THE DIGITAL META-DISSEMINATION   OF FEAR IN MUSIC VIDEOS                                       A TRANSDISCIPLINARY TEXTUAL...
MUSIC VIDEOS ARE EVERYWHERE-  if audio-visual is the dominant form of online communication,   music videos have become the...
SOME WEBOMETRICS ABOUT MUSIC VIDEOS-  37 of 65 most watched online videos in 2010 were music   videos, which represented 6...
MUSIC VIDEOS ARE INFLUENTIAL-  Literature (William Gibson, Jasper Fforde, Daniel Z. Danielowski);-  Cinema (Michel Gondry,...
DIGITAL CONVERGENCE OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  music video continues to do what it has done for   decades: to look for all kinds of...
SILENCE! ACADEMICS AT WORK!                                   visual art!      cinematic genre!                          n...
TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  the theoretical configuration of audio-visual media contents as   texts and of its audie...
IMPORTANT FACTS TO CONSIDER         IN A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  music videos have potentially three texts (lyr...
TRANSDISCIPLINARY TEXTUAL ANALYSIS                OF TWO CASE-STUDIES    Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song»      M.I.A....
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  «I dont want to admit that I find this beautiful, but I really do.   Its absolu...
THE SOURCE OF THE VIOLENCE IS HIDDEN TO US
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  «Why you all stand here and watch them? Someone, call an   ambulance!» @ vanrok.
PRODUCERLY TEXTS-  concept created by John Fiske (FISKE 1989) applied to media   products that allow its audience to parti...
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV     Where does all this violence come from? 
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV        > transmediatic similarity with TV pundits or talking heads <         > co...
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN «MARCHING SONG» MV                    AND VLOGGING-  fixed framing of talking heads;-  lip-synching;- ...
VLOGGING-  one of the most emblematic forms of online communication;-  dominant genre of online user-generated contents;- ...
«MARCHING SONG» MUSIC VIDEO ≈ VLOGGING
ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  what makes this music video fruition so intensively difficult   and fascinating ...
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV: POLITICAL ALLEGORY?         Our Day Will Come                  Palestinian Kufiya                 ...
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MVWhy cast redheads to portrait this allegedpolitical allegory?-  the absurdity, randomness and vast ...
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV    Why cast specifically redheads to depict     the absurdity of any mass persecu7on? 
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV                          M.I.A.’s Maya                          cover artwork                     ...
M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV-  The fact that M.I.A.’s music video was conceptualized and   produced as a digital medium is pote...
WHAT DO GINGERS MEAN TO WEB USERS AND        YOUTUBE COMMUNITY MEMBERS?            South Park’s              @CopperCab   ...
TEXT         PARATEXT         PARATEXT 
TAKE-AWAYS (I)-  music videos are the most preeminent audio-visual medium   genre on the Social Web;-  a textual analysis ...
TAKE-AWAYS (II)-  the producerly features of music video texts introduce a   general guiding principle for the success of ...
TAKE-AWAYS (III)-  the sharing of music video and other media texts and meanings   has nothing viral to it and, on the con...
REFERENCES    Bibliographic, videographic and webometric            references available online at                        ...
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The digital meta-dissemination of fear in music videos. A transdisciplinary textual analysis of two case studies: Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song» and M.I.A.’s «Born Free»

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Due to change in its production, distribution and reception contexts, music videos have become the most popular genre in today’s digital media landscape, reaching both niche and global audiences. This presentation aims at analysing, from a transdisciplinary perspective, two music videos, Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song» (Peter King & David Procter, 2010) and M.I.A.’s «Born Free» (Romain Gavras, 2010), focusing on the way both of them incorporate textual references to vlogging and other media, in order to emulate and disseminate a participative sensation of fear that is directly related to the dissolution of the border between public and private spheres of Social Web users.

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The digital meta-dissemination of fear in music videos. A transdisciplinary textual analysis of two case studies: Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song» and M.I.A.’s «Born Free»

  1. 1. THE DIGITAL META-DISSEMINATION OF FEAR IN MUSIC VIDEOS A TRANSDISCIPLINARY TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF TWO CASE STUDIES: ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» AND M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» João Pedro da Costa Instituto de Literatura Comparada Margarida Losa mvflux.com (supervised by Rui Raposo & Rosa Maria Martelo) Fear and Fantasy in a Global World Hermes 2011 International Symposium 
  2. 2. MUSIC VIDEOS ARE EVERYWHERE-  if audio-visual is the dominant form of online communication, music videos have become the most popular genre of the digital media landscape reaching both niche (ANDERSON 2009) and global audiences;-  music videos are reachable through computers, laptops, smartphones, PSPs, iPods, iPads, tablets, CD-ROMs and DVDs;-  more than a habitat, the Internet has become a genuine and generous ecosystem for music videos;-  music videos have become an increasingly accessible, widespread and omnipresent digital medium.
