A/V Project

This project asks you to compose with audio and/or images. You will produce some sort of audio, image, or video file (or collection of files) that can be posted to your class site, shared on social media, or otherwise submitted electronically. This assignment also has a written component that should be added to your class site. In terms of purpose, we are aiming to engage with the concepts and perspectives from our recent class readings:

  • Velocity. Ridolfo and DeVoss offer the concept of rhetorical velocity to help us think about the speed at which texts are taken up and transformed. Digital technologies and social media allow for the quick spread and transformation of texts and ideas. Ridolfo and DeVoss see value in the ability to produce texts that have a sense of velocity, that lend themselves to spread and transformation. Roberts, on the other hand, encourages us to practice patience, slowing down in our engagement with texts to better appreciate and understand them. For your A/V Project, consider how this notion of velocity shapes what you produce. How do you want your audience to engage with your project? Does your work lend itself to quick distribution and consumption or more patient consideration? What choices can you make when designing and developing your project to shape this sense of speed?
  • Remix. Ridolfo and DeVoss also focus our attention on the act of remixing as an important part of digital writing (and writing and thinking in general). In your project, be mindful of what materials you draw on and what you do with them. How does your choice of materials shape the meaning or effect of your project? How are you remixing and reworking your materials to say something new with them, to find new possibilities for expression?
  • Self and Culture. Ennenga’s thinking on self-portraits and selfies helps us consider the balance between our selves and the culture that informs our work in digital writing. When we compose with a/v materials, to what extent are we reproducing preexisting cultural forces and ideas? To what extent are we extracting ourselves from this cultural web and producing something grounded in our own vision and ideas?
  • Representation and Reality. Bogost reminds us that pictures, videos, and audio recordings do not capture reality so much as create a new text. When we look at a picture, we are not just seeing an accurate representation of reality; we are looking at what the camera itself is capable of producing based on how it reads color and light. For your project, consider how the technologies you use shape what you produce.

These concepts and questions should inform the choices we make for the A/V project, so that we are intentional in what technologies we use, what ideas we engage with, what materials we draw on, and what we do with those materials. Again, our projects will involve some combination of audio, video, and image editing and production. Here are some possibilities for what we might do with our projects.

Audio
Audio production and remixing offers an opportunity to splice together or layer different audio files and sound sources. Your work could go in a few different directions. You could produce your own audio recording if you wanted to make a piece of music, a short podcast, or something else along these lines; you could remix multiple songs or pieces of music to create a mashup; you could take a speech or other vocal recording and add music or other sound to the background; you could take various audio sources and combine them in a unique way to create a sound collage. One challenge will be thinking about purpose: what are you hoping to achieve here? Is this for humor, for satire or critique, something artistic? Be mindful of your purpose when you select materials and put them together.

If you are looking for audio files to incorporate, I would recommend checking out these sites for public domain or Creative Commons licensed materials: the Free Music ArchiveMusopenAmerican RhetoricLOC Sound Recordings, and the Internet Archive. If there is audio you want to use on YouTube, you can download it.

You might have audio editing and production software on your computer (e.g., GarageBand), and you are welcome to use this. Otherwise, you will need to download software onto your computer or onto a Bonaventure computer. I would recommend Audacity. You might also try DJ software like Mixxx.

Video
Video production and remixing offers an opportunity to splice together or layer different video and audio files and images. Your work could go in a few different directions. You could produce your own video; you could remix multiple videos or images and audio files to create a mashup; you could play music or a speech or other sound source over a set of videos or images; you could take various video and audio sources and combine them in a unique way to create a story or collage. One challenge will be thinking about purpose: what are you hoping to achieve here? Is this for humor, for satire or critique, something artistic? Be mindful of your purpose when you select materials and put them together.

If you are looking for video files and images to incorporate, I would recommend checking out these sites for public domain or Creative Commons licensed materials: the Public Domain Review, the Internet ArchiveWikimedia Commons, the Library of Congress, and Flickr. Keep in mind that sites like YouTube and Flickr allow you to search for Creative Commons licensed material. On YouTube, you can select a “Creative Commons” filter on your search. On Flickr, you can do this under the advanced search option. If there is video you want to use on YouTube, you can download it or get a screen capture using software like Debut.

You might have video editing and production software on your computer (e.g., iMovie or Final Cut Pro), and you are welcome to use this. Otherwise, you will need to download software onto your computer or onto a Bonaventure computer. I would recommend VideoPad or Vimeo or other free software.

Images
For image production and remixing, we’re looking for ways to compose or repurpose images. Your work could go in a few different directions. You could produce your own images, either of yourself (toward a more radical selfie) or something else; you could create a set of memes by taking existing memes or new images and adding your own words to them using a site like imgflip; you could create a collage by combining a series of images and laying them out in a specific way; you can create a comic strip using a platform like StoryboardThat or Pixton. One challenge will be thinking about purpose: what are you hoping to achieve here? Is this for humor, for satire or critique, something artistic? Be mindful of your purpose when you select materials and put them together.

Reflection
Your work on the project should be organized on your website on a “A/V Project” post or page. If possible, you should embed your work on the page. For example, if you post a video to YouTube, embed the YouTube video on the page; if you create a set of memes, include the images on the page. Any work that is not embedded or linked to on this page can be submitted through email or in a class folder on Dropbox.

In addition to the multimedia composition you produce, you should also post a reflection (minimum 500 words) on your class site that addresses your work on the remix. Your reflection should address the following prompts.

  • What was the main purpose of your a/v work? What did you hope to achieve or communicate here? Where were you most successful in achieving this purpose? Least successful? Point to specific aspects of your work and explain how they add to your project.
  • How did you spend your time on the project? What challenges did you encounter? How would you describe the challenge of writing with audio and images? What can you do with these media that you can’t do with words?
  • Comment on your work for this project in relation to the question of fair use. Where did you incorporate the work of others into your project? How would you defend your use of these materials with reference to the principles of fair use?