Exercise 3


“Self-Portrait Screen” (Mash-up)


    » Due: 05-Aug
    500 words + 2 media types/forms (min­i­mum); 10 points
    –or– ~300 words with original/edited media (e.g. GIF, video, audio clip)

Exer­cise (Project warm-up): “Per­sonal Data­base Sam­pling“
Select materials/images and “char­ac­ters” from at least two of your “per­sonal data­bases”: Autobio/Family, Com­mu­nity, School/Career (field), Entertainment/Culture.
Use these in mash-up (“high con­cept”) fash­ion to present a “self-portrait” of your medi­ated iden­tity in Elec­tracy (mul­ti­ple modes).


» for­mula: Mash-up tech­nique — sam­pling & sequenc­ing var­i­ous voices (cf. Rice & Brown) — in cre­ative re-purposing, using Web logic of play & per­for­mance (Elec­tracy).
Exam­ple form (Relay): “sketch com­edy” scene — remake, imper­son­ation, imag­ined sce­nario with “sig­na­ture style” traits.

  • “Char­ac­ters”: indi­vid­u­als from Fam­ily & Career Field, for exam­ple, meet­ing Enter­tain­ment icons

  • Set­ting: scene from Enter­tain­ment data­base?
    (for exam­ple, a favorite child­hood game; an film per­son­ally impor­tant; a TV show location)

  • Nar­ra­tive   Argu­ment Sketch/Scene: cre­ated, not using exist­ing sto­ry­lines, using “ready­made” materials.
      → recall Brown: the mash-up per­forms its argu­ment (rather than mak­ing an argu­ment about copy­right, cre­ativ­ity, etc.)

Key Objective/Strategy:

    » Use/apply lessons from your study­ing Par­tic­i­pa­tory Cul­ture forms: humor, play, re-purposing; phrases, iconog­ra­phy, ges­tures, style; emo­tion, atti­tude, mood.


» Com­pos­ing Guide: (some tech­niques for Project 2 as well)

    key con­cepts for com­pos­ing: intu­ition, asso­ci­a­tion, infer­ence (per­sonal mean­ing, not for oth­ers); cre­ate “vir­tual mood” of thought exper­i­ment through sen­sory details — even if “non­sense” (like memes, music videos, other pop­u­lar forms of dig­i­tal media)


  • Orga­ni­za­tion: Sketch, fragment/s (scene/s or “clips”); not a coher­ent story or ratio­nal para­graphs.
    » Tip: author­ing mode = “sketch­ing a scene” (or “sketch com­edy”) — think screen­writ­ing, against essay form; Macro Image or GIFs unlike pho­tos

    Use con­cise & pre­cise phras­ing; con­crete & sen­sory details, using the spe­cific char­ac­ters & ref­er­ences — evoke and cre­ate the “vir­tual mood” of the imag­ined scene.

      Com­ment: the appear­ance para­me­ters are highly flex­i­ble and need not be a “sketch” — could use another Pop Cul­ture form, e.g. meme, par­ody video, game (like Super Smash Bros. or Mar­ioKart) for the “visual mash-up”).
      Try exper­i­ment­ing styl­is­ti­cally in order to invent/innovate cre­ative approaches, with main objec­tive to “per­form” (express/convey) the asso­cia­tive rela­tion­ship — one that has no obvi­ous link (only con­nec­tion is the cre­ator, you).
      Orga­ni­za­tion (“struc­ture” & sequence) is key to this end: model enter­tain­ment / par­tic­i­pa­tory cul­ture form, rather than essay con­ven­tions (lit­er­acy = argu­ment) — explor­ing the potential/possibilities for per­sonal expres­sion (through per­for­mance and play) in Elec­tracy
      — review Appa­ra­tus The­orychart


  • Style: Expressive/evocative (vir­tual mood), by putting together unlike & dis­tant “char­ac­ters,” mate­ri­als, details (jux­ta­po­si­tion and asso­ca­tion; logic of joke).
    Note: Rather than explain­ing or defin­ing, leave the rela­tion and your idea implicit (implied).
    (i.e. omit a descrip­tive frame or expla­na­tion, which the essay form would require).
    You are com­pos­ing like the Mash-Up DJ, leav­ing your­self out of the result: stag­ing (“telling a joke”) the vir­tual encounter through the scene/s, with­out lit­er­ally stat­ing the high con­cept idea. Instead, use the “sig­na­ture style” (phrases, details, mode, mood) of your “char­ac­ters” and setting.

      Reminder: leave out your­self as “sender/receiver” position—the link (you) remains unsaid, as you are your intended audi­ence as reflex­ive “self-portrait” (key exer­cise “warm up” toward Project 2)
      This vir­tual scene should be “poly­phonic” & het­ero­ge­neous, mul­ti­ple dis­courses—not your sin­gle voice (mono­logue); try exper­i­ment­ing this mul­ti­modal form by vary­ing com­po­si­tion styles, using Web logic of imag­ing (“non­sense”):
      “write” with e.g. dia­logue, quotes, catch­phrases; action = expres­sive ges­tures; “sig­na­ture” per­for­mance traits; min­i­mal exposition.


  • Design: Feel free to use images/media from any one of the Per­sonal Data­bases (ide­ally, edited for your new purpose/context); not required to post media for all cat­e­gories, though.
    • → Sug­ges­tion: cre­ate new atmos­phere (“vir­tual mood”) through media ele­ments, par­tic­u­larly GIFs or audio/video clips.

      Com­ment: this is espe­cially impor­tant if you’ve not attempted, both in tech­ni­cal and poetic aspects. Con­sid­er­ing Web-composing (dro­mos­phere), cul­tural ele­ments can express much more effi­ciently, both with con­no­ta­tion and aes­thetic qual­i­ties, (e.g. song, char­ac­ter, “style/signature,” logo/icon).

      Try using media as expres­sive mode, rather than as “empir­i­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion” (ref­er­en­tial, rep­re­sen­ta­tion mode). This is “warm-up” for Project 2 directly — exper­i­ment­ing with both aesthetics/design & writing.


Leave a Reply