Surely fame and fortune are not far off. . .

3 Responses to “Shamelessly YouTubeing It”
  1. Super, Galen! What’s the story behind it? I see Kyle is featuring it too…

  2. I don’t know that the “story” is all that interesting. I’ve been interested in the pairing of video art with new music for a while, and I felt that classical composers haven’t made much use of the capacity of the internet, and especially YouTube, to deliver video content. So figured I’d see if I could make it work.

    I decided that my piece Pulse-Point was a good candidate — it’s a one movement work just over 10 minutes long, so it would be a reasonable length and stand alone well, and it’s a good recording of a piece I’m very proud of and which I think has the potential for mass-market appeal, which makes it a good candidate for a site like YouTube where memetic infective power is key. has an archive of great public domain videos called The Prelinger Archive, which has things like corporate videos and advertisements, documentaries, and government propaganda. I searched around for something that I could make work, and I fell in love with the imagery of a video from 1953 called “The American Look.” I downloaded it, chopped it up, and re-ordered the best parts into a collage using *shudder* Windows Movie Maker. (I’ll definitely find a better video editor if I do anything like this again.)

    The great thing about the footage I chose is that it’s almost completely free of explicit communicative meaning — I did develop some obvious repeated patterns (groups of three, and the placement of the diver shot, for example) but they are purely aesthetic. I’m quite interested in divorcing iconic and semantic signs from meaningful syntax in order to focus the audience on the simple surface level aesthetics rather than on any sort traditional of “narrative”.

    Anyway, I hope people like it :) I feel like for my first ever forray into video art it’s not too bad.

  3. david toub says:

    Galen, very nice! I’ve been a fan of this piece in particular for some time, and am glad it’s coupled with visual imagery as well. Congratulations!