he’ll stop at nothing for a shot at something sexy, while it’s hot…


…and therein lies the thrilling plot of PICTURE SNATCHER. that is a real quote from just one of the wonderfully creepy public domain videos i edited together for my new project. it is a music video for my cover of Blank Space (my version is called “blankspace”) by Taylor Swift, for a contest.

the original song has some depth that i never considered until i heard Taylor Swift introduce it as a reaction to her fans conception of who she was:

“In the last couple of years the media have had a really wonderful fixation on kind of painting me as like the psycho serial dater girl.”

the tune grew on me once i realized that Swift was singing from the pov of a fictionalized version of herself created in the minds of her audience. she blamed it on the media – who supplies digestible, sensational narratives – while i am more inclined to blame it on the market – which votes with money and clicks to support tabloids, and pointless bickering on panel shows, and more grease in our food, and gawker. the Group decided that, based on a few glimpses of her life framed in clickbait on the sidebar, we could understand her characteristics and what complications we could expect to unravel in her plot, just like any movie. or at least a little part of lots of us did, and that adds up over a population into thousands of disembodied fragments of humans bitching about your dating life.

so, Swift identified how others identified her (which is not at all simple for me, but might be for a celebrity?) and then took that character and wrote a song from her perspective. then we, the market, hear the song and at least a fraction of us just assume we are hearing autobiography. it seems very meta and ironic under a catchy surface.

i rewrote my cover version from the pov of a crazy celebrity stalker. i recorded it in my bedroom, with a friend’s microphone. my laptop and ancient version of garageband are so old that it is almost impossible to get an entire song recorded; halfway through a take the microphone will short out and start crackling, or the program will close as it tries to load an instrument. i like that i live in two worlds; i have one foot in the future, because i can record high quality music by myself for low startup costs in my own bedroom, all using technology that has only existed for tiny sliver of history. but one foot is in the past, because even a few years, single digits, is enough for this new technology to become hopelessly outmoded. humans made and used the same flint spearheads for 10,000 years, and at that time we were already physically indistinguishable from modern humans. now i am using a computer that is mostly a mystery to me, that i could never fix or rebuild by myself, but as long as it works i can create miracles of objectified memories that can be artificially recreated for eternity.

the video that goes along with it (public domain american television from the 20th century) is menacingly innocent. all together i rewrote and learned the song, recorded it, and made the video in a little less than two weeks. all of the sudden i really, really like contests and deadlines. i am most happy when i’m not even considering happiness because i’m in a flow state, and flow states appear when i am under pressure.


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