  3. 3. SOME WEBOMETRICS ABOUT MUSIC VIDEOS-  37 of 65 most watched online videos in 2010 were music videos, which represented 62% of the overall visualizations (Visible Measures 03/2010);-  7 of the 10 most watched videos on YouTube in 2010 were music videos (Read Write Web 01/2011);-  77% of users who consumed music on the Web did it via music videos (Nielsen 04/2011);-  music videos short average duration fits the media consumption habits of Web users, who typically have a short attention span: the average fruition time of online video is 3’53” (US) and 3’34” (Europe) (Brightcove 02/2011).
  4. 4. MUSIC VIDEOS ARE INFLUENTIAL-  Literature (William Gibson, Jasper Fforde, Daniel Z. Danielowski);-  Cinema (Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Glazer, David Fincher);-  Politics (Barack Obama’s 2008 US presidential campaign);-  Advertising (Apple, Coca-Cola, PlayStation, Nissan);-  Video Art (Chris Cunningham, Tyler Shield, Richard Phillips);-  TV Series (Glee, Californication);-  Etc.
  5. 5. DIGITAL CONVERGENCE OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  music video continues to do what it has done for decades: to look for all kinds of possible inspirations, to try to do something new with it and to thus inspire itself as well as other media forms (KEAZOR et al. (eds.) 2010: 19).
  6. 6. SILENCE! ACADEMICS AT WORK! visual art! cinematic genre! neo-Fascist viral content! propaganda! visual LSD! what’s a electronic wallpaper! music video? semiotic pornography! dreams! nihilistic and chauvinistic media! metaphysical shopping mall poetry! culture!
  7. 7. TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  the theoretical configuration of audio-visual media contents as texts and of its audience as readers has been used with interesting results by several authors;-  an interdisciplinary epistemic approach between Web Studies and Literary Studies can be truly effective and fruitful in the study of music videos on the Social Web;-  most authors that studied music videos have been using terminological terms such as narrative, performativity, reception, reader, pastiche, intertextuality, canon or diegetic, just to name a few.
  8. 8. IMPORTANT FACTS TO CONSIDER IN A TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF MUSIC VIDEOS-  music videos have potentially three texts (lyrics, music and image) with hypothetical synesthetic correlations (GOODWIN 1992; WILLIAMS 2001);-  music videos are created by a potentially large array of authors (musicians, directors, producers and/or users) ;-  music videos texts are mainly read and diffused through digital platforms by an active audience that may perform a large series of synesthetic, transtextual (GENETTE 1982) and transmediatic (ROSE 2011) readings during their fruition process; -  the distinction between music videos’ authors and readers is blurred due to the participative possibilities of the Social Web (JENKINS 2006) and the producerly nature of music video texts (FISKE 1987: 251).
  9. 9. TRANSDISCIPLINARY TEXTUAL ANALYSIS OF TWO CASE-STUDIES Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song» M.I.A.’s «Born Free» (Peter King & David Procter 2010) (Romain Gavras 2010) > focus on the way each music video contains textual references to vlogging and other media, in order to emulate and disseminate a sensation of fear that is directly related to the dissolution of the border between public and private spheres of Web users <
  10. 10. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV
  11. 11. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  «I dont want to admit that I find this beautiful, but I really do. Its absolutely mesmerizing» @ VizualConqueror;
  12. 12. THE SOURCE OF THE VIOLENCE IS HIDDEN TO US
  13. 13. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  «Why you all stand here and watch them? Someone, call an ambulance!» @ vanrok.
  14. 14. PRODUCERLY TEXTS-  concept created by John Fiske (FISKE 1989) applied to media products that allow its audience to participate in the production of its meaning via excessive reading;-  producerly texts have loose ends that escape its control, meanings that exceed its own power to discipline them, gaps wide enough for whole new texts to be produced in them by their readers;-  producerly texts can be enjoyed and accessed on multiple levels: it can be taken at face value, but also leaves openings for deeper and more active interpretations (JENKINS et al. 2009: 81-82).
