Project Hyperessay #3 – Swappie 2.0 Conclusion


Swappie 1.0 was about the distortion of facial image. Swappie 2.0 on the other hand, is the distortion of spoken words and sung lyrics.


A second installation of Swappie, Swappie 2.0 aims to distort, rewrite and stretch meanings and bringing it into the suspension of disbelief much like “putting words in someone else’s mouth.




I worked on the opening and closing transitions of the videos and ended up with these:

To achieve this swapped meaning, I sourced for songs that have rather ambiguous lyrics – or when the singer slurs his/her words. Then, I add text that seemingly reinforces the meaning of what you’re hearing and makes it seem more credible and believable even though that’s not what the singer is actually trying to convey.

This is the same technique used in advertisement; where the advertisers frequently apply the power of manipulation to plant an idea in someone’s mind. They hide a products perceived flaws and only focuses on its unique selling point – sometimes reinforcing the USP with words flashing quickly on the screen.

Our Average Attention Span Is Now 8 Seconds –
1 Second Less Than A Goldfish

(No) thanks to these short nano ads and current social media rends like Vine, Snapchat and Instagram, our attention spans are now shorter than that of a goldfish.

The use of really silly preset transition effects on the words is a parody of (bad) effects in the media as well as social media. This being said, in this modern day and age, anyone and everyone has access to high tech video-editing and recording tools – even people with no artistic talent are able to produce a seemingly decent piece of advertisement or media content.

Our media and popular culture play into our short attention span with the current social media trend of really short nano videos and images; Vine, Snapchat and even Instagram. Swappie 2.0 is like video art made for (but also mocking) the social media generation – a manipulation of communications forms.

Essentially, what I’m trying to do here is to mimic our current absurd media and popular culture and making it even more absur. Swappie 2.0 is like video art made for (but also mocking) the social media trends and generation by manpulating communication forms. It also plays into the suspension of disbelief – allowing us to forget our disbeliefs for that moment and be immersed into a situation that is unreal. Our minds, for the moment that we’re watching these videos above, believe that the lyrics and meanings of the songs are real for that moment in time.

In the future, I could expand this project from where it is right now to actually stripping audio from commercials and manipulating the existing soundtrack and make it undergo a vocoder processing. Doing that will allow me to make more absurd renditions of videos and input my own content to the ones that are already in existence.

Project Hyperessay #2.5: Swappie Realisation


The one video that served as inspiration and got the Swappie snowball rolling is the Iggy Azalea freestyle rap video where some flabberghasted netizens tried to add subtitles to what she the lyrics to the actual rap was. She was seemingly spouting gibberish as the audience members cheered her on. This confused me for a moment but then I realise that what made it funny was the audio, then the subtitles, followed by the visual.

In Swappie 1.0, I concentrated on the distortion of facial images.
However, in Swappie 2.0 I wanted to distort what people are saying

I started of with this Buzzfeed video of Obama advertising Obamacare. I watched it a couple of times without audio and tried to see what text I could substitute it with. Without matching audio, the subtitles were less believable 🙁 Hence, Randall suggested I added some effects or sound effects in the background. What we experimented with in class was music without any singing. I experimented further and came up with these:

The two videos above were really helping me progress into exploring my topic. Upon showing these to Randall, he said that they were missing some kind of opening and closing – like an ad would usually have.

The video above didn’t really work very well – just like the Obama video – because I was trying to suggest that Louie Louie sounds like Nutella on bread but not really HAHAHAHA.

I made some more videos and appropriated more media which I will further discuss in my Project Hyperessay #3 Post.

Project Hyperessay #2: Monkey Business


For the second installment of my Project Hyperessay, I found better examples of the direction in which I’d like my final project to go. Coincidentally, both reference videos were of dogs. I referring an animal (who has no ability to communicate with us with words) and humanizing it is a topic that is engaging as well as entertaining to netizens.

In this first clip, music is added to the visual of a corgi shaking off. Due to the lyrics of the music clip, “bubble butt” it paints a different picture in your mind of a seemingly ordinary act by a dog. Some commenters have thought about the dog as “a better twerker than Miley Cyrus” due to the similarity of its actions compared to human twerking…

The second video depicts a dog who was howling. The owner candidly voiced over the clip by pretending to be teasing the dog with food and that they were actually having an almost humanlike conversation with each other regarding the food. The timing of the voiceover was perfect and thus, alters our perception for a minute about a dog being able to converse. The simple act of adding a music clip has the ability to create an entirely new world, and to transform one reality into another.

