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Workshop, Sonic Acts 2022

Supercuts: Sabotage by Montage

Led by artist Sam Lavigne, attendees will use Python in conjunction with basic command line tools to explore the possibilities of manipulating video with code.

About the Workshop:
Emerging in the early 2000s, the ‘Supercut’ is a genre of video editing made out of a montage of short clips with a common theme. The catch-all term, initially coined by writer and net-culture commentator Andy Baio, describes the fast-moving, detail-obsessed videos that isolate a recurring pop-culture trope, iconic idiom or idiosyncrasy. While often humorous, pointing out ridiculous, overused phrases, the videos are also adept at cultural and even political commentary. Examples from the height of the genre’s popularity vary from a series of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s screams to Bill Gates saying ‘uh’ a lot, to an experimental clip in which all of the words were removed from George W. Bush’s 2008 State of the Union address.

This workshop treats video as a textual as well as visual medium, and focuses on repurposing found footage to generate new compositions and narratives. Together, participants will interrogate the YouTube channels of corporate polluters like Shell oil and gas to create their own supercut videos. Through these methods, the supercut becomes a subversive tool, drawing critical attention to how large scale polluters justify, excuse and obscure environmental harm.

Photo courtesy of artist.