This video was made thinking of the face-paced development in technology in the past decade. How from not having any forms of digital communication, our lives are now ridden with screens of various kinds. The first montage showcases a digital timeline, wherein I used images of inventions right from UNIVAC the first-ever commercial computer to the advent of social media like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc.
The second montage depicts the human (here: me) getting distracted by the notification sounds from their phone while editing the video. And proceeds to spend the rest of their time on their phone ‘screen’ talking to people and posting on social media about their work.
This existence through our phone creates an online persona, but I always wonder if our online persona is influenced by our online identity or vice-versa. We spend approximately 12 hours on our devices on a daily basis. A lot of important business decisions, studies, digital creations take place on these devices. Time is spent on social media trying to get a sense of boost. It is either a boost of confidence that people get from the likes and retweets but also a boost of serotonin that we get every time we hear the notification sounds.
This is a given fact for most people, but a lot of people live vicariously through their screen feeding their online persona in denial of the fact that they have been avoiding a lot of reality-life problems and connections.
The songs used to allude to firstly the development that has happened in media but also on the fact that media is showing us things that we want to see, things that emphasise our conformation biases towards particular topics. Once you start scrolling or watching things on streaming sites, it suggests you things that the algorithm thinks you want to watch. The first song by Dire Straits, Money for Nothing, a song from 1985. “This song is about rock star excess and the easy life it brings compared with real work. Mark Knopfler wrote it after overhearing delivery men in a New York department store complain about their jobs while watching MTV. “
Even though an artist has a simpler life as compared to a factory worker, it comes from an understanding of media as well as how to make work on digital media, advertising on media and making connections through digital platforms that will end up bringing those artists to light. The song allied to the fact that musicians art artists are getting money, and fame through ‘easy work.’ The music video for Money for nothing was “one of the first to feature computer-generated animation, which was done using an early program called Paintbox. The line “I want my MTV” was the basis of the cable network’s promotional campaign.”
The second song alludes to “The misrepresentation of world events by the US media. News anchors relay lies into the homes of Americans because that’s all the Americans, being empty people whose only concerns are the media’s showcase of glamour and gossip” The post-punk band Rage Against the Machine, as their name suggests rages against the controlling forces of companies (machines) that have taken over the world. The music video for the song Testify, is a satirical narrative of the similarities between the Bush and Gore government, and an alien force “with the title card ‘Aliens Plot To Conquer Earth’ followed by ‘Release The Mutant’ .“ Their songs usually target the incompetent of the US government. And it seemed apt to use it within this video exploration.
I used an intensifying glitch effect in the digital timeline to show how fast the technology is developing and the computer screen cannot keep up with the constant advancements. The pace of the video keeps increasing because in the current Information Age, we are constantly being distracted by our screens and life itself feels as if it were in a superhighway. The intensifying notification sounds, in the end, help the viewer see how a single notification sound releases serotonin in our Brian and makes us want to look into our phones again and again.
This video, although rough on the edges, showcases my emotions through media. Using it to make art, but also using it as a distraction to get away from work. And then giving in to the distractions and never actually end up working. The message at the end calls out the consumers for their actions and shows them how they are living in denial of their own habits.
This is a message to myself. And to everyone consuming media.
Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7mMsAPjA4I&ab_channel=mmaiself