I sent out a list of slightly cheeky links to my undergrad students to look at as part of their class, Material Worlds (a studio class based on the grad seminar class I taught a while ago at CCA). They’re all YouTube videos that I’ve stumbled across (or have been pointed in the direction of, thanks, Christine Wong Yap!) and while not “scholarly” or academic in their scope, can be considered interesting ways that people/groups are dealing with making “copies” of things and uniquely tweaking it based on circumstance and context.


“Thriller” remake by actual prisoners in Cebu, Philippines. Yes, I know this one’s circulated the world and is pretty popular with the “weird cultural crossover” crowd, but it still doesn’t take away from the interestingness of it. Exploitative? Sure. But it’s also oddly telling that they would choose a music video dance routine as exercise. O, Philippines!


“Ken Lee” song performed on Bulgarian Idol. Valentina Hassan is my new heroine. She has single-handedly redefined the English language. Proudly. I was joking a while back that this video alone could spur an entire series of graduate-level sociology theses.


SO much better than the “original”:

“more halo 3 weapons”
The costumes and weapons are all based on the video game Halo 3. I personally think this kid is an obsessed genius. The fact that he’s channelling his energies into not just playing the games online but actually trying to recreate aspects of it from scrap and cardboard in the real world blows my mind. He’s even made DIY videos using a sharp steak knife, packing tape, and old boxes. This is one of those cases where I’m glad his parents haven’t taken him to see a psychologist or made him stop creating his own personal arsenal of stuff.


and more to think about with copies: Christina Aguilera’s pop song “Beautiful” resung by a myriad selection of teenage girls in their own personal, heartfelt manner. All the same, and yet all so different! What’s up with expository karaoke and the need for everyone to record themselves singing in their bedrooms?