Transcription by Justin Hodgson
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In this, our second issue of The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects, our reviewers have decided to included four pieces, with the first two focusing on issues of remix and the latter two participating in particular kinds of memes. These projects raise various considerations that are vital to what it means to work in digital media these days. As such, we feel they not only offer critical insight into their given focuses, but also offer pedagogical value in terms of helping others understand not only what is at stake, but what is possible with digital video technologies.
[Textual marker: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – A Video Remix about Remix” by Clark Baxtresser and Avni Mehta; Project 1 – TheJUMPv1.2]
Our first project, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – A Video Remix About Remix,” was created by Clark Baxtresser and Avni Mehta of the University of Michigan. It was completed for Christopher Schmidt’s English 420: Technology and the Humanities course, and the assignment that gave impetus to this project asked students to create an argumentative video essay. The video tells us that “all ideas come from other ideas” and one of the things it does exceptionally well is to show us this relationality. And so while in calls into question issues of invention, of originality, or remix and how these all come to bear on issues of idea generation, it performs much of the things it is attempting to argue.
[Textual marker: “Let’s Talk – Girl Talk” by Christopher Austin; Project 2 – TheJUMPv1.2]
Our second project, “Let’s Talk – Girl Talk,” was created by Christopher Austin of the University of Minnesota. It was created for Geoffrey Sirc’s English 1501: Literature of Public Life course, and the assignment simply asked students to do a project on some aspect of public life. The public life aspect the video focuses on is the issue of Fair Use, and it gets us to and through this exploration by critically exploring how DJ/Remix artist Girl Talk, or Greg Gillis, does or does not meet the guides of Fair Use.
[Textual marker: “The One: Contagious Kindness”; Project 3 – TheJUMPv1.2]
Our third project, “The One: Contagious Kindness,” shifts our focus a bit. It was created by Christopher Cullen of Rowan University for Bill Wolff’s Writing, Research, and Technology course. The assignment that, uh, Professor Wolff assigned, asked students to make a video following the 50 People, One Question model (or what has become something of a meme), and here the focus is to use video to capture something of what it means to be human, of what is involved in the importance and value of human connection, of the connections between individuals This video asks people to narrow down their responses to one response, one answer, to the following question: “What random, contagious act of kindness will you do today?” Their responses reveal a little bit about all of us, I think.
[Textual marker: “Hitler Finds Out About the Downfall Parodies” by Michael Pfister; Project 4 – TheJUMPv1.2]
Our fourth project, “Hitler Finds Out About the Downfall Parodies,” was created by Michael Pfister of Rowan University. The project was created for Bill Wolff’s Writing, Research, and Technology course, and the assignment asked students to make their own video remix for the Hitler Downfall Meme. What this video does that makes it stand out a bit from the numerous other remixes within this meme—and there are a lot, as just doing a YouTube search for “Hitler” and “Downfall” yields over 3200 results—but this video turns its attention to the meme itself, to the parody itself, and makes critical comment on that issue. It exposes the very framework that gives it impetus, and attempts to situate us in a particular way in regard to this meme.
Overall, we are very happy to have these four projects comprise our second issue as they let us not only experience remixes and memes, but also to think about these issues, to call attention to the very expressions, and communicative styles, and rhetorical approaches that make them work. We hope you find them as engaging as we did and we look forward to seeing your comments and responses to these projects.
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