Student Reflection – Let’s Talk – Girl Talk (1.2)

By Christopher Austin

Passionate about music and modern art, Girl Talk seemed like the natural choice for a topic.  To me, it is depressing to witness a discipline that is traditionally considered to promote creative growth stifling a wonderful new genre of music.  Sure.  I understand how Girl Talk’s work can be considered stealing, but I cannot help but question the motives of the original artists.  Are they upset that Girl Talk is changing the context of their work or is it all coming down to money and royalties?  I wanted to use this project as a means to vocalize my opinion on the subject and emphasize the significance of the mash-up genre through Greg Gillis’s story.

As far as challenges go, the biggest was acclimating to my computer program, Windows Movie Maker.  As this was the first video I have ever made, it was a little overwhelming at first.   So to ease the transition from paper to movie I just thought of the project as a paper I would simply narrate and illustrate.

Only using a video clip once, I placed it at the very beginning because I felt it encapsulated the predicament Gillis was in, as well as the gravity of the situation.  I also kept in mind that all of the finished projects were going to be played for the entire class.  As a result I tried to find pictures that would be appealing and recognizable to college age students.  For example, there were a myriad of other modern artists I could have selected to highlight the conflict evoked by appropriation, but both Warhol and his works were easily the most mainstream and worked just as well as the rest.  Using Girl Talk’s music in the background seemed fitting too.  Not only did it provide examples of the controversial music, I think it really helped keep the tempo of the movie going.

I realize this is not the most polished work ever produced, but after watching the project for the first time I was really pleased with the end result.  Instead of hypothetically describing the music in question, the audience actually hears it. Instead of describing how previous artists have run up against copyright law, they can actually see the works themselves.  While it was challenging to construct, I am glad I had the opportunity to create this project.  I think it really gives the viewer something extra I would not have been able to achieve with a traditional paper.