(French for cobbling together; handyman / DIY activities) Something constructed by whatever materials happen to be at hand; a whole created by a mishmash of disparate elements.

In Anthropology, a term introduced by French structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss. It referred to the process by which preliterate cultures acquired knowledge (The Savage Mind, 1966), and was characterized by improvisation, adaption and pragmatic reliance on available materials. The term has been expanded by cultural studies theorists to encorporate any process where appropriation and re-assembly of existing materials and signifiers generates new knowledge, identity and reality. Bricolage is often not entirely rational, intentional or planned, and is colored by the associations and resonances of the media used and the personality of the author. Concerns about an end product, if present at all, can be secondary to the process of production and discovery of the new. Bricolage can range from subculture fashions (Dick Hebdige, Subculture, the Meaning of Style) to the construction of a home page to a tech rep attempting to fix a customer's problem (Julian E. Orr, Talking About Machines : An Ethnography of a Modern Job).

Bricolage is the title of an Amon Tobin album, released in 1997 by Ninja Tune. True to its name, the music of Bricolage is a combination of styles (jazz, hip hop, film score, drum n bass, jungle) created entirely from samples. A brilliant album, though not in my opinion quite up to the quality of his masterpiece Supermodified.

1. Stoney Street
2. Easy Muffin
3. Yasawas
4. Creatures
5. Chomp Samba
6. New York Editor
7. Defocus
8. The Nasty
9. Bitter & Twisted
10. Wires & Snakes
11. One Day In My Garden
12. Dream Sequence
13. One Small Step
14. Mission