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Youtube Psychogeography Week One: 2382

In the 1950s, a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people's passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals. One of the early philosophies developed during that time was that of psychogeography, defined in 1955 by Guy Debord as "the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of individuals." It's main idea was to promote taking pedestrians off the beaten paths to rediscover cities and landscapes through new eyes, to produce a new awareness of the world around them.

Youtube. Home of cats, people yelling at video games and guys talking about Animorphs. Most of what gets watched are products intentionally designed to entertain or inform, and the few random "slice-of-life" videos that get popular self-advertise through commonly sought after keywords. Funny pets, epic fails, boobs, things like that. But for every succesful Youtube video, there are thousands that don't get a single view. These are typically cell phone videos that are automatically uploaded to Youtube without being given a proper title of set of keywords. These videos are not usually made with the intent to entertain or inform, but simply to preserve the moment, use Youtube as a full-motion photo album.

The typical title for these kind of videos are "IMG" and then a number. So, I've decided to random generate a number between 1 and 9999, and then watch the first eight videos that pop up. Consider this a Youtube psychogeography, the examination of life through random snapshots by taking paths we never would have before. This week's number is: 2382

#1

IMG 2382 (via scrubsaddict6)

A group of young adults sing an a ccapella rendition of "Party Rock Anthem," originally by LMFAO. The act of repurposing art is nothing new, we humans seem to have an innate understanding that there are only so many plots, so many songs, so many paintings one can make, and all one can do is to imbue it with our own subjective viewpoints. This is still considered valid art. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any such thing as covers, sampling, sequels, remakes, reboots, and so on.

"Party Rock Anthem" itself repurposes Rick Ross' "Hustling," transplanting lyrics about an exotic gangster paradise fantasy (the music video looks like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) and turning them in a generic block party jam. These young people, in turn, add a cultural flavor to the song (I can't say which culture, because I'm totally awful at identifying them by sight alone), which makes it both unique in it's own right and confirming the all-encompassing nature of the song. "Party Rock Anthem" is a tofu in which you can add any flavor you wish to it, it is core element art.

#2

IMG 2382 (via jonathanmyerslaverne)

A man tries to teach us brand promotion. While the man discusses how to sell things by such means as presenting a fun and positive environment to the customer, he in turn fails to sell himself. He keeps himself a far distance away from the camera, he sits informally on a set of stairs randomly decorated with an ugly plant-thing, he keeps cue cards in his hands and uses them often, and the vertical framing creates a constricted space that doesn't give the viewers any breathing space.

There is the possibility that this is an informal practice session of a speech he's going to give later, but if not, it presents the common disconnect between knowledge and the application of knowledge. This man has the facts in front of him, but seems incapable of implementing those facts himself in his presentation. This is often a fault in the modern education system, as most teachers will simply teach you facts for you to regurgitate later on tests instead of teaching you how to use those facts to assist you in the real world.

#3

IMG 2382 (via AnnaKatharineScott)

A girl band. If this is a cover, I don't recognize the song. They appear to be high schoolers, there is a school binder on the table in the foreground. They're OK. It appears to be some kind of formal establishment. Was I the only kid who didn't have an "afterschool hangout" like this? The Power Rangers had the juice bar, Boy Meets World had that restaurant place, Saved by the Bell had the restaurant place ATTACHED TO THE SCHOOL... Was I just never a kid?

#4

IMG 2382 (via KrisssRenee)

Kids play basketball.

From Rob Ager: "In 2001: A Space Odyssey, variations on the same haunting piece of music, taken from Gyorgi Ligetti's Requiem, seem to occur every time an evolutionary step is being taken. We hear this music when the apes first encounter the monolith in the dawn of man, when the astronauts encounter a second monolith in the Tycho moon crater and when Dave Bowman encounters the third monolith near Jupiter. This music is the singing voice of the monolith and that it sings when it is helping its primitive hosts to evolve. During the stargate, which is preceded by shots Jupiter, Ligetti's requiem blends seemlessly into another Ligetti piece called Atmospheres. Atmospheres is heard at the very beginning of the film over a black screen and later repeats during the intermission just before the astronauts do battle with the HAL 9000 computer, again over a black screen. In the films opening and during the intermission, we are not looking at an empty black screen at all. We are looking directly at the surface of the monolith. The monolith is the film screen and it is singing directly at its audience in the same way that the apes and astronauts are entranced by its heavenly voice, not realising that they are being communicated with directly.

The most deceiving aspect of the screen association is that for most of the film the monolith is seen standing upright. If it had been depicted horizontally then it wouldn’t have taken long for reviewers to crack this piece of the puzzle. The connection is also more difficult to make because the upright monoliths are slightly too long to fit the widely used 35mm cinema screen exactly. However, looking at 2001's production history we find that the film was originally shot in 70mm Cinerama format and after it's first release using expensive 70mm triple projectors, 2001 was re-released in 35mm format for a wider distribution.

2001 is Kubricks baby, a giant conceptual puzzle that is challenging us to expand our consciousness. It demands that we think on higher and more complex levels. Kubrick expects each of us to evolve by using our untapped intelligence to carefully decode the messages of his cinematic masterpiece. Only after we have made this great mental effort will a full understanding of the films true meanings "dawn" upon us."

#5

IMG 2382 (via yeshuailoveyou)

A celebration. Men and boys (fathers and sons?) dance while all the women stand around them clapping and swaying. If this is just a boys-only number or if this is simply the custom, I'm unsure. Kind of makes me think of a middle eastern hokey-pokey. Bright colors and high energy of this, the Party Rock video and the girl band video contrast with the bland black-and-white color scheme of the formal instructional video. Art is collaborative, knowledge is lonely.

#6

IMG 2382 (via nevilleaga1)

A man in a post office catalogs electronic equipment he just acquired. He strikes me as a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He's working on a major project, but is informal enough about it to open up a bunch of packages on the floor of a post office. He's wearing a wedding ring, I can just imagine him putting computers together in the den while his wife is in the kitchen, playing Bejeweled on the laptop, randomly remembering the time she met him for the first time at the drinking fountain of a major church function. He was really cute back then. He's still cute, she really thinks the salt-and-pepper hair suits him, but the sex just isn't the same, the connection there is dulled and they have to use that energy for other projects. He has his computer junk, she has her classes. She hopes to become an emergency dispatcher, she's got the time for it now that their daughter has gone off to college.

Just glad nobody stepped on his stuff.

#7

IMG 2382 (via kylicor2)

Pony riding lessons. Not many girls get to actually live the dream.

She looks so lonely.

#8

IMG 2382 (via AhmazingBaawmb)

Poetry.

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