We are the music makers tips

In Loving Memory: Brandon Chris Swartwood (1982 2000)

Research findings have indicated the social and psychological importance of the Web as a communal site where private grief can be expressed and responded to by others with similar experiences. Sites such as www.1000deaths.com provide an entire community of grief The possibility of immediate response on the Web may help the makers of video tributes in the sense that the subject of their loss is acknowledged by an audience. Also, there are comments written in sympathy and support of the videomaker and messages that convey that deeper sense of understanding only extended by someone who has endured a similar hardship. Meanwhile, by putting family images and private grief on display in the form of a video tribute, individuals also expose themselves to mere voyeurism and the fact that, on YouTube, total strangers will look at their private tragedy, and whether or not they cry when looking, there is also the thrill of the real, the inexplicable attraction of spectacular deaths, and a sense of relief. On YouTube, the perverse voyeurism implied in the suicide memorial is emphasized by the archival logic of sorting videos into a cluster according to a specific theme. As a result, tributes to victims of suicide appear side by side with videos promising spectacular suicides in realtime.41 230 231 Form

Teen Suicide - A memorial video

From Grief Culture to Rhetorical Construction The suicide memorial is the label of a specific category of video tributes on YouTube. Similar to websites organized by, and in support of, relatives struck by the loss, grief and desperation caused by the suicides of loved ones, the suicide memorial most clearly offers a private shrine for public use which is at the same time a site that may provide comfort, or communal consolation, to a virtual community based on shared loss. Similar to videos made in memory of dead children (death by accident According to the information provided by organizations and fundraisers in connection with suicide memorials on YouTube, harassment and school bullying represent an important social problem that also explains the high rate of teenagers and young adults who commit suicide in the US every year. Bullying leads to bullycide is a typical message conveyed by the organized suicide memorial. In the fragmentary account of an interlinked series of photographs, the actual life story of the deceased can only be imagined, and a description of the complex reality of mental 22 22 Form

In Tribute to Jeff Soriano, a patchwork of photographs

dates of the deceased. A text insert clarifies: On April 20, 2007 Jeff Nielson Santodomingo Soriano died tragically in a car accident. Sori anos tombstone is shown in the following image, and then a caption informs the viewer that June 22, 2008 would have been his 20th birthday [] but we, all of his friends and family will always remember the good times with him. The ensuing montage of snapshots show Jeff as a baby, Jeff and his cousins growing up, Jeff as a student, and party images of Jeff and his friends. Different from the regular funeral video, this is an elaborate collage of a large amount of photographs that rhythmically appears to the music in singular frames, or by two or several in the same image. In the final sequence, the camera pulls back to reveal an immense patchwork of photographs, which finally morphs into one big portrait of Jeff. A final caption ends the video: We will never forget you, Jeff. So far, the video has been seen by 351 viewers, although the small number of text commentaries are mostly posted by other friends and relatives, all positive and encouraging. RegiSor94 reads and answers the questions written in response to his work, and he recently made a new tribute to Soriano. In the introduction that appears below the title of the video, he writes:This is a video that is long overdue. I edited the original version for a commemorative DVD for my cousin, but I always wanted to upload it for all of his friends and family. I wanted to make people aware of this truly tragic event, which was only triggered by that other incredibly tragic event at Virginia Tech. But I truly re-edited this to insure that we all never forget Jeff, a truly wonderful person. To Jeff, this ones for you, cousin. We all miss you very much. You were one of the good ones. And special thanks to his brother Eugene for keeping Jeff in our hearts and minds. And to Jana, for rekindling his memory in me so that I could create this video for everyone. The music is Switchfoots This is Your Life. 30 Aside from the important aspect of domestic representation, the memorial videos filmic quality of animated photographs accompanied by sound suggests a reference to the history of amateur film. Similar to the family film, the video tribute often reproduces the blurred images of the home movie. In terms of social representation it provides a fragmentary, anonymous and incomplete record, while nevertheless indicating obvious markers of class, race and gender. Yet, there are decisive differences between the memorial video tribute and the home movie that go beyond the different media technologies per se. The maker of a memorial video does not typically consider videomaking a hobby, nor does she or he make a record of the happy now of family life to be reviewed later on. However, there are examples that bring attention to the interrelated practices of the home movie, the video tribute and amateur filmmaking. In Tribute to Jeff Soriano was made by one of his cousins who, in 2007 shortly after a lethal car accident, added this video on YouTube , under the name of RegiSor94.29 It begins with an image from the accident site, where somebody put a piece of wood with the name and Apparently, the contributor is not only a grieving relative, but an amateur interested in montage technique and cinematic effects. In contrast to the majority of video tributes on YouTube, the latter tribute to Soriano consists of home movies depicting the cousins at various family events at different points in the young Sorianos life. It is an example where the videomaker has chosen to explore the dramatic impact of intertitles while editing the home-movie fragments into a narrative that 22 22 Form

