Il Mashup: some ds106 productions

I was unbelievably impressed with the mashups the internauts in ds106 came up with for our 9th assignment. I took a pretty different approach to video this semester, I stuck with it intensively for about 3 or 4 weeks. Andy Rush came in and blessed us with his new media prowess, particular all things digital video . That set the stage beautifully for the coming assignments which were very much geared towards the fast, cheap, and under control mentality. We were showing student how to mash the web with free resources fro downloading, decoding, re-compressing, and even basic editing for nothing. What’s more, we played only with the video editing systems they had on their machine. This sucked for Moviemaker folks, but it got done nonetheless. What’s more, it as remarkable to me how much can be accomplished with a few weeks of assignments and thinking about the grammar of video. I really believe this part of ds106 needs to be extrapolated to its own 15 week course that Andy Rush and I should team teach. It would be a blast, allow folks to stretch out time wise. And, what’s more, get schooled by Andy Rush about the intricacies of digital video. It’s both an art and a craft, and their is so much to know. We came far this semester, but we could have gone further had we the time.

That said, the fruit of the dss106 video labor is to me more than apparent, and they set the bar high for excellent work in this regard. In fact none of the mashups were bad, they were all very solid, but I’ll limit it to ten below to both filter and celebrate some remarkable work.

Notorious VS Marie Antoinette

To start off, Linday Wlaker’s idea to mash up Notorious (as in B.I.G.) and Marie Antoinette seemed insane at first. But when you realize how much hip hop culture and the 18th century French aristocracy had in common it is rather remarkable. The heart of the mashup, try and marry two unlike things and make them anew.

Shutter Island VS Harry Potter
Morrgan’s recut of the Harry Potter by way of the audio from the Shutter Island trailer is well done. What is apparent through this video is just how much Morrgan is getting the grove of editing down. Understanding what shots make an effect, and the final shot really brings this to the fore. The process of reediting a film (or films) she loves also gives her a sense of how that film makes meaning though cuts and edits. It is awesome to see an acute sense of the pace of editing emerge so quickly.

Andrew Ryan VS Walt Disney (A Bioshock mashup)
I really enjoyed Garrett Bush’s simple and very powerful idea of taking an extended monlogue from Bioshock’s Andrew Rya and mapping it onto a film of Walt Disney explaining the concept of the Magic Kingdom. The effects are rather chilling, give Ryan’s ultra-conservative vision of an Ayn Rand reality for the future. One we are very much a part of right now.

The Expendable VS The Power Rangers
Kevin Chernawski’s posts about his work are always as good as the work itself, and that is saying a lot. He always takes a moment to frame why he did what he did, and what drove him. It is usually short and to the point, but the impetus of nostalgia for including The Power Rangers in this piece informs for me so much of what drives us in this medium: nostalgia. And we are never too young to be nostalgic. This is extremely important to remember, but all too easy to forget.

Anchorman: the Legend of an American Psycho
Chris’s mashup is at once the funniest and darkest. it is remarkable how much Anchorman and American Psycho have in common. This is also solid through to the end, keeps a pacing with a hard conceit to keep going.

Sick Jams: Kid in basement VS Michael Jordan
I really liked the Sick Jams video by Wesley which mashes up a kid playing basketball in his basement alongside some of the sickest jams of Michael Jordan’s remarkable career. Unfortunately the audio soundtrack was tagged for copyright, so that has been rendering ineffectual for the moment. Additionally, quality of video clips could and should be higher, despite conversion.

Terminator Salvation VS Modern Warfare
I like the way Ed Martinez illustrates how similar film and video games aesthetics in general plot line are running these days. And while the audio editing needs work, I think this mashup is so interesting because it points in the direction movies and video games have been headed for years. And it does with a sense of common let’s move as well as an idea of being able to depart from some parts of the past.

Yosemite “Scarface” Sam
Kevin Hernandez’s Yosemite Scarface has some real potential to kinda blow up. It’s always great to see a Loony Tunes character, and Yosemite would make a very mean and intriguing Scarface. Fact is, Kevin had the idea, and with a few more clips with Yosemite Sam and some further audio and video editing this would have phenomenal.

New Moon Mash
Gretchen Houser’s mashup of Ten Ways to Lose a Guy and Twilight works in yet a third element, the New Moon trailer that mocks the original Twilight . So, what you have going here is three narrative simultaneously. And while Gretchen remarks about her dearth of creativeness, I think how quickly she picked up the process and started really dealing on three levels with a rather sophisticated re-cut was impressive. Particularly the first 1:28 so compelling is well worth a shout out here.

And last, but certainly not least, is Stephanie’s art mashup. She asked if she could just do an image mashup, I didn’t want to seem to biased towards video—even though I am— so I agreed. And I am glad I did, I love the way Stephanie frames this conceptual art piece for us in her post framing the piece.

I did it after seeing a video on an artist who did a piece with a sunken ship on a pile of ‘defect’ sculptures from a workshop.  He pointed out that they were almost all images of icons, and if you looked at each one they still looked perfect but were considered not good enough for sale.  He picked one of them out of the pile and put it on a shelf in his studio and suddenly instead of being one sculpture out of many, it became an icon again.

I love the way the icon can only really remain powerful when it is severed from any relationship of the other objects. Makes me think about the idea of iconography that much more deeply. How do we use these icons to embody an idea, something that can only happen in some kind of vacuum. I love the way the visual helps you read and see in ways we simply can’t capture with text alone.

OK, that’s all for my feature now, my next post if I get the time is to talk about the totally online and open version of ds106 I’m thinking about for this coming Spring. I have officially been given a second section of the course at UMW to do totally online, which pushes me to redesign the pieces and customize it to make a open version simply an amplification. Hopefully I can make sense of what I am thinking on that front soon.

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