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 😀