Uncreative Approaches to New Media

Uncreative Approaches to New Media (100pts.)

For the past three weeks we have been considering the Kenneth Goldsmith’s provocative and controversial conception of Uncreative Writing. Now it’s time to put some of the cut-and-paste culture to the test. Drawing inspiration from his description of “Retro Graffiti” in his chapter on uncreative writing processes for the classroom, consider the following piece of “graffiti” as it might appear in comments area of a YouTube video: “KENNETH GOLDSMITH BROUGHT ME HERE, AND HERE’S WHY:”

This slogan is a remix of a slogan that I’ve seen emerge as a result of Ernst Cline’s science fiction novel, Ready Player One. The novel is replete with references to 80’s popular culture, and I’ve found in researching the movies, music, and television shows that Cline uses that YouTube users regularly tag what has brought them to the site: “READY PLAYER ONE BROUGHT ME HERE” or “ERNST CLINE BROUGHT ME HERE.”

There’s something in this gesture that reminds me of the World War II graffiti slogan: “KILROY WAS HERE.”

In any case, for our first major project, try to meet the following sets of goals:

FIRST, visit YouTube sites that you feel are either directly or tangentially related to Goldsmith’s book. For example, you might search, as I did, for Shigeru Matsui’s “Pure Poems” on YouTube. You might also, as I did, share a link that seems somehow related to an example that Goldsmith shares. For example, in class, I made a comparison between Matsui’s somewhat “mechanized” sounding poetry and my own efforts to remix early industrial footage of factory work with the “mechanized” collage music of D.J. Spooky.

SECOND, after visiting the site, cut-and-paste the “Goldsmith Was Here” slogan to the comments section.

FINALLY, in addition, to the “Goldsmith slogan,” cut-and-paste a link to a Prezi, Wix or Weebly site that will include a reference to the link that you’re visiting, but relevant quotes by Kenneth Goldsmith (and others!) that helps to contextualize your “retro graffiti.”

ON YOUR Prezi, Wix, or Weebly SITE: BEGIN with a discussion of WHY Goldsmith has inspired you to include this site. You may reference his work specifically, but you may also choose to note your role as a graduate student in SVSU’s CMA program. (The level of detail you wish to share is up to you, but your introduction, at a minimum, needs to, of course, introduce Kenneth Goldsmith to an audience unfamiliar with his arguments.)

NEXT, cluster a MINIMUM OF FIFTEEN links. For each YouTube/Vimeo link, you should include a brief discussion of why you feel the video is relevant. If your video is connected to Goldsmith, use direct quotes from his book about the video; if the video is tangentially connected to Goldsmith through some other rationale, explain why you’ve included it. NOTE: AT LEAST FIVE OF YOUR LINKS NEED TO BE TANGENTIAL.

LASTLY, after you’ve completed the experiment, write a MULTIPARAGRAPH REFLECTION about your work. Where did you (virtually) “cross paths” with peers in comments? What other comments did you discover? How does being “uncreative” open up new ways of understanding your writing and new media? What are the pro’s and con’s?p(3s)

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