“Word Crimes” by Weird “Al” Yankovic and Jarrett Heather

"Word Crimes" by Weird "Al" Yankovic
Open “Word Crimes” by “Weird Al” Yankovic and Jarrett Heather

“Word Crimes”  is an official music video designed and animated by Jarrett Heather for “Weird Al” Yankovic.  The video uses kinetic typography and evocative visual images to reinforce the didactic tone.  The song is a parody of Robin Thicke’s own “Blurred Lines” employing its catchy tune, lyric structure, and even typography (as in the case of the hashtags) repurposed tosatirizes common ways that language is used incorrectly in writing.

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“Deal With It” Meme by Matt Furie and You

Deal-With-It-Skateboarding-Cat-Gif“Deal with it” is a meme based on a popular phrase or expression that uses image macros and/or animated GIFs as a snarky response when someone else notes disapproval, most frequently used online forums or social networks. This meme is characterized by an image of an iconic person, celebrity, or event, accompanied by the descending of sunglasses upon the subject’s face and revealing a caption which says “Deal with it.”

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”Debaser” by Pixies

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 6.39.06 PM
Open “Debaser” video by Pixies

Pixies is an alternative rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, originally formed in 1986. The band started releasing music videos after their second studio album Doolittle in 1989, but ‘’Debaser,” the first track of this album, wasn’t released as a single until 1997. This is the only one of their videos, to date, to feature kinetic typography.

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Slenderman, The Marble Hornets, and Totheark

slenderman-1-708110Remember those chain emails your most obscure contacts would send you during the wee hours of the night that read something like “IF U DON’T FWD DIS A CREEPY CRAWLY GHOST OF A GIRL WILL COME OUT OF DA CLOSET AND KILL U” ?

Well they’re back. And they’re coming to get you for not forwarding all those emails.

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[Swift File Icon] by Apple Inc.

Swift filetype icon. (Image via TUAW)
Swift filetype icon. Click to enlarge.
(Image via TUAW)

On 2 June, at the annual Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Swift, a new programming language created for the development of Apple software. The new language brought with it a new filetype—the .swift file—which itself came with a new icon. As with all things Apple, the Swift icon was quickly dissected, and it was discovered that the icon for Swift files contained a variant of the text of Apple’s famous Think Different ads, which first aired in 1997. The “Think Different” speech has appeared peppered throughout Apple’s software: as Yoni Heisler notes in his article for The Unofficial Apple Weblog, the text of the speech has appeared in icons for Apple’s TextEdit application and “All My Files” Finder icons.

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“Rubber Traits” by Why?

Screen capture of "Rubber Traits" by Why? A dog drools the lyrics to the song next to a razorblade; a pug with a human mouth (mustache included) sings the words of the song. Text: "A Blade / But I want... / But I want... / Oooo"
Open “Rubber Traits” by Why?

Indie rock/ alternative hip-hop band Why? has always prided itself on befuddling listeners with a distinct blend of unorthodox beats, lyrics that fluctuate between rap and the nonsensical, and a surreal approach to their melodies. “Rubber Traits,” although one of their “poppier” singles, does not disappoint in this respect. The single touches on lead singer Yoni’s frequent bouts with depression, yet the video utilizes kinetic typography to complement Why?’s eccentric musical stylings, which underscores the bands ability to display a valiant sense of humor despite the lyrical content being weighty.

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“Alan Wake” by Remedy Entertainment

Open “Alan Wake Official Launch Trailer”

Alan Wake is a survival horror video game released for the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms and developed by Remedy Entertainment, a Finnish company known mostly for their Max Payne video game series. In the plot of the game, a best-selling thriller writer named Alan Wake is trying to overcome his two year writer’s block and mending his marriage by going out on vacations with his wife to a place called Bright Falls. It is here where the storyline starts to develop itself as a thriller narrative, seeing as the game itself from its beginnings alludes to this aspect through a nightmare the main character has, by showing dark corners, mysterious characters and eerie ambiance in plain day during the prologue of the game. As the game progresses the player learns that there are  pages scattered around the game environment which foretell events warning the player of dangerous circumstances ahead. These pages add more depth to the transformation of the game from a thriller to a horror game, immersing the player in its structure and pace while wrapping it up in cinematic genres that perform language like episodic storytelling similar to a television series.

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“Snowfall” by Kentai-P

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“Snowfall” is a great example of music written using Vocaloid software. When listening to this artificial synthesized singer one can appreciate the software’s sophistication and realistic results.

The choice of musical instruments– xylophone, drums, snare drums, and bells– visuals in the video– blue background with snow falling, and white font for the lyrics– all evoke Winter. It isn’t long after the voice stops singing the first stanza that the most astonishing part of the song takes place: a choir joins in to sing the chorus. It is common to see choirs used in Vocaloid pieces, but it is very unusual for that choir to be formed by one single Vocaloid library. The melody also evokes a Scottish or Celtic culture by playing bagpipes before and during the choir. The overall effect is evocative of a medievalist fantasy adventure: a love song by a singer who yearns to be reunited with her love.

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“Vocaloid” by Yamaha Corporation

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Vocaloid is software that uses voice libraries built from the recorded and modified voices of human singers to allow users to possess their very own artificial singer. This software has created a great amount of possibilities and has had a significantsocial impact in many regions, especially in Japan. This entry will concentrate on explaining the authoring software and its e-poetic potential.

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“A Look Back” by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team

Screen Capture from "A Look Back" by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team. A video player with a centered text in white with the Facebook Logo. Text: "A Look Back".
Open “A Look Back” by Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook Team

On Tuesday, February 4, 2013, Facebook released a generated video titled “A Look Back” to commemorate their 10th anniversary.

A Look Back is an experience that compiles your highlights since joining Facebook. Depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook and how much you’ve shared, you’ll see a movie, a collection of photos or a thank you card (link).

For those who have share plenty, this work assembles images and status updates from your Facebook feed and arranges them to be displayed on a video template that organizes them into several topics, to be described below. One could see this generated movie is a kind of Hallmark ecard from Facebook to you, designed to please you with pretty music and images you’re most likely to enjoy. And at that level, the work is a likeable bauble, as enjoyable and forgettable as a well chosen greeting card or something you’ve “liked” on Facebook. But part of its interest is in how effectively Facebook is able to use its metadata to mine its user’s database and generate a a surprisingly effective customized experience that could be considered an unexpected e-poem.

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