  15. 15. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV Where does all this violence come from? 
  16. 16. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV > transmediatic similarity with TV pundits or talking heads < > converging similarity with vlogging (or video blogging) <
  17. 17. SIMILARITIES BETWEEN «MARCHING SONG» MV AND VLOGGING-  fixed framing of talking heads;-  lip-synching;-  brevity (RETTBERG 2008: 21);-  simulacrum of authenticity (metaphorically represented in the music video text by the characters nudity).
  18. 18. VLOGGING-  one of the most emblematic forms of online communication;-  dominant genre of online user-generated contents;-  critical media for the construction of the sense of community among video sharing websites users;-  grass-root medium genre that fosters engagement and strong criticism through user’s harsh verbal comments and video responses.
  19. 19. «MARCHING SONG» MUSIC VIDEO ≈ VLOGGING
  20. 20. ESBEN AND THE WITCH’S «MARCHING SONG» MV-  what makes this music video fruition so intensively difficult and fascinating is how easy it is for most Web users to identify with its characters;-  this emotional cleansing is similar to Aristotle’s definition of catharsis in his Poetics (ARISTOTLE 2003);-  performative music videos may be the closest modern medium genre to ancient Greek drama one might ever find on YouTube vast and growing cultural archive;-  In this digital drama, Web users hamartias (or injuries) are a consequence of their digital illiteracy or participation gap – their fear and inability of fully communicating with their peers.
  21. 21. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV
  22. 22. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV: POLITICAL ALLEGORY? Our Day Will Come Palestinian Kufiya > historic motto of the > historic symbol of Palestinian Irish Republican Army (IRA) < resistance movement <
  23. 23. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MVWhy cast redheads to portrait this allegedpolitical allegory?-  the absurdity, randomness and vast symbolic scope of chasing redheads demonstrates how absurd any ethnic, religious or political persecution is;-  it increases the efficiency of the dissemination of fear.
  24. 24. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV Why cast specifically redheads to depict  the absurdity of any mass persecu7on? 
  25. 25. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV M.I.A.’s Maya cover artwork (2010) M.I.A.: «the cover is a statement about 21st century privacy» > strong and readable metatextual reference to the dissolution of the border between the private and public spheres of Social Web users <
  26. 26. M.I.A.’S «BORN FREE» MV-  The fact that M.I.A.’s music video was conceptualized and produced as a digital medium is potentially an important factor to the producerly structure of its text and a strong guideline for its digital readers.So, what do Web users, and specifically YouTube communitymembers, know about gingers?-  Actually, quite a lot.
  27. 27. WHAT DO GINGERS MEAN TO WEB USERS AND YOUTUBE COMMUNITY MEMBERS? South Park’s @CopperCab Ginger Kids TV episode video blogging (November 2005) (January 2010) «Gingers have no souls!» Gingers do have souls!!!
  28. 28. TEXT  PARATEXT  PARATEXT 
  29. 29. TAKE-AWAYS (I)-  music videos are the most preeminent audio-visual medium genre on the Social Web;-  a textual analysis from a transdisciplinary approach between Web Studies and Literary Studies can truly be effective and fruitful in the study of music videos on the Social Web;-  the digital dissemination mechanisms of music videos are related to the participative possibilities of the Social Web (JENKINS 2006) and the producerly nature of music video texts;
  30. 30. TAKE-AWAYS (II)-  the producerly features of music video texts introduce a general guiding principle for the success of its dissemination: open, loose ends and gaps that foster excessive readings by its viewers (FISKE 1987); -  those excessive readings are always anchored to the music video text, through a potentially vast array of synesthetic (GOODWIN 1992), transtextual (GENETTE 1982) and transmediatic (ROSE 2011) correlations;
  31. 31. TAKE-AWAYS (III)-  the sharing of music video and other media texts and meanings has nothing viral to it and, on the contrary, is the basis for social affiliations of Web users and often re-articulates or reconfirms their shared values (JENKINS et al. 2009: 81);-  the violence portrayed in both Esben and the Witch’s «Marching Song» and M.I.A.’s «Born Free» music videos can be read as more than mere visual hooks (GOODWIN 1992: 90-96) and rather as elaborated references to the dissolution of the border between the private and the public spheres of Social Web users.
  32. 32. REFERENCES Bibliographic, videographic and webometric references available online at mvflux.com

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