Memory – Analysis

This video starts off with a 15 second introduction showing people smiling in an interview set-up and others writing onto a cassette tape box. This sets up the audience to let them know they about to see some interviews with focus being on mixtapes, the fact that they are smiling and laughing shows people were having fun, but maybe some group shots could have improved on this introduction, maybe having them all chatting and laughing together to show the idea off as more of a social/collaborative experience. The title graphic appears with an image similar to a graphic equalisier this puts the idea of music into the viewers mind once again as it is a recognised symbol used across music platforms.

The interviews start with a voice off camera asking why the interviewed chose a song and what that song was. further explanation in the video would have been helpful, although the video does link to a website which one would assume would provide further information on the project which the people are talking about.

The video is constructed in a very simple interview format, music video footage and cutaways are used to spice up the footage, more interesting cutaways could have probably improved the piece (for example previously suggested group shots) The sound is fairly poorly constructed (outside sounds that shouldn’t be there can be heard clearly) but the interviewee is heard clearly, The music is used well to help an uniformed audience understand what the interviewee is talking about. It would have been nice to have seen other locations particularly as research shown indicates that a lot more people got involved.

The project itself appears to be fairly ambitious from the fact that in the video the viewer is encouraged to click a link for further inofmation, however the video itself wasn’t highly ambitious in terms of construction and presentation, however it does inform and encourages the viewer to look further on if interested in the project, the varying people also encourages the viewer to consider what song and reasons they may have chosen themselves. The music videos used help to remind viewers what a song sounds like if they have heard it before or to educate them to something they had not heard prior, without the sound playing underneath through the piece, a sense of place would be lost in this piece, as the audience would struggle to understand the message without the gentle reminder of what the interviewee is talking about.

The interviews take place in a brightly lit room with canvas pictures of flowers in the background, this helps add to the warm, happy feel of the piece, it makes the piece feel non-threatening to both the interviewee and the audience. This ‘warm feeling’ is carried on into the personal cover designs the people end up drawing aswell as emphasizing the warm and happy feeling that the lighting had previously given also emphizises the ‘personal’ touch that this film appears to be trying to present to it’s viewers.

The project itself seems to have ideas inspired by collective memory theories put forward by sociologists such as Maurice Halbwachs the symbols used in this piece especially the cassette tape have their own connitations informed by collective memory. although many younger people watching this video may never have needed to use a cassette tape, they recognise the symbolism of it and what it is/was used for due to collective memory passed to them through discourse by influences such as family and television. It also aims to create an artiefact that has collective memories for those involved by taking singular personal memories and passing those on into a collective group memory project, the aim appears to be for those involved to great a group memory by sharing and listening to others experiences. To Halbwachs memory isn’t just how we remember but also how we function as a collective society

“It is in society that people normally acquire their memories. It is also in society that they recall, recognize, and localize their memories” (Halbwachs 1992, p. 38).

The name itself ‘Project Mixtape’ is a quite a simple easy to remember name, which one could imagine being easy to market through search tools such as google or twitter ‘#projectmixtape’ The blog name latches onto a fairly popular phrase ‘make mixtapes not war’ which itself is a reference to the popular 60’s phrase ‘make love not war’ the phrase has a lot of history and has an emotional feeling of nostalgia and anarchism to several generations which links in well to this project as it aims to get people to spread ideas and emotions through music in a ‘new’ way which references one’s past.

Halbwachs, Maurice. 1992. On Collective Memory. Trans. and ed. Lewis A. Coser. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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