer wagons lined up and join us. See more details at

Top / Featured Image Credit: Screen capture from my own mashup; overlain clips of Gardner Campbell’s “No Digital Facelifts: Thinking the Unthinkable About Open Educational Experiences” found on YouTube and Ecstasy of Gold from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”by Enrico Morricone also found on YouTube. Who knows how to sort out those rights? Who cares? (I will find out when it gets flagged in YouTube)

The post "It’s an Ecstasy of a Bag of Gold" was originally yanked out of the teeth of a rabid chicken at CogDogBlog ( on January 12, 2016.


  • Paul

    I love mashups like this. Gardner’s talk was brilliant, and brilliantly delivered, but Morricone’s music heightens it in fascinating ways – the clang of the bell punctuating sentences, the music increasing in intensity as the speech does. Beautifully serendipitous.

    • Alan Levine aka CogDog

      Thanks Paul. I’m surprised and pleased sometimes when you start putting two different pieces of media together how they can work, sometimes it takes some nudging to line them up. The rising frantic=ness in Tuco’s running around the cemetery seemed to match the slow rising fervor of Gardner’s talk. And when I pulled out the length of Gardner’s clip right at the end was where Tuco landed on the grave marker…. if i was better I would have some how done a DS106 to be written on the marker.

  • Viv Rolfe

    Thank you for sharing these amazing artefacts with those of us that are uninitiated. And Johah definitely needs the Oscar.

  • Sandy Brown Jensen

    F-Ing BRILLIANT! The idea is totally out of the box and the execution is great. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the repeated line at the end. You have seriously outdone yourself.

    I did a blog post on Gardner’s Bag of Gold speech, but it was early days of learning how to tag for me. Now my blog is so deep I can’t find it, but anyway, this brings back great memories of how blown out of my seat I was by that speech.

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