Rest in Peace, in memory of Tracy Pagani

Video tributes are commonly entitled In Memory of X, For X, or Xs Funeral Video, i.e. the loss and commemoration is immediately suggested by the title. In combination with the music, which in most cases seems to have been chosen to emphasize the sad fact of death or the pride with which the memory of the deceased is celebrated, family images transmit the temporal dramaturgy that Roland Barthes ascribed to the affective impact of the photograph. He is dead and he is going to die yet images show somebody uncannily unaware of the approaching ending.8 A series of photographs presenting a person from early childhood to a recent moment preceding her or his death has an existential impact, reinforced by the chosen score, to stress the unique narrative of each individual life story, and to deplore the loss and missed opportunities of a life that was ended too soon. The presence of absence enacted by photographs, and the contrast between the happiness suggested by family footage and the irrevocable fact of death, represent the universal content of the memorial tribute video. Reinforced by the rhythmic and affective frame provided by the music, this representation brings attention to the uses and functions of traditional family footage, within and beyond the context of digital media. A closer look at a single example will illuminate some of these general characteristics in relation to the particular Web context of reception and immediate communication. The video is entitled The Letter. To the sound of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss song Please read the letter that I wrote the title is presented in a red caption. A blurred shot reveals the back of a man approaching a tombstone, followed by a closeup view of the inscription Melinda Ann Smith Beachy. As the song plays, the video presents a series of photographs showing Melinda in her wedding gown, vacation snapshots, as well as fragments of everyday life: Melinda playing with the dogs, reading on a sofa, looking up from her computer, or driving a car. The moving sequence from the beginning of the video reappears once, and there are a few photographs of the grieving husband before the screen darkens as the song fades away. Aside from the video, there are about 40 commentaries posted in reaction to it on YouTube the spontaneous feedback by some of the videos 26,263 viewers.9 Vern Beachy made this tribute in memory of his wife, and in answer to his audience he reveals that Melinda committed suicide. One commentary testifies to the coincidental discovery that usually characterizes the reception of YouTube material, and the existential impact and possibly cathartic relief or morbid voyeurism involved in glimpsing the pain of others:I have to thank you for the reply. I didnt expect it. I was having a somewhat bad day at work, took a lunch break to look at a video, and was looking for the video that goes with that song and yours came up. After 220 221 Form

Slightly graphic: A classic Get Some video

The first category, the so-called Get Some clips, is named after a phrase commonly used by members of the US military: Get some! is the unofficial Marine Corps cheer. Its shouted when a brother Marine is struggling to beat his personal best in a fitness run. It punctuates stories told at night about getting laid in whorehouses in Thailand and Australia. Its the cry of exhilaration after firing a burst from a .50-caliber machine gun. Get some! expresses in two simple words the excitement, fear, feelings of power and the erotic-tinged thrill that come from confronting the extreme physical and emotional challenges posed by death. 11 Consequently, the typical Get Some video shows intense, sometimes violent military action, usually involving powerful military hardware, and is almost always set to heavy metal (such as Slayer, Drowning Pool or Slipknot) or rap music (with Tupac Shakur being a particular favorite). The Get Some clips are more often than not a rapid-fire series of images or short moving clips set to aggressive, hardcore music.12 Despite the musical accompaniment, many of these videos include live, original audio and dialogue, often with troops indicating pleasure and exhilaration during the heat of battle. A classic example of the Get Some video would be A Bullet With a Name on It, uploaded by WilcoUSMC.13 The video was set to the heavy-metal song of the same name by the band NonPoint. The video opens (in silence) with a quote from the Bibles 23rd Psalm: I will fear no evil, for you are with me, followed by the start of the music and a fade-in to a US soldier pointing a rifle out a window. The video is a typical compilation of still images and video footage, including a large number of clips showing gunfire and large explosions. The clip ends with a fade to black and the words Semper Fidelis (always faithful). USMC/Iraq Video (Graphic)14 by gyleake also opens with a section (albeit a paraphrase) of the 23rd Psalm (We shall fear no evil) set to the song This Is the New Shit by Marilyn Manson. The video is a skillfully edited piece of work, with the tempo of the still images edited to coincide with the tempo of the music. As the music reaches the climax (sexual connotation intended), the video shifts from still images to live action showing the troops. Unlike A Bullet With a Name on It, USMC/ Iraq Video contains extremely graphic images, footage of dead Iraqi soldiers and thermal-imaging footage of individuals being killed on the ground. The clip concludes with images from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York (an association made in a number of such videos)15 and a final picture of a piece of heavy artillery with the words livin the dream 07 . There is one Get Some video that is worthy of particular attention, as it has been posted and re-posted on a number of occasions. Footage of the November 2004 siege of Fallujah, shot by Corporal Jan M. Bender, 20 20 Form