This is my first humble attempt at sound manipulation with no prior experience whatsoever – I just winged it. I found this really entertaining video of a monkey doing sit ups and push ups on my facebook timeline and the song that played in my head was the Eye of the Tiger in the Rocky movie…


I felt that best way to execute this (that i’m more or less familiar with) would be to download the video and reappropriate the sound clips in iMovie that comes with my macbook.

Screen shot 2015-03-18 at 11.24.21 AM

My iMovie page in the process of sound manipulation.

I thought it would be a good idea to upload the completed video on vimeo – then I realised that as I am not holding on to an upgraded vimeo account, every video I upload would take a quarter of an hour to upload :/

Screen shot 2015-03-18 at 11.30.41 AM

Thus, I tried to upload it onto Youtube instead – which took far less time. I could then post the link to the video on my existing Swappie Facebook page.

Enjoy the Rocky Monkey 😀

Project Hyperessay #1.5 – Identity Manipulation


Initially, in my Project Hyperessay 1 post, I addressed wanting to work with music and videos. However, after a skype session with Randall, I realised that although music may change the mood and context, voice changes the identity. Afterall, the core idea of Swappie is to manipulate and multiply identity. Therefore, it has been decided that I would work specifically with the spoken voice though music, ambient sounds as well as sound effects may be used to accompany a video clip.

An example that was provided by Randall is the above Allstate Insurance commercial. The guy’s voice suddenly changes to a deep, authoritative voice of the insurance agent – quickly implying that the Allstate insurance agent would be on top of the situation as soon as it happens. In the world we live in, in order for something to be real, it has to be hyperreal and exaggerated. For example, lipsyncing and fake, made up sounds are recorded in a sound booth and added to the visuals later. Therefore, sound and the spoken voice, if swapped, changes the way we ultimately perceive the world and the recorded medium. Below is an example of how the hyperreal sounds for Toy Story was created as well as recorded.

Though this would be my first time working with sound (being a graphic designer), its a challenge I am embracing; considering how interesting the topic is. Sound has moulded the way we perceive the world and by changing simple everyday sounds like a dog barking accompanying a video of a cat, and the sound of a jetplane with an accompanying video of a car raring by, we change our perceptions in ways we never expect. Sound swapping creates the opposite of believability and solidity.

In addition to the text above, I found this video of a top 10 list of most memorable movie sound effects that piqued my interests. For now, I will be looking into foley, sound swapping and voiceovers and how they can contribute to a radical change and transformation of identity.

Project Hyperessay #1 – Swappie 2.0


In Internet Art & Culture in Semester I, I felt like I merely dipped my toes in the idea before the semester ended and unfortunately, so did my endeavor with face-swapping. In Swappie, I swapped the faces of my friends on the Internet and compiled it in this tumblr site and the Swappie Facebook Group and had so much devious fun reading and watching reactions from friends and mutual friends online. The responses I received were mostly positive; with people requesting more and people submitting their own photos to be swapped by me. Due to the anonymity blanket the Internet provides, I was able to create some form of mystery as to who was grabbing and posting all these photos and it became a talking point in ADM. I joined the Media & Performance class in Semester II in hopes of taking the idea of the Swappie a step further.

I personally feel that it is what we experience through the senses that makes life meaningful. In fact, it can be said that what is experienced through the senses is life itself. The two senses, seeing and hearing, forms the basic fundamentals of life and living. Impressions obtained through these two senses in my opinion are essential to a performance. To get my point across, please enjoy this video of Charlie Chaplin in his Lion’s Cage silent comedy. The use of orchestra music creates the dramatic effect of him being stuck in a cage with a dangerous animal.

Now, watch the video below where the sound has been edited to feature some sound effects and song cuts that had nothing to do with the clip. (eg when the lion is shown sleeping we hear “soft kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur”, this gives and invokes in us a different impression and feeling as to being stuck in the cage with the animal.) This isn’t the best example but I chose this clip for the sake of explanation 🙂

The idea of a performance piece is to pre-plan the experience; to arrange the sound effects and the music that accompanies the piece. However, in Swappie 2.0: Sound Edition (haha!) The idea is to pair a video with an inappropriate sound that alters the user experience and impression of the video altogether. You won’t know be able to predict the sound that might accompany the clip (although your mind already knows what it expects to hear; ie: a gun goes bang)

In the same way, in my Pixel8 Disembodied Max Video Project, you react differently to it from 0:01 – 0:05 when there is no sound and when sound is introduced after that. As the Super Mario game sounds were playing, your mind associates my video with a 16-bit game. Without the addition of sound, the video would not have made “as much sense”. This is due to the fact that sight and sound often go together, in media and performance and also in tv and internet culture. Thus, I would be thrilled to embark on a journey of sourcing short video clips and edit the sound that goes with them into a compilation – probably through vimeo, tumblr or vine.