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Response to Alex Bag

The narrative of this piece is about a college student, presumably played by Bag, who is going to SVA. We watch her progress through her four years of college via eight semesters, amid shots of seemingly more random scenes of a broad variety, which could be performance art that she works on, dreams that she has, or just her general experiences. (or Bjork!) I feel that she certainly takes jabs at what it is like to be an art student, both in the general term and specifically in New York City. The main character, the art student, seems to be a bit of a trope/stereotype of what one might expect from a college student. She starts off as excited and chipper, but slowly and surely gets more disillusioned, depressed and even entitled (talking about how she has to take classes that she finds dumb, or having to explain her pieces and art).

The narrative, I believe, is mostly communicated by the audio/speaking person. You have characters speaking to each other and to the camera in order to promote and further the story. There are more audio cues than visual cues, in my opinion. I found myself focusing more on the audio to clue me in on what was happening, although the visuals did help to differentiate between some characters and scenes. The video consists of many short shots with lots of editing, including voice alters, jumps and fades. When Bjork speaks, the video of her talking about her TV is superimposed into the corner of the video.

The passage of time is indicated by visual cues, the cuts between scenes signify that time has passed between then and now in a very literal way, with a scene fading to black before reappearing. I might be incorrect, but I do believe that this is an effect that you can add in most video editing programs. This is commonly used in movies or short story telling.

There is no traditional narrator, but more of a blog/vlog style narration when we see the college student (or Bjork talking about the inner workings of her TV) speaking to the camera, talking about how she’s feeling about school and what not.

The video itself is an interesting piece. Bag really plays a multitude of characters quite well, there were a couple of times where she was talking about specific art terms that I had an: “oh” sort of moment, understanding what she said from my own first semester of art school. There’s a lot of strange inserts that I didn’t really understand, but I’m not entirely sure if I was supposed to understand or just be there for the ride. There were certainly things that I didn’t expect, like at the beginning when Annie was killed by the rabbits, that was unexpected and pretty creepy. Later on, with Ron and Hello-Kitty, that was a totally different kind of creepy.

The art student herself, going through her college years in NYC, goes from happy and excited to be there and learning, but as her semesters progress, she starts to take issue with a number of things that one might see as being normal or reasonable. She has to take certain classes to fulfill the requirements of her degree, she has to apply to work and get a job in order to pay for rent, she has to explain her artwork to her professors and peers. Visually, you see her go through a change along with her mental state–she goes from a young, bubbly looking red head to a goth bombshell babe with a blunt black bob.

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