The teen remediation of Kiss

expect), the differences between the two can only really be seen in a direct comparison (which is made easier by a split-screen version that the user also uploaded). That the gender coding of dance movements, despite all their sexual equivocalness, can also result in ambiguities is made clear by an additional example. In a corner of his room, a teenager performs Princes Kiss from 1986, wearing a three-quarter T-shirt and a leather jacket and precisely imitating the singers hip movements. Then a friend comes into the image from the side, playing air guitar, his stature still relatively untouched by puberty. As the word kiss is sung, the older boy kisses the younger one, who giggles and retreats from his advances, and the sexual tension immediately explodes into fragments of a childish game, unspoken homoeroticism and intense embarrassment. What moves into the image here is the teenagers room as the narcissistic cell of star/fan subjectification, as Tom Holert writes, but who is a fan of whom remains unclear.15 Even beyond the If we wanted to define teenagers bedrooms as heterotopias as described by Foucault, they might be understood as equally private and public, actually existing and utopian, performative and transgressive spaces. At issue in this utopia is not an imaginary that appears in strict separation from the given as its beyond, but the transgression and transformation potentials of the given. In a radio version of the heterotopia essay, Foucault explores in quite emphatic terms heterotopias as counterspaces:These counter-spaces, these localized utopias, the children know them perfectly. Of course, there is the garden, there is the attic, or rather the Indian tent in the attic. And, on Thursday afternoon, there is the parents bed. [] These counter-spaces were not truly invented by the children alone, quite simply because it seems that children never invent anything. On the contrary, it is the adults who have invented the children 1 1 Form

JemessandEms Abba-dancing queen

For the specific form of circular reference and activities within the user community, the structure of the YouTube page is important. It pools the activities of the prosumer and makes rapid links between videos possible. Without the portal function of YouTube, the circular activity of receiving, producing and commenting would be theoretically possible, but much more complicated, and thus not very enticing. Regarding the situation of reception, YouTube realizes in contrast to television a form 1 1 Form

Julia Nunes version of Its raining men, the weather girls

While YouTube comments follow this contextual logic also, the frequent use of the word talent can be understood in an entirely different way. Expressed in this writing style are not least the difficulties of formulating aesthetic criticism, since what is needed here is not just talent, but also knowledge, practice and work that go beyond spontaneous expressions of approval or disapproval. Seen in this way, it is much less an omnipresent excellence and talent scouting perpetuated amongst the users; rather, talent is used as a basically empty signifier whenever the writer is at a loss for words, whenever an aesthetic critique cannot be formulated. Series of exclamation points or the repetition of a single letter often also point to the void of not having anything substantial to say: Rock it cutie!!!!!!!!! Hmmmmmmmmmm ... , Comments thus stand in the context of a subjectification that takes place through the expression of thrill, agreement or rejection. Roland Barthes once made a list of things that he loved, and a list of things 14 1 Form

Minimal setting in Video killed the radio star

aesthetic randomness is apparently accepted easily: this randomness contrasts profoundly with the thoroughly designed video clips to which the performances refer. But it is precisely this lack of self-consciousness that leads to considerations that not so much emphasize the amateur status of the YouTube video,11 but makes their very mediacy the center of attention. For instance, a logic of recording is clearly active here, one to which the digital or digitalized video is still subject. Naturally, a video camera registers whatever is visible from a certain angle, even if it is contrary to the makers intent. While the focus is solely on the performance of the actors, the framing of the images reveals much more: the room dcor thus supplements the video. This supplementary aspect of the image in turn forms the aesthetic surplus of the YouTube video. Moreover, these videos find their way into VJ sets12 as artifacts of an authenticity that can scarcely be achieved professionally; they are also broadcast on MTV or reused in advertising.13 These remediations make it clear that the break between analog and digital media is based less on the materiality of the recording process than the increased and instantaneous possibilities of distributing what is recorded. However, it also becomes clear that home dances are not just about amateur self-alteration along professional aesthetic standards. The difference between professional and amateur does not seem particularly applicable here, for it is questionable whether the so-called amateurs judge themselves according to professional standards, or according to the commentaries and answers of other users listed on the YouTube website. In fact, the obvious imperfection of the videos creates a kind of archive of poses and images, its range of elements played repeatedly and varied. This archive is accessible by means of a computer only, through YouTube to be specific. The computer is thus the center of events. As a consequence, there are hardly any home videos that negate or conceal the digital device to which they are addressed. Either the action takes place directly in front of the computer, or computers are more or less explicitly part of the image. The computer is thus always a node in this arrangement as a medium of reference to existing texts, poses and videos already in circulation and at the same time as a medium of distribution of the performers own performance in the future. It could also be said that the actors are engaged with symbolic structures and mediation while a new media structure is in the process of inauguration 12 13 Form

Boffopys Video killed the radio star

These remakes are attempts at reenacting what is now a historical music video, which itself declares another medium historical. That is a classic new wave music video, as one user writes. To be able to decide who really was there, the users ask one another, How old are you? But of course, in the process of remediation taking place here, that is, in the process of gaining something new from imitating, quoting and varying the old, 8 it hardly makes a difference whether the video was actually seen on TV in 1981 or on YouTube in 2009. For Video Killed the Radio Star awaits with a series of allusions, reminiscences and condensations that describe and initiate a break in the history of media. In many ways the key transformation introduced by YouTube has to do with the possibility of creating remakes or reenactments as home videos and distributing them easily. Movement and dance are not just elements of the video clip that is being consumed, but can be added in home videos as an activity of the prosumer. 9 What was previously done with pop songs at home using mobile audio devices, be they on 10 11 Form