Where does it go?!? YouTube, Stupid Games, and Time #crassh3c (Anahid Kassabian)

Flappy Bird – a parallel with Anna Karenina (but only in terms of the time it takes).

Anahid Kassabian (University of Liverpool): ‘Where does it go?!? YouTube, Stupid Games, and Time’
In this paper, I will begin to theorise how small units of culture, such as the run-of-the-mill 3-5 minute uploaded video (which is suspiciously like the ‘required’ length of a pop song) or the ‘stupid game’ (Anderson, 2012), seem to swallow enormous amounts of time.

While this phenomenon is widely discussed, it continues to grow without serious challenge. Using both the ideas of distributed subjectivity and listening as I developed them in Ubiquitous Listening as well as materials from neurology and psychology on time perception, I will argue that such small units of culture are nearly inevitable, given the prevalence of affect marketing and other developments that make longer attention spans increasingly difficult to maintain.

IASPM day 4: Viral videos and synchronization. Anahid Kassabian #iaspm2013

Viral videos and synchronization. Anahid Kassabian (University of Liverpool, UK) #iaspm2013


Historically, synchronisation has been understood as a guarantor of realism in film. However, the recent explosion of editing software has meant that very clever amateur video makers have been able to turn that on its head. Using synchronisation as a way to create humour in multiple new genres of very short videos, they focus on incongruencies between and among words, visuals, and oral material. Using this material, I will argue that synchronised audio and visual tracks are acquiring a new kind of meaning.

[JB note – Anahid mentions many specific videos in this presentation but I may have misheard some, so not all are cited exhaustively below because I fear I may mis-spell them. Excuse me while I kiss this guy – I’m off to Sarnies’ Bay.]

Anahid opens with a brief discussion of video ‘curiosities’ as she calls them, beginning with ‘light music’ and ‘visual music’, describing these as ‘experiments in producing synaesthesia for those of us who do not have it’. She introduces another ‘curiosity’ category whereby iPhones [other smartphones are available] are placed inside a guitar so only the vibrating strings can be viewed. Another cited example is a frame by frame recording of “Flight of the Bumble Bee” [a colleague at Bath Spa, Chris Blanden, has recently done one of these with Rondo Alla Turca – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiYCmtXp8mg].