I have to be honest, I have generally been exhausted by ds106. It is the best thing I have ever been part of professionally, but it has been kicking my ass pretty regularly for the last four months, so I went into class last night low energy, unprepared, and generally feeling like I was at mile 22 or 23 of this nonstop marathon. But I was not totally without a plan, in previous semesters I had done a lot with rapid prototyping during class time as a way to get everyone excited about the possibilities of something like audio, video, the mashup, or fan fiction. It’s fun to give five or six groups of ds106 internauts the charge of creating something in less than an hour given what they have learned thus far. I’ve written about this before here, and last night I figured they had enough experience collectively with video that they could take on creating a video mashup in less than an hour.
I wanted to accomplish a couple of things here: 1) give them an introduction to the Internet Archive and the public domain, 2) help them think through the mashup by trying one before their assignment is due Saturday, and 3) help them realize what’s possible working collaboratively and creating something in less than an hour. And it is always remarkable to me how low energy a project like this starts out while everyone is dragging ass and complaining, but by the end of class everyone is staying late and getting excited to watch everyone’s work—the creative process has its own very powerful energy not unlike the force in Star Wars.
So the charge was simple, use a video from the Prelinger Archive, specifically the Coronet Instructional Films, to make a mashup around the social etiquette films such as “Are you popular?” or “Boys Beware.” There are a ton of 1950s instructional social etiquette videos ranging anywhere from hygiene to war to dating—-and it’s a revelation for everyone to see what a treasure trove of Americana history and culture the Prelinger Archive is. The mashups aren’t masterpieces, but they pretty damn fun given the limitations imposed, and that for me is part of the creative process in ds106: fast, cheap and out of control. An added bonus was that I was able to help those who didn’t know how detach audio, swap audio, clip video and audio, etc. —all things that wouldn’t have been touched on if we didn’t experiment together in the workshop model. This class should really be lab based. What’s more, a couple of groups ran into a problems with their original idea and that for me was an excellent opportunity to talk one-on-one about what might and might not work when trying your hand at the mashup.
Anyway, enough talk, here are some of the products of this rapid prototyping of mashups experiment:
And there are at least two more, if they become available I’ll update this post.