by Justin Hodgson
The assignment was fairly wide open and so the projects I received with this prompt ranged from pop-culture expressions and political moments to the inspirational and introspective. But what I think made this project stand out is not only the quality of the work, but the fact that the student offers a kind of commentary without expressly saying anything. His project helps us understand just how connected these separate moments and elements really are. Normally, we see the VMA incident as being separate from the artists’ works or we view President Obama’s comments as being separate (but related) to the event, and while we may make connections, the elements/moments involved remain distinct. But by bringing them together, nearly seamlessly, David has folded the larger complexity of this “incident” into a singular auditory expression—a connected, layered, intertwined expression.
Also, one of the characteristics of this project that make it an excellent creation for a class on invention, a class where we talk about the inventive possibilities of interruptions and obstructions, a class were we discuss performative contradictions and “writing the paradigm,” is that David uses interruptions as a guide, as an inventive structure, while managing to make them not feel like interruptions at all. The flow in this piece and the fit of the elements together kind of fly in the face of the interruptive/inventive approach at work. It could have been disjunctive; it could have had breaks and pauses, alternate commentaries, competing musical tracks, but by having the elements work together rather than against one another, his work makes commentary on interruptions without interrupting our experience of that commentary. Additionally, it expresses how these moments are complimentary rather than disruptive: i.e, Kanye West doesn’t interruptive Taylor Swift as strictly an act of negation but rather he adds another layer to the moment, to